Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

History Of Modern Philosophy by Richard Falckenberg

Part 6 out of 13

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 1.5 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

and at the same time is considered by them, and thus exerts influence
as well as suffers it. In this way the external idea of an artificial
adaptation is avoided. The essence of each thing is simply the position
which it occupies in the organic whole of the universe; each member is
related to every other and shares actively and passively in the life of
all the rest. The history of the universe is a single great process in
numberless reflections.

The metaphysics of Leibnitz begins with the concept of representation
and ends with the harmony of the universe. The representations were
multiplicity (the endless plurality of the represented) in unity (the unity
of the representing monad); the harmony is unity (order, congruity of the
world-image) in multiplicity (the infinitely manifold degrees of clearness
in the representations). All monads represent the same universe; each one
mirrors it differently. The unity, as well as the difference, could not be
greater than it is; every possible degree of distinctness of representation
is present in each single monad, and yet there is a single harmonic accord
in which the unnumbered tones unite. Now order amid diversity, unity in
variety make up the concept of beauty and perfection. If, then, this world
shows, as it does, the greatest unity in the greatest multiplicity, so that
there is nothing wanting and nothing superfluous, it is the most perfect,
the best of all possible worlds. Even the lowest grades contribute to the
perfection of the whole; their disappearance would mean a hiatus; and if
the unclear and confused representations appear imperfect when considered
in themselves, yet they are not so in reference to the whole; for just on
this fact, that the monad is arrested in its representation or is passive,
_i.e._, conforms itself to the others and subordinates itself to them, rest
the order and connection of the world. Thus the idea of harmony forms the
bridge between the Monadology and optimism.

As in regard to the harmony of the universe we found it possible to
distinguish between a half-mythical, narrative form of presentation and a
purely abstract conception, so we may make a similar distinction in the
doctrine of creation. This actual world has been chosen by God as the best
among many other conceivable worlds. Through the will of God the monads of
which the world consists attained their reality; as possibilities or
ideas they were present in the mind of God (as it were, prior to their
actualization), present, too, with all the distinctive properties and
perfections that they now exhibit in a state of realization, so that their
merely possible or conceivable being had the same content as their actual
being, and their essence is not altered or increased by their existence.
Now, since the impulse toward actualization dwells in every possible
essence, and is the more justifiable the more perfect the essence, a
competition goes on before God, in which, first, those monod-possibilities
unite which are mutually compatible or compossible, and, then, among the
different conceivable combinations of monads or worlds that one is ordained
for entrance into existence which shows the greatest possible sum of
perfection. It was, therefore, not the perfection of the single monad, but
the perfection of the system of which it forms a necessary part, that was
decisive as to its admission into existence. The best world was known
through God's wisdom, chosen through his goodness, and realized through his
power.[1] The choice was by no means arbitrary, but wholly determined by
the law of fitness or of the best (_principe du meilleur_); God's will must
realize that which his understanding recognizes as most perfect. It is at
once evident that in the competition of the possible worlds the victory of
the best was assured by the _lex melioris_, apart from the divine decision.

[Footnote 1: In regard to the dependence of the world on God, there is a
certain conflict noticeable in Leibnitz between the metaphysical interests
involved in the substantiality of individual beings, together with the
moral interests involved in guarding against fatalism, and the opposing
interests of religion. On the one side, creation is for him only an
actualization of finished, unchangeable possibilities, on the other, he
teaches with the mediaeval philosophers that this was not accomplished by a
single act of realization, that the world has need of conservation, _i.e._,
of continuous creation.]

This law is the special expression of a more general one, the principle
of sufficient reason, which Leibnitz added, as of equal authority, to the
Aristotelian laws of thought. Things or events are real (and assertions
true) when there is a sufficient reason for their existence, and for their
determinate existence. The _principium rationis sufficientis_ governs our
empirical knowledge of contingent truths or truths of fact, while, on
the other hand, the pure rational knowledge of necessary or eternal
(mathematical and metaphysical) truths rests on the _principium
contradictionis_. The principle of contradiction asserts, that is, whatever
contains a contradiction is false or impossible; whatever contains no
contradiction is possible; that whose opposite contains a contradiction
is necessary. Or positively formulated as the principle of identity,
everything and every representative content is identical with itself.[2]
Upon this antithesis between the rational laws of contradiction and
sufficient reason--which, however, is such only for us men, while the
divine spirit, which cognizes all things _a priori_, is able to reduce even
the truths of fact to the eternal truths--Leibnitz bases his distinction
between two kinds of necessity. That is metaphysically necessary whose
opposite involves a contradiction; that is morally necessary or contingent
which, on account of its fitness, is preferred by God to its (equally
conceivable) opposite. To the latter class belongs, further, the physically
necessary: the necessity of the laws of nature is only a conditional
necessity (conditioned by the choice of the best); they are contingent
truths or truths of fact. The principle of sufficient reason holds for
efficient as well as for final causes, and between the two realms there is,
according to Leibnitz, the most complete correspondence. In the material
world every particular must be explained in a purely mechanical way, but
the totality of the laws of nature, the universal mechanism itself, cannot
in turn be mechanically explained, but only on the basis of finality, so
that the mechanical point of view is comprehended in, and subordinated
to, the teleological. Thus it becomes clear how Leibnitz in the _ratio
sufficiens_ has final causes chiefly in mind.

[Footnote 2: Within the knowledge of reason, as well as in experiential
knowledge, a further distinction is made between primary truths (which
need no proof) and derived truths. The highest truths of reason are the
identical principles, which are self-evident; from these intuitive truths
all others are to be derived by demonstration--proof is analysis and, as
free from contradictions, demonstration. The primitive truths of experience
are the immediate facts of consciousness; whatever is inferred from them is
less certain than demonstrative knowledge. Nevertheless experience is not
to be estimated at a low value; it is through it alone that we can assure
ourselves of the reality of the objects of thought, while necessary truths
guarantee only that a predicate must be ascribed to a subject (_e.g._, a
circle), but make no deliverance as to whether this subject exists or not.]

To the broad and comprehensive tendency which is characteristic of
Leibnitz's thinking, philosophy owes a further series of general laws,
which all stand in the closest relation to one another and to his
monadological and harmonistic principles, viz., the law of continuity, the
law of analogy, the law of the universal dissimilarity of things or of the
identity of indiscernibles, and, finally, the law of the conservation of

The most fundamental of these laws is the _lex continui_. On the one hand,
it forbids every leap, on the other, all repetition in the series of beings
and the series of events. Member must follow member without a break and
without superfluous duplication; in the scale of creatures, as in the
course of events, absolute continuity is the rule. Just as in the monad one
state continually develops from another, the present one giving birth
to the future, as it has itself grown out of the past, just as nothing
persists, as nothing makes its entrance suddenly or without the way being
prepared for it, and as all extremes are bound together by connecting
links and gradual transitions,--so the monad itself stands in a continuous
gradation of beings, each of which is related to and different from each.
Since the beings and events form a single uninterrupted series, there are
no distinctions of kind in the world, but only distinctions in degree. Rest
and motion are not opposites, for rest may be considered as infinitely
minute motion; the ellipse and the parabola are not qualitatively
different, for the laws which hold for the one may be applied to the other.
Likeness is vanishing unlikeness, passivity arrested activity, evil a
lesser good, confused ideas simply less distinct ones, animals men with
infinitely little reason, plants animals with vanishing consciousness,
fluidity a lower degree of solidity, etc. In the whole world similarity
and correspondence rule, and it is everywhere the same as here--between
apparent opposites there is a distinction in degree merely, and hence,
analogy. In the macrocosm of the universe things go on as in the microcosm
of the monad; every later state of the world is prefigured in the earlier,
etc. If, on the one side, the law of analogy follows as a consequence from
the law of continuity, on the other, we have the _principium (identitatis)
indiscernibilium_. As nature abhors gaps, so also it avoids the
superfluous. Every grade in the series must be represented, but none more
than once. There are no two things, no two events which are entirely alike.
If they were exactly alike they would not be two, but one. The distinction
between them is never merely numerical, nor merely local and temporal, but
always an intrinsic difference: each thing is distinguished from every
other by its peculiar nature. This law holds both for the truly real (the
monads) and for the phenomenal world--you will never find two leaves
exactly alike. By the law of the conservation of force, Leibnitz corrects
the Cartesian doctrine of the conservation of motion, and approaches the
point of view of the present day. According to Descartes it is the sum of
actual motions, which remains constant; according to Leibnitz, the sum of
the active forces; while, according to the modern theory, it is the sum of
the active and the latent or potential forces--a distinction, moreover, of
which Leibnitz himself made use.

We now turn from the formal framework of general laws, to the actual, to
that which, obeying these laws, constitutes the living content of the

%2. The Organic World.%

A living being is a machine composed of an infinite number of organs. The
natural machines formed by God differ from the artificial machines made by
the hand of man, in that, down to their smallest parts, they consist of
machines. Organisms are complexes of monads, of which one, the soul, is
supreme, while the rest, which serve it, form its body. The dominant monad
is distinguished from those which surround it as its body by the greater
distinctness of its ideas. The supremacy of the soul-monad consists in this
one superior quality, that it is more active and more perfect, and clearly
reflects that which the body-monads represent but obscurely. A direct
interaction between soul and body does not take place; there is only a
complete correspondence, instituted by God. He foresaw that the soul at
such and such a moment would have the sensation of warmth, or would wish an
arm-motion executed, and has so ordered the development of the body-monads
that, at the same instant, they appear to cause this sensation and to
obey this impulse to move. Now, since God in this foreknowledge and
accommodation naturally paid more regard to the perfect beings, to the more
active and more distinctly perceiving monads than to the less perfect ones,
and subordinated the latter, as means and conditions, to the former
as ends, the soul, prior to creation, actually exercised an ideal
influence--through the mind of God--upon its body. Its activity is the
reason why in less perfect monads a definite change, a passion takes place,
since the action was attainable only in this way, "compossible" with this
alone.[1] The monads which constitute the body are the first and direct
object of the soul; it perceives them more distinctly than it perceives,
through them, the rest of the external world. In view of the close
connection of the elements of the organism thus postulated, Leibnitz, in
the discussions with Father Des Bosses concerning the compatibility of
the Monadology with the doctrine of the Church, especially with the real
presence of the body of Christ in the Supper, consented, in favor of
the dogma, to depart from the assumption that the simple alone could be
substantial and to admit the possibility of composite substances, and of a
"substantial bond" connecting the parts of living beings. It appears least
in contradiction with the other principles of the philosopher to assign the
role of this _vinculum substantiate_ to the soul or central monad itself.

[Footnote 1: Cf. Gustav Class, _Die metaphysischen Voraussetzungen des
Leibnizischen Determinismus_, Tuebingen, 1874.]

Everything in nature is organized; there are no soulless bodies, no dead
matter. The smallest particle of dust is peopled with a multitude of living
beings and the tiniest drop of water swarms with organisms: every portion
of matter may be compared to a pond filled with fish or a garden full of
plants. This denial of the inorganic does not release our philosopher from
the duty of explaining its apparent existence. If we thoughtfully consider
bodies, we perceive that there is nothing lifeless and non-representative.
But the phenomenon of extended mass arises for our confused sensuous
perception, which perceives the monads composing a body together and
regards them as a continuous unity. Body exists only as a confused idea
in the feeling subject; since, nevertheless, a reality without the mind,
namely, an immaterial monad-aggregate, corresponds to it, the phenomenon
of body is a well-founded one _(phenomenon bene fundatum)_. As matter is
merely something present in sensation or confused representation, so space
and time are also nothing real, neither substances nor properties, but only
ideal things--the former the order of coexistences, the latter the order of

If there are no soulless bodies, there are also no bodiless souls; the soul
is always joined with an aggregate of subordinate monads, though not always
with the same ones. Single monads are constantly passing into its body,
or into its service, while others are passing out; it is involved in a
continuous process of bodily transformation. Usually the change goes on
slowly and with a constant replacement of the parts thrown off. If it takes
place quickly men call it birth or death. Actual death there is as little
as there is an actual genesis; not the soul only, but every living thing
is imperishable. Death is decrease and involution, birth increase and
evolution. The dying creature loses only a portion of its bodily machine
and so returns to the slumberous or germinal condition of "involution",
in which it existed before birth, and from which it was aroused through
conception to development. Pre-existence as well as post-existence must
be conceded both to animals and to men. Leuwenhoek's discovery of the
spermatozoa furnished a welcome confirmation for this doctrine, that all
individuals have existed since the beginning of the world, at least as
preformed germs. The immortality of man, conformably to his superior
dignity, differs from the continued existence of all monads, in that after
his death he retains memory and the consciousness of his moral personality.

%3. Man: Cognition and Volition.%

In reason man possesses reflection or self-consciousness as well as the
knowledge of God, of the universal, and of the eternal truths or _a priori_
knowledge, while the animal is limited in its perception to experience,
and in its reasoning to the connection of perceptions in accordance with
memory. Man differs from higher beings in that the majority of his
ideas are confused. Under confused ideas Leibnitz includes both
sense-perceptions--anyone who has distinct ideas alone, as God, has no
sense-perceptions--and the feelings which mediate between the former and
the perfectly distinct ideas of rational thought. The delight of music
depends, in his opinion, on an unconscious numbering and measuring of
the harmonic and rhythmic relations of tones, aesthetic enjoyment of
the beautiful in general, and even sensuous pleasure, on the confused
perception of a perfection, order, or harmony.

The application of the _lex continui_ to the inner life has a very wide
range. The principal results are: (1) the mind always thinks; (2) every
present idea postulates a previous one from which it has arisen; (3)
sensation and thought differ only in degree; (4) in the order of time, the
ideas of sense precede those of reason. We are never wholly without ideas,
only we are often not conscious of them. If thought ceased in deep sleep,
we could have no ideas on awakening, since every representation proceeds
from a preceding one, even though it be unconscious.

In the thoughtful _New Essays concerning the Human Understanding_ Leibnitz
develops his theory of knowledge in the form of a polemical commentary
to Locke's chief work.[1] According to Descartes some ideas (the pure
concepts) are innate, according to Locke none, according to Leibnitz all.
Or: according to Descartes some ideas (sensuous perceptions) come from
without, according to Locke all do so, according to Leibnitz none.
Leibnitz agrees with Descartes against Locke in the position that the mind
originally possesses ideas; he agrees with Locke against Descartes, that
thought is later than sensation and the knowledge of universals later
than that of particulars. The originality which Leibnitz attributes to
intellectual ideas is different from that which Descartes had ascribed and
Locke denied to them. They are original in that they do not come into the
soul and are not impressed upon it from without; they are not original in
that they can develop only from previously given sense-ideas; again, they
are original in that they can be developed from confused ideas only because
they are contained in them _implicite_ or as pre-dispositions.
Thus Leibnitz is able to agree with both his predecessors up to a certain
point: with the one, that the pure concepts have their origin within the
mind; with the other, that they are not the earliest knowledge, but are
conditioned by sensations. This synthesis, however, was possible only
because Leibnitz looked on sensation differently from both the others. If
sensation is to be the mother of thought, and the latter at the same time
to preserve its character as original, _i.e._, as something not obtained
from without, sensation must, first, include an unconscious thinking in
itself, and, secondly, must itself receive a title to originality and
spontaneity. As the Catholic dogma added the immaculate conception of the
mother to that of the Son, so Leibnitz transfers the (virginal) origin of
rational concepts, independent of external influence, to sensations. The
monad has no windows. It bears germinally in itself all that it is to
experience, and nothing is impressed on it from without. The intellect
should not be compared to a blank tablet, but to a block of marble in whose
veins the outlines of the statue are prefigured. Ideas can only arise from
ideas, never from external impressions or movements of corporeal parts.
Thus _all_ ideas are innate in the sense that they grow from inner germs;
we possess them from the beginning, not developed (_explicite_), but
potentially, that is, we have the capacity to produce them. The old
Scholastic principle that "there is nothing in the understanding which was
not previously in sense" is entirely correct, only one must add, except the
understanding itself, that is, the faculty of developing our knowledge
out of ourselves. Thought lies already dormant in perception. With the
mechanical position (sensuous representation precedes and conditions
rational thought) is joined the teleological position (sensuous
representations exist, in order to render the origin of thoughts possible),
and with this purposive determination, sensation attains a higher dignity:
it is more than has been seen in it before, for it includes in itself the
future concept of the understanding in an unconscious form, nay, it is
itself an imperfect thought, a thought in process of becoming. Sensation
and thought are not different in kind, and if the former is called a
passive state, still passivity is nothing other than diminished activity.
Both are spontaneous; thought is merely spontaneous in a higher degree.

[Footnote 1: A careful comparison of Locke's theory of knowledge with
that of Leibnitz is given by G. Hartenstein, _Abhandlungen der k. saechs.
Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften_, Leipsic, 1865, included in Hartenstein's
_Historisch-philosophische Abhandlungen_, 1870.]

By making sensation and feeling the preliminary step to thought, Leibnitz
became the founder of that intellectualism which, in the system of Hegel,
extended itself far beyond the psychological into the cosmical field, and
endeavored to conceive not only all psychical phenomena but all reality
whatsoever as a development of the Idea toward itself. This conception,
which may be characterized as intellectualistic in its content, presents
itself on its formal side as a quantitative way of looking at the world,
which sacrifices all qualitative antitheses in order to arrange the
totality of being and becoming in a single series with no distinctions but
those of degree. If Leibnitz here appears as the representative of a view
of the world which found in Kant a powerful and victorious opponent, yet,
on the other hand, he prepared the way by his conception of innate ideas
for the Critique of Reason. By his theory of knowledge he forms the
transition link between Descartes and Kant, since he interprets necessary
truths not as dwelling in the mind complete and explicit from the start,
but as produced or raised into consciousness only on the occasion of
sensuous experience. It must be admitted, moreover, that this in reality
was only a restoration of Descartes's original position, _i.e._, a
deliverance of it from the misinterpretations and perversions which it
had suffered at the hands of adherents and opponents alike, but which
Descartes, it is true, had failed to render impossible from the start by
conclusive explanations. The author of the theory of innate ideas certainly
did not mean what Locke foists upon him, that the child in the cradle
already possesses the ideas of God, of thought, and of extension in full
clearness. But whether Leibnitz improved or only restored Descartes, it was
in any case an important advance when experience and thought were brought
into more definite relation, and the productive force in rational concepts
was secured to the latter and the occasion of their production to the

The unconscious or minute ideas, which in noetics had served to break the
force of Locke's objections against the innateness of the principles of
reason, are in ethics brought into the field against indeterminism. They
are involved whenever we believe ourselves to act without cause, from pure
choice, or contrary to the motives present. In this last case, a motive
which is very strong in itself is overcome by the united power of many in
themselves weaken The will is always determined, and that by an idea (of
ends), which generally is of a very complex nature, and in which the
stronger side decides the issue. An absolute equilibrium of motives is
impossible: the world cannot be divided into two entirely similar parts
(this in opposition to "Buridan's ass"). A spirit capable of looking us
through and through would be able to calculate all our volitions and
actions beforehand.

In spite of this admitted inevitableness of our resolutions and actions,
the predicate of freedom really belongs to them, and this on two grounds.
First, they are only physically or morally, not metaphysically, necessary;
as a matter of fact, it is true, they cannot happen otherwise, but their
opposite involves no logical contradiction and remains conceivable. To
express this thought the formula, often repeated since, that our
motives only impel, incite, or stimulate the will, but do not compel it
(_inclinant, non necessitant_), was chosen, but not very happily. Secondly,
the determination of the will is an inner necessitation, grounded in the
being's own nature, not an external compulsion. The agent determines
himself in accordance with his own nature, and for this each bears the
responsibility himself, for God, when he brought the monads out of
possibility into actuality, left their natures as they had existed before
the creation in the form of eternal ideas in His understanding. Though
Leibnitz thus draws a distinction between his deterministic doctrine and
the "fatalism" of Spinoza, he recognizes a second concept of freedom, which
completely corresponds to Spinoza's. A decision is the more free the more
distinct the ideas which determine it, and a man the more free the more he
withdraws his will from the influence of the passions, _i.e._, confused
ideas, and subordinates it to that of reason. God alone is absolutely free,
because he has no ideas which are not distinct. The bridge between the
two conceptions of freedom is established by the principle that reason
constitutes the peculiar nature of man in a higher degree than the sum of
his ideas; for it is reason which distinguishes him from the lower beings.
According to the first meaning of freedom man is free, according to the
second, which coincides with activity, perfection, and morality, he should
become free.

Morality is the result of the natural development of the individual. Every
being strives after perfection or increased activity, _i.e._, after more
distinct ideas. Parallel to this theoretical advance runs a practical
advance in a twofold form: the increasing distinctness of ideas, or
enlightenment, or wisdom, raises the impulse to transitory, sensuous
pleasure into an impulse to permanent delight in our spiritual perfection,
or toward happiness, while, further, it opens up an insight into the
connection of all beings and the harmony of the world, in virtue of which
the virtuous man will seek to promote the perfection and happiness of
others as well as his own, _i.e._, will _love_ them, for to love is to find
pleasure in the happiness of others. To promote the good of all, again,
is the same as to contribute one's share to the world-harmony and to
co-operate in the fulfillment of God's purposes. Probity and piety are the
same. They form the highest of the three grades of natural right, which
Leibnitz distinguishes as _jus strictum_ (mere right, with the principle:
Injure no one), _aequitas_ (equity or charity, with the maxim: To each
his due), and _probitas sive pietas_ (honorableness joined with religion,
according to the command: Lead an upright and morally pure life). They may
also be designated as commutative, distributive, and universal justice.
Belief in God and immortality is a condition of the last.

%4. Theology and Theodicy.%

God is the ground and the end of the world. All beings strive toward him,
as all came out from him. In man the general striving toward the most
perfect Being rises into conscious love to God, which is conditioned by the
knowledge of God and produces virtuous action as its effect. Enlightenment
and virtue are the essential constituents of religion; all else, as cultus
and dogma, have only a derivative value. Religious ceremonies are an
imperfect expression of the practical element in piety, as the doctrines of
faith are a weak imitation of the theoretical. It is a direct contradiction
of the intention of the Divine Teacher when occult formulas and ceremonies,
which have no connection with virtue, are made the chief thing. The points
in which the creeds agree are more important than those by which they are
differentiated. Natural religion has found its most perfect expression in
Christianity, although paganism and Judaism had also grasped portions of
the truth. Salvation is not denied to the heathen, for moral purity is
sufficient to make one a partaker of the grace of God. The religion of the
Jews elevated monotheism, which, it is true, made its appearance among the
heathen in isolated philosophers, but was never the popular religion, into
a law; but it lacked the belief in immortality. Christianity made the
religion of the sage the religion of the people.

Whatever of positive doctrine revelation has added to natural religion
transcends the reason, it is true, but does not contradict it. It contains
no principles contrary to reason (whose opposite can be proved), but, no
doubt, principles above reason, _i.e._, such as the reason could not have
found without help from without, and which it cannot fully comprehend,
though it is able approximately to understand them and to defend them
against objections. Hence Leibnitz defended the Trinity, which he
interpreted as God's power, understanding, and will, the eternity of the
torments of hell (which brought him the commendation of Lessing), and other
dogmas. Miracles also belong among the things the how and why of which we
are not in a position to comprehend, but only the that and what. Since the
laws of nature are only physically or conditionally necessary, _i.e._ have
been enacted only because of their fitness for the purposes of God, they
may be suspended in special cases when a higher end requires it.

While the positive doctrines of faith cannot be proved--as, on the other
hand, they cannot be refuted--the principles of natural religion admit of
strict demonstration. The usual arguments for the existence of God are
useful, but need amendment. The ontological argument of Descartes, that
from the concept of a most perfect Being his existence follows, is
correct so soon as the idea of God is shown to be possible or free from
contradiction. The cosmological proof runs: Contingent beings point to a
necessary, self-existent Being, the eternal truths especially presuppose an
eternal intelligence in which they exist. If we ask why anything whatever,
or why just this world exists, this ultimate ground of things cannot be
found within the world. Every contingent thing or event has its cause in
another. However far we follow out the series of conditions, we never reach
an ultimate, unconditioned cause. Consequently the sufficient reason for
the series must be situated without the world, and, as is evident from the
harmony of things, can only be an infinitely wise and good Being. Here the
teleological proof comes in: From the finality of the world we reason to
the existence of a Being, as the author of the world, who works in view
of ends and who wills and carries out that which is best,--to the supreme
intelligence, goodness, and power of the Creator. A special inferential
value accrues to this position from the system of pre-established
harmony--it is manifest that the complete correspondence of the manifold
substances in the world, which are not connected with one another by any
direct interaction, can proceed only from a common cause endowed with
infinite intelligence and power.

The possibility of proving the existence of one omnipotent and
all-beneficent God, and the impossibility of refuting the positive
dogmas, save the harmony of faith and reason, which Bayle had denied.
The conclusion of the _New Essays_ and the opening of the _Theodicy_ are
devoted to this theme. The second part gives, also against Bayle, the
justification of God in view of the evil in the world. _Si Deus est, unde
malum_? Optimism has to reckon with the facts of experience, and to show
that this world, in spite of its undeniable imperfections, is still the
best world. God could certainly have brought into actuality a world in
which there would have been less imperfection than in ours, but it would at
the same time have contained fewer perfections. No world whatever can exist
entirely free from evil, entirely without limitation--whoever forbids God
to create imperfect beings forbids him to create a world at all. Certain
evils--in general terms, the evil of finitude--are entirely inseparable
from the concept of created beings; imperfection attaches to every created
thing as such. Other evils God has permitted because it was only through
them that certain higher goods, which ought not to be renounced, could be
brought to pass. Think of the lofty feelings, noble resolves, and great
deeds which war occasions, think of national enthusiasm, readiness for
sacrifice, and defiance of death--all these would be given over, if war
should be taken out of the world on account of the suffering which it also
brings in its train.

If we turn from the general principles to their application in detail, we
find a separate proof for the inevitableness or salutary nature of each of
the three kinds of evil--the metaphysical evil of created existence, the
physical evil of suffering (and punishment), and the moral evil of sin.
Metaphysical evil is absolutely unavoidable, if a world is to exist at all;
created beings without imperfection, finiteness, limitation, are entirely
inconceivable--something besides gods must exist. The physical evil of
misery finds its justification in that it makes for good. First of all, the
amount of suffering is not so great as it appears to discontented spirits
to be. Life is usually quite tolerable, and vouchsafes more joy and
pleasure than grief and hardship; in balancing the good and the evil we
must especially remember to reckon on the positive side the goods of
activity, of health, and all that which affords us, perchance, no
perceptible pleasure, but the removal of which would be felt as an evil
(_Theodicy_, ii. Sec. 251). Most evils serve to secure us a much greater good,
or to ward off a still greater evil. Would a brave general, if given the
choice of leaving the battle unwounded, but also without the victory, or of
winning the victory at the cost of a wound, hesitate an instant to choose
the latter? Other troubles, again, must be regarded as punishment for sins
and as means of reformation; the man who is resigned to God's will may be
certain that the sufferings which come to him will turn out for his good.

Especially if we consider the world as a whole, it is evident that the
sum of evil vanishes before the sum of good. It is wrong to look upon the
happiness of man as the end of the world. Certainly God had the happiness
of rational beings in mind, but not this exclusively, for they form only
a part of the world, even if it be the highest part. God's purpose has
reference rather to the perfection of the whole system of the universe. Now
the harmony of the universe requires that all possible grades of reality
be represented, that there should be indistinct ideas, sense, and
corporeality, not merely a realm of spirits, and with these, conditions
of imperfection, feelings of pain, and theoretical and moral errors are
inevitably given. The connection and the order of the world demands a
material element in the monad, but happiness without alloy can never be the
lot of a spirit joined to a body. Thirdly, in regard to moral evil also we
receive the assurance that the sum of the bad is much less than that of the
good. Then, moral evil is connected with metaphysical evil: created beings
cannot be absolutely perfect, hence, also, not morally perfect or sinless.
But, in return for this, there is no being that is absolutely imperfect,
none only and entirely evil. With this is joined the well-known principle
of the earlier thinkers, that evil is nothing actual, but merely
deprivation, absence of good, lack of clear reason and force of will. That
which is real in the evil action, the power to act, is perfect and good,
and, as force, comes from God--the negative or evil element in it comes
from the agent himself; just as in the case of two ships of the same size,
but unequally laden, which drift with the current, the speed comes from the
stream and the retardation from the load of the vessels themselves. God
is not responsible for sin, for he has only permitted it, not willed it
directly, and man was already evil before he was created. The fact that God
foresaw that man would sin does not constrain the latter to commit the
evil deed, but this follows from his own (eternal) being, which God left
unaltered when he granted him existence. The guilt and the responsibility
fall wholly on the sinner himself. The permission of evil is explained by
the predominantly good results which follow from it (not, as in physical
evil, for the sufferer himself, but for others)--from the crime of Sextus
Tarquinius sprang a great kingdom with great men (of. the beautiful myth in
connection with a dialogue of Laurentius Valla, _Theodicy,_ iii. 413-416).
Finally, reference is made again to the contribution which evil makes to
the perfection of the whole. Evil has the same function in the world as the
discords in a piece of music, or the shadows in a painting--the beauty is
heightened by the contrast. The good needs a foil in order to come out
distinctly and to be felt in all its excellence.

In the Leibnitzian theodicy the least satisfactory part is the
justification of moral evil. We miss the view defended in such grand
outlines by Hegel, and so ingeniously by Fechner, that the good is not
the flower of a quiet, unmolested development, but the fruit of energetic
labor; that it has need of its opposite; that it not merely must approve
itself in the battle against evil without and within the acting subject,
but that it is only through this conflict that it is attainable at all.
Virtue implies force of will as well as purity, and force develops only
by resistance. Although he does not appreciate the full depth of the
significance of pain, Leibnitz's view of suffering deserves more approval
than his questionable application to the ethical sphere of the quantitative
view of the world, with its interpretation of evil as merely undeveloped
good. But, in any case, the compassionate contempt of the pessimism of the
day for the "shallow" Leibnitz is most unjustifiable.



%1. The Contemporaries of Leibnitz.%

The period between Kepler and Leibnitz in Germany was very poor in
noteworthy philosophical phenomena. The physicist, Christoph Sturm[1] of
Altdorf (died 1703), was a follower of Descartes, Joachim Jungius[2] (died
1657) a follower of Bacon, though not denying with the latter the value of
the mathematical method in natural science. Hieronymus Hirnhaym, Abbot at
Prague (_The Plague of the Human Race, or the Vanity of Human Learning_,
1676), declared the thirst for knowledge of his age a dangerous disease,
knowledge uncertain, since no reliance can be placed on sense-perception
and the principles of thought contradict the doctrines of faith, and
harmful, since it contributes nothing to salvation, but makes its
possessors proud and draws them away from piety. He maintained, further,
that divine authority is the only refuge for man, and moral life the true
science. Side by side with such skepticism Hirnhaym's contemporary, the
poet Angelus Silesius (Joh. Scheffler, died 1667), defended mysticism.
The teacher of natural law, Samuel Pufendorf[3] (1632-94, professor in
Heidelberg and Lund, died in Berlin), aimed to mediate between Grotius and
Hobbes. Natural law is demonstrable, its real ground is the will of God,
its noetical ground (not revelation, but) reason and observation of the
(social) nature of man, and the fundamental law the promotion of universal
good. The individual must not violate the interests of society in
satisfying his impulse to self-preservation, because his own interests
require social existence, and, consequently, respect for its conditions.

[Footnote 1: Chr. Sturm: _Physica Conciliatrix_, 1687; _Physica Electiva_,
vol. i. 1697, vol. ii. with preface by Chr. Wolff, 1722; _Compendium
Universalium seu Metaphysica Euclidea_.]

[Footnote 2: J. Jung _Logica Hamburgiensis_, 1638; cf. Guhrauer, 1859.]

[Footnote 3: Pufendorf: _Elementa Juris Universalis_, 1660; _De Statu
Imperii Germanici_, 1667, under the pseudonym Monzambano; _De Jure Natures
et Gentium_ 1672, and an abstract of this, _De Officio Hominis et Civis_,

Pufendorf was followed by Christian Thomasius[1] (1655-1728; professor of
law at the University of Halle from its foundation in 1694). He was
the first instructor who ventured to deliver lectures in the German
language--in Leipsic from 1687--and at the same time was the editor of the
first learned journal in German (_Teutsche Monate, Geschichte der Weisheit
und Thorheit_). In Thomasius the characteristic features of the German
Illumination first came out in full distinctness, namely, the avoidance of
scholasticism in expression and argument, the direct relation of knowledge
to life, sober rationality in thinking, heedless eclecticism, and the
demand for religious tolerance. Philosophy must be generally intelligible,
and practically useful, knowledge of the world (not of God); its form, free
and tasteful ratiocination; its object, man and morals; its first duty,
culture, not learning; its highest aim, happiness; its organ and the
criterion of every truth, common sense. He alone gains true knowledge who
frees his understanding from prejudice and judges only after examining for
himself; the joy of mental peace is given to no one who does not free his
heart from foolish desires and vehement passions, and devote it to virtue,
to "rational love." The positive doctrines of Thomasius have less interest
than this general standpoint, which prefigured the succeeding period. He
divides practical philosophy into natural law which treats of the _justum_,
politics which treats of the _decorum_, and ethics which treats of the
_honestum_. Justice bids us, Do not to others what you would not that
others should do to you; decorum, Do to others as you would that they
should do to you; and morality, Do to yourself as you would that others
should do to themselves. The first two laws relate to external, the third
to internal, peace; legal duties may be enforced by compulsion, moral
duties not.

[Footnote 1: Thomasius: _Institutionum Jurisprudentiae Divinae Libri Tres_,
1688; _Fundamenta Juris Naturae et Gentium_, 1705, both in Latin; in
German, appeared in 1691-96 the _Introduction and Application of Rational
and Moral Philosophy_.]

If Thomasius was the leader of those popular philosophers who, unconcerned
about systematic continuity, discussed every question separately before
the tribunal of common sense, and found in their lack of allegiance to
any philosophical sect a sufficient guarantee of the unprejudicedness
and impartiality of their reflections, Count Walter von Tschirnhausen
(1651-1708; _Medecina Mentis sive Artis Inveniendi Praecepta Generalia_,
1687), a friend of Spinoza and Leibnitz, became the prototype of another
group of the philosophers of the Illumination. This group favored
eclecticism of a more scientific kind, by starting from considerations
of method and seeking to overcome the antithesis between rationalism and
empiricism. While fully persuaded of the validity and necessity of the
mathematical method in philosophical investigations, as well as elsewhere,
Tschirnhausen still holds it indispensable that the deductions, on the one
hand, start from empirical facts, and, on the other, that they be confirmed
by experiments. Inner experience gives us four primal facts, of which the
chief is the certainty of self-consciousness. The second, that many things
affect us agreeably and many disagreeably, is the basis of morals; the
third, that some things are comprehensible to us and others not, the
basis of logic; the fourth, that through the senses we passively receive
impressions from without, the basis of the empirical sciences, in
particular, of physics. Consequently consciousness, will, understanding,
and sensuous representation _(imaginatio)_, together with corporeality,
are our fundamental concepts. Not perception _(perceptio)_, but conception
_(conceptio)_ alone gives science; that which we can "conceive" is true;
the understanding as such cannot err, but undoubtedly the imagination can
lead us to confuse the merely perceived with that which is conceived. The
method of science is geometrical demonstration, which starts from
(genetic) definitions, and from their analysis obtains axioms, from their
combination, theorems. That which is thus proved _a priori_ must, as
already remarked, be confirmed _a posteriori_. The highest of all sciences
is natural philosophy, since it considers not sense-objects only, not (like
mathematics) the objects of reason only, but the actual itself in its true
character. Hence it is the divine science, while the human sciences busy
themselves only with our ideas or the relations of things to us.

%2. Christian Wolff.%

Christian Wolff was born at Breslau in 1679, studied theology at Jena, and
in addition mathematics and philosophy, habilitated at Leipsic in 1703,
and obtained, through the instrumentality of Leibnitz, a professorship of
mathematics at Halle, in 1706. His lectures, which soon extended themselves
over all philosophical disciplines, met with great success. This
popularity, as well as the rationalistic tendency of his thinking, aroused
the disfavor of the pietists, Francke and Lange, who succeeded, in 1723, in
securing from King Frederick William I. his removal from his chair and his
expulsion from the kingdom. Finding a refuge in Marburg, he was called back
to Halle by Frederick the Great a short time after the latter's ascension
of the throne. Here he taught and wrote zealously until his death in 1754.
In his lectures, as well as in half of his writings,[1] he followed the
example of Thomasius in using the German language, which he prepared in
a most praiseworthy manner for the expression of philosophical ideas and
furnished with a large part of the technical terms current to-day. Thus
the terms _Verhaeltniss_ (relation), _Vorstellung_ (representation, idea),
_Bewusstsein_ (consciousness), _stetig (continuus)_, come from Wolff, as
well as the distinction between _Kraft_ (power) and _Vermoegen_ (faculty),
and between _Grund_ (ground) and _Ursache_ (cause),[2] Another great
service consisted in the reduction of the philosophy of Leibnitz to a
systematic form, by which he secured a dissemination for it which otherwise
it would scarcely have obtained. But he did not possess sufficient
originality to contribute anything remarkable of his own, and it showed
little self-knowledge when he became indignant at the designation
Leibnitzio-Wolffian philosophy, which was first used by his pupil,
Bilfinger. The alterations which he made in the doctrines of Leibnitz are
far from being improvements, and the parts which he rejected are just the
most characteristic and thoughtful of all. Such at least is the opinion
of thinkers to-day, though this mutilation and leveling down of the most
daring of Leibnitz's hypotheses was perhaps entirely advantageous for
Wolff's impression on his contemporaries; what appeared questionable to him
would no doubt have repelled them also. Leibnitz's two leading ideas, the
theory of monads and the pre-established harmony, were most of all affected
by this process of toning down. Wolff weakens the former by attributing
a representative power only to actual souls, which are capable of
consciousness, although he holds that bodies are compounded of simple
beings and that the latter are endowed with (a not further defined) force.
He limits the application of the pre-established harmony to the relation of
body and soul, which to Leibnitz was only a case especially favorable for
the illustration of the hypothesis. By such trifling the real meaning of
both these ideas is sacrificed and their bloom rubbed off.--While depth
is lacking in Wolff's thinking, he is remarkable for his power of
systematization, his persevering diligence, and his logical earnestness,
so that the praise bestowed on him by Kant, that he was the author of the
spirit of thoroughness in Germany, was well deserved. He, too, finds
the end of philosophy in the enlightenment of the understanding, the
improvement of the heart, and, ultimately, in the promotion of the
happiness of mankind. But while Thomasius demanded as a condition of such
universal intelligibility and usefulness that, discarding the scholastic
garb, philosophy should appear in the form of easy ratiocination, Wolff, on
the other hand, regards methodical procedure and certainty in results as
indispensable to its usefulness, and, in order to this certainty,
insists on distinctness of conception and cogency of proof. He demands
a _philosophia et certa et utilis_. If, finally, his methodical
deliberateness, especially in his later works, leads him into wearisome
diffuseness, this pedantry is made good by his genuinely German, honest
spirit, which manifests itself agreeably in his judgment on practical

[Footnote 1: _Reasonable Thoughts on the Powers of the Human
Understanding_, 1712; _Reasonable Thoughts on God, the World, and the
Soul of Man, also on All Things in General_, 1719 (_Notes_ to this 1724);
_Reasonable Thoughts on the Conduct of Man_, 1720; _Reasonable Thoughts on
the Social Life of Man_, 1721; _Reasonable Thoughts on the Operations of
Nature_, 1723; _Reasonable Thoughts on the Purposes of Natural Things_,
1724; _Reasonable Thoughts on the Parts of Man, Animals, and Plants_, 1725,
all in German. Besides these there are extensive Latin treatises (1728-53)
on Logic, Ontology, Cosmology, Empirical and Rational Psychology, Natural
Theology, and all branches of Practical Philosophy. Detailed extracts may
be found in Erdmann's _Versuch einer wissenschaftlichen Darstellung_, ii.
2. The best account of the Wolffian philosophy has been given by Zeller
(pp. 211-273).]

[Footnote 2: Eucken, _Geschichte der Terminologie_^ pp. 133-134.]

Wolff reaches his division of the sciences by combining the two
psychological antitheses--the higher (rational) and lower (sensuous)
faculties of cognition and appetition. On the first is based the
distinction between the rational and the empirical or historical method of
treatment. The latter concerns itself with the actual, the former with the
possible and necessary, or the grounds of the actual; the one observes and
describes, the other deduces. The antithesis of cognition and appetition
gives the basis for the division into theoretical and practical philosophy.
The former, called metaphysics, is divided into a general part, which
treats of being in general whether it be of a corporeal or a spiritual
nature, and three special parts, according to their principal subjects, the
world, the soul, and God,--hence into ontology, cosmology, psychology, and
theology. The science which establishes rules for action and regards man as
an individual being, as a citizen, and as the head or member of a family,
is divided (after Aristotle) into ethics, politics, and economics, which
are preceded by practical philosophy in general, and by natural law. The
introduction to the two principal parts is furnished by formal logic.

Philosophy is the science of the possible, _i.e._, of that which contains
no contradiction; it is science from concepts, its principle, the law of
identity, its form, demonstration, and its instrument, analysis, which in
the predicate explicates the determinations contained in the concept of the
subject. In order to confirm that which has been deduced from pure concepts
by the facts of experience, _psychologia rationalis_ is supplemented by
_psychologia empirica_, rational cosmology by empirical physics, and
speculative theology by an experimental doctrine of God (teleology). Wolff
gives no explanation how it comes about that the deliverances of the
reason agree so beautifully with the facts of experience; in his naive,
unquestioning belief in the infallibility of the reason he is a typical

A closer examination of the Wolffian philosophy seems unnecessary, since
its most essential portions have already been discussed under Leibnitz and
since it will be necessary to recur to certain points in our chapter on
Kant. Therefore, referring the reader to the detailed accounts in Erdmann
and Zeller, we shall only note that Wolff's ethics opposes the principle
of perfection to the English principle of happiness (that is good which
perfects man's condition, and this is life in conformity with nature or
reason, with which happiness is necessarily connected); that he makes the
will determined by the understanding, and assigns ignorance as the cause of
sin; that his philosophy of religion, which argues for a natural religion
in addition to revealed religion (experiential and rational proofs for the
existence of God, and a deduction of his attributes), and sets up certain
tests for the genuineness of revelation, favors a rationalism which was
flexible enough to allow his pupils either to take part in orthodox
movements or to advance to a deism hostile to the Church.

Among the followers of Wolff, Alexander Baumgarten (1714-62) deserves
the first place, as the founder of German aesthetics _(Aesthetica_, 1750
_seq_.). He perceives a gap in the system of the philosophical sciences.
This contains in ethics a guide to right volition, and in logic a guide
to correct thinking, but there are no directions for correct feeling, no
aesthetic. The beautiful would form the subject of this discipline. For the
perfection (the harmonious unity of a manifold, which is pleasant to the
spectator), which manifests itself to the will as the good and to the
clear thinking of the understanding as the true, appears--according to
Leibnitz--to confused sensuous perception as beauty. From this on the name
aesthetics was established for the theory of the beautiful, though in
Kant's great work it is used in its literal meaning as the doctrine of
sense, of the faculty of sensations or intuitions. Baumgarten's pupils
and followers, the aesthetic writer G.F. Meier at Halle, Baumeister, and
others, contributed like himself to the dissemination of the Wolffian
system by their manuals on different branches of philosophy. To this school
belong also the following: Thuemmig (_Institutiones Philosophia Wolfianae_,
1725-26); the theologian Siegmund Baumgarten at Halle, the elder brother
of the aesthete; the mathematician Martin Knutzen, Kant's teacher;[1] the
literary historian Gottsched [2] at Leipsic; and G. Ploucquet, who in
his _Methodus Calculandi in Logicis_, with a _Commentatio de Arte
Characteristica Universali_ appended to his _Principia de Substantiis et
Phaenomenis_, 1753, took up again Leibnitz's cherished plan for a logical
calculus and a universal symbolic language. The psychologist Kasimir von
Creuz (_Essay on the Soul_, in two parts, 1753-54), and J.H. Lambert,[3]
whom Kant deemed worthy of a detailed correspondence, take up a more
independent position, both demanding that the Wolffian rationalism be
supplemented by the empiricism of Locke, and the latter, moreover, in
anticipation of the Critique of Reason, pointing very definitely to the
distinction between content and form as the salient point in the theory of

[Footnote 1: Benno Erdmann, _M. Knutzen und seine Zeit_, 1876.]

[Footnote 2: Th. W. Danzel, _Gottsched und seine Zeit_, 1848.]

[Footnote 3: Lambert: _Cosmological Letters_, 1761; _New Organon_, 1764;
_Groundwork of Architectonics_, 1771. Bernoulli edited some of Lambert's
papers and his correspondence.]

Among the opponents of the Wolffian philosophy, all of whom favor
eclecticism, A. Ruediger[1] and Chr. Aug. Crusius,[2] who was influenced by
Ruediger, and, like him, a professor at Leipsic, are the most important.
Ruediger divides philosophy according to its objects, "wisdom, justice,
prudence," into three parts--the science of nature (which must avoid
one-sided mechanical views, and employ ether, air, and spirit as principles
of explanation); the science of duty (which, as metaphysics, treats of
duties toward God, as natural law, of duties to our neighbor, and deduces
both from the primary duty of obedience to the will of God); and the
science of the good (in which Ruediger follows the treatise of the Spaniard,
Gracian, on practical wisdom). Crusius agrees with Ruediger that mathematics
is the science of the possible, and philosophy the science of the actual,
and that the latter, instead of imitating to its own disadvantage the
deductive-analytical method of geometry, must, with the aid of experience
and with attention to the probability of its conclusions, rise to the
highest principles synthetically. Besides its deduction the determinism
of the Wolffian philosophy gave offense, for it was believed to endanger
morals, justice, and religion. The will, the special fundamental power of
the soul (consisting of the impulses to perfection, love, and knowledge),
is far from being determined by ideas; it is rather they which depend on
the will. The application of the principle of sufficient reason, which is
wrongly held to admit of no exception, must be restricted in favor of
freedom. For the rest, we may note concerning Crusius that he derives the
principle of sufficient reason (everything which is now, and before was
not, has a cause) and the principle of contingency from the principles of
contradiction, inseparability, and incompatibility, and these latter from
the principle of conceivability; that he rejects the ontological argument,
and makes the ground of obligation in morality consist in obedience toward
God, and its content in perfection. Among the other opponents of the
Wolffian philosophy, we may mention the theologian Budde(us)[3]
_(Institutiones Philosophiae Eclecticae_, 1705); Darjes (who taught in Jena
and Frankfort-on-the-Oder; _The Way to Truth_, 1755); and Crousaz (1744).

[Footnote 1: Ruediger: _Disputatio de eo quod Omnes Idea Oriantur a
Sensione_, 1704; _Philosophia Synthetica_, 1707; _Physica Divina_, 1716;
_Philosophia Pragmatica_, 1723.]

[Footnote 2: Crusius: _De Usu et Limitibus Principii Rationis_, 1743;
_Directions how to Live a Rational Life_ (theory of the will and of
ethics), 1744; _A Sketch of the Necessary Truths of Reason_, 1745; _Way to
the Certainty and Trustworthiness of Human Knowledge_, 1747.]

[Footnote 3: J.J. Brucker _(Historia Critica Philosophiae_, 5 vols.,
1742-44; 2d ed., 6 vols., 1766-67) was a pupil of Budde.]

%3. The Illumination as Scientific and as Popular Philosophy.%

After a demand for the union of Leibnitz and Locke, of rationalism and
empiricism, had been raised within the Wolffian school itself, and still
more directly in the camp of its opponents, under the increasing influence
of the empirical philosophy of England,[1] eclecticism in the spirit of
Thomasius took full possession of the stage in the Illumination period.
There was the less hesitation in combining principles derived from entirely
different postulates without regard to their systematic connection, as
the interest in scholastic investigation gave place more and more to the
interest in practical and reassuring results. Metaphysics, noetics, and
natural philosophy were laid aside as useless subtleties, and, as in the
period succeeding Aristotle, man as an individual and whatever directly
relates to his welfare--the constitution of his inner nature, his duties,
the immortality of the soul, and the existence of God--became the exclusive
subjects of reflection. The fact that, besides ethics and religion,
psychology was chosen as a favorite field, is in complete harmony with the
general temper of an age for which self-observation and the enjoyment of
tender and elevated feelings in long, delightfully friendly letters and
sentimental diaries had become a favorite habit. Hand in hand with this
narrowing of the content of philosophy went a change in the form of
presentation. As thinkers now addressed themselves to all cultivated
people, intelligibility and agreeableness were made the prime requisites;
the style became light and flowing, the method of treatment facile and
often superficial. This is true not only of the popular philosophers
proper--who, as Windelband pertinently remarks (vol. i. p. 563), did not
seek after the truth, but believed that they already possessed it, and
desired only to disseminate it; who did not aim at the promotion of
investigation, but the instruction of the public--but to a certain extent,
also, of those who were conscious of laboring in the service of science.
Among the representatives of the more polite tendency belong, Moses
Mendelssohn[2] (1729-86); Thomas Abbt (_On Death for the Fatherland_, 1761;
_On Merit_, 1765); J.J. Engel (_The philosopher for the World_, 1775); G.S.
Steinbart (_The Christian Doctrine of Happiness_, 1778); Ernst Platner
(_Philosophical Aphorisms_, 1776, 1782; on Platner cf. M. Heinze, 1880);
G.C. Lichtenberg (died 1799; _Miscellaneous Writings_, 1800 _seq_.; a
selection is given in _Reclam's Bibliothek_); Christian Garve (died 1798;
_Essays_, 1792 _seq.; Translations from the Ethical Works of Aristotle,
Cicero, and Ferguson_); and Friedrich Nicolai[3] (died 1811). Eberhard,
Feder, and Meiners will be mentioned later among the opponents of the
Kantian philosophy.

[Footnote 1: The influence of the English philosophers on the German
philosophy of the eighteenth century is discussed by Gustav Zart, 1881.]

[Footnote 2: Mendelssohn: _Letters on the Sensations_, 1755; _On Evidence
in the Metaphysical Sciences_, a prize essay crowned by the Academy, 1764;
_Phaedo, or on Immortality_, 1767; _Jerusalem_, 1783; _Morning Hours, or on
the Existence of God_, 1785; _To the Friends of Lessing_ (against Jacobi),
1786; _Works_, 1843-44. Cf. on Mendelssohn, Kayserling, 1856, 1862, 1883.]

[Footnote 3: Nicolai: _Library of Belles Lettres_, from 1757; _Letters on
the Most Recent German Literature_, from 1759; _Universal German Library_,
from 1765; _New Universal German Library_, 1793-1805.]

Among the psychologists J.N. Tetens, whose _Philosophical Essays on Human
Nature_, 1776-77, show a remarkable similarity to the views of Kant,[1]
takes the first rank. The two thinkers evidently influenced each other. The
three fold division of the activities of the soul, "knowing, feeling,
and willing," which has now become popular and which appears to us
self-evident, is to be referred to Tetens, from whom Kant took it; in
opposition to the twofold division of Aristotle and Wolff into "cognition
and appetition," he established the equal rights of the faculty of
feeling--which had previously been defended by Sulzer (1751), the aesthetic
writer, and by Mendelssohn (1755, 1763, 1785). Besides Tetens, the
following should be mentioned among the psychologists: Tetens's opponent,
Johann Lossius (1775), an adherent of Bonnet; D. Tiedemann (_Inquiries
concerning Man_, from 1777), who was estimable also as a historian of
philosophy (_Spirit of Speculative Philosophy_, 1791-97); Von Irwing
(1772 _seq_.; 2d ed., 1777); and K. Ph. Moriz (_Magazin zur
Erfahrungsseelenlehre_, from 1785). Basedow (died 1790), Campe (died 1818),
and J.H. Pestalozzi (1745-1827) did valuable work in pedagogics.

[Footnote 1: Sensation gives the content, and the understanding
spontaneously produces the form, of knowledge. The only objectivity of
knowledge which we can attain consists in the subjective necessity of the
forms of thought or the ideas of relation. Perception enables us to cognize
phenomena only, not the true essence of things and of ourselves, etc.]

One of the clearest and most acute minds among the philosophers of the
Illumination was the deist Hermann Samuel Reimarus[1] (1694-1768), from
1728 professor in Hamburg. He attacks atheism, in whatever form it may
present itself, with as much zeal and conviction as he shows in breaking
down the belief in revelation by his inexorable criticism (in his
_Defense_, communicated in manuscript to a few friends only). He obtains
his weapons for this double battle from the Wolffian philosophy. The
existence of an extramundane deity is proved by the purposive arrangement
of the world, especially of organisms, which aims at the good--not merely
of man, as the majority of the physico-theologists have believed, but--of
all living creatures. To believe in a special revelation, _i.e._, a
miracle, in addition to such a revelation of God as this, which is granted
to all men, and is alone necessary to salvation, is to deny the perfection
of God, and to do violence to the immutability of his providence. To these
general considerations against the credibility of positive revelation
are to be added, as special arguments against the Jewish and Christian
revelations, the untrustworthiness of human testimony in general, the
contradictions in the biblical writings, the uncertainty of their meaning,
and the moral character of the persons regarded as messengers of God, whose
teachings, precepts, and deeds in no wise correspond to their high mission.
Jewish history is a "tissue of sheer follies, shameful deeds, deceptions,
and cruelties, the chief motives of which were self-interest and lust for
power." The New Testament is also the work of man; all talk of divine
inspiration, an idle delusion, the resurrection of Christ, a fabrication of
the disciples; and the Protestant system, with its dogmas of the Trinity,
the fall of man, original sin, the incarnation, vicarious atonement, and
eternal punishment, contrary to reason. The advance of Reimarus beyond
Wolff consists in the consistent application of the criteria for the divine
character of revelation, which Wolff had set up without making a positive,
not to speak of a negative, use of them. His weakness[2] consists in the
fact that, on the one hand, he contented himself with a rationalistic
interpretation of the biblical narratives, instead of pushing on--as Semler
did after him at Halle (1725-91)--to a historical criticism of the sources,
and, on the other, held fast to the alternative common to all the deists,
"Either divine or human, either an actual event or a fabrication," without
any suspicion of that great intermediate region of religious myth, of the
involuntary and pregnant inventions of the popular fancy.

[Footnote 1: H.S. Reimarus: _Discussions on the Chief Truths of Natural
Religion_, 1754; _General Consideration of the Instincts of Animals_, 1762;
_Apology or Defense for the Rational Worshipers of God_. Fragments of the
last of these works, which was kept secret during its author's life, were
published by Lessing (the well-known "Wolffenbuettel Fragments," from
1774). A detailed table of contents is to be found in _Reimarus und seine
Schutzschrift_, 1862, by D. Fr. Strauss, included in the fifth volume of
his _Gesammelte Schriften_.]

[Footnote 2: Cf. O. Pfleiderer, _Philosophy of Religion_, vol. i. p. 102,
p. 106 _seq_.]

The philosophico-religious standpoint of G.E. Lessing (1729-81), in whom
the Illumination reached its best fruitage, was less one-sided. Apart from
the important aesthetic impulses which flowed from the _Laocoon_ (1766) and
the _Hamburg Dramaturgy_ (1767-69), his philosophical significance rests
on two ideas, which have had important consequences for the religious
conceptions of the nineteenth century: the speculative interpretation of
certain dogmas (the Trinity, etc.), and the application of the Leibnitzian
idea of development to the history of the positive religions. By both of
these he prepared the way for Hegel. In regard to his relation to his
predecessors, Lessing sought to mediate between the pantheism of Spinoza
and the individualism of Leibnitz; and in his comprehension of the latter
showed himself far superior to the Wolffians. He can be called a Spinozist
only by those who, like Jacobi, have this title ready for everyone
who expresses himself against a transcendent, personal God, and the
unconditional freedom of the will. Moreover, in view of his critical and
dialectical, rather than systematic, method of thinking, we must guard
against laying too great stress on isolated statements by him.[1]

[Footnote 1: A caution which Gideon Spicker (_Lessings Weltanschauung_,
1883) counsels us not to forget, even in view of the oft cited avowal of
determinism, "I thank God that I must, and that I must the best." Among the
numerous treatises on Lessing we may note those by G.E. Schwarz (1854), and
Zeller (in Sybel's _Historische Zeitschrift_, 1870, incorporated in the
second collection of Zeller's _Vortraege und Abhandlungen_, 1877); and on
his theological position, that of K. Fischer on Lessing's _Nathan der
Weise_, 1864, as well as J.H. Witte's _Philosophie unserer Dichterheroen_,
vol. i. _(Lessing and Herder_), 1880. [Cf. in English, Sime, 2 vols., 1877,
and _Encyclopedia Britannica_, vol. xiv. pp, 478-482.--TR.]]

Lessing conceives the Deity as the supreme, all-comprehensive, living
unity, which excludes neither a certain kind of plurality nor even a
certain kind of change; without life and action, without the experience of
changing states, the life of God would be miserably wearisome. Things are
not out of, but in him; nevertheless (as "contingent") they are distinct
from him. The Trinity must be understood in the sense of immanent
distinctions. God has conceived himself, or his perfections, in a twofold
manner: he conceived them as united and himself as their sum, and he
conceived them as single. Now God's thinking is creation, his ideas
actualities. By conceiving his perfections united he created his eternal
image, the Son of God; the bond between God representing and God
represented, between Father and Son, is the Holy Spirit. But when he
conceived his perfections singly he created the world, in which these
manifest themselves divided among a continuous series of particular beings.
Every individual is an isolated divine perfection; the things in the world
are limited gods, all living, all with souls, and of a spiritual nature,
though in different degrees. Development is everywhere; at present the soul
has five senses, but very probably it once had less than five, and in
the future it will have more. At first the actions of men were guided by
obscure instinct; gradually the reason obtained influence over the will,
and one day will govern it completely through its clear and distinct
cognitions. Thus freedom is attained in the course of history--the rational
and virtuous man consciously obeys the divine order of the world, while he
who is unfree obeys unconsciously.

Lessing shares with the deistic Illumination the belief in a religion of
reason, whose basis and essential content are formed by morality; but he
rises far above this level in that he regards the religion of reason not
as the beginning but as the goal of the development, and the positive
religions as necessary transition stages in its attainment. As natural
religion differs in each individual according to his feelings and powers,
without positive enactments there would be no unity and community in
religious matters. Nevertheless the statutory and historical element is
not a graft from without, but a shell organically grown around natural
religion, indispensable for its development, and to be removed but
gradually and by layers--when the inclosed kernel has become ripe and firm.
The history of religions is an _education of the human race through divine
revelation_; so teaches his small but thoughtful treatise of 1780.[1] As
the education of the individual man puts nothing extraneous into him, but
only gives him more quickly and easily that which he could have reached of
himself, so human reason is illuminated by revelation concerning things
to which it could have itself attained, only that without God's help the
process would have been longer and more difficult--perhaps it would have
wandered about for many millions of years in the errors of polytheism, if
God had not been pleased by a single stroke (his revelation to Moses) to
give it a better direction. And as the teacher does not impart everything
to the pupil at once, but considers the state of development reached by him
at each given period, so God in his revelation observes a certain order and
measure. To the rude Jewish people he revealed himself first as a national
God, as the God of their fathers; they had to wait for the Persians to
teach them that the God whom they had hitherto worshiped as the most
powerful among other gods was the only one. Although this lowest stage in
the development of religion lacked the belief in immortality, yet it must
not be lightly valued; let us acknowledge that it was an heroic obedience
for men to observe the laws of God simply because they are the laws of God,
and not because of temporal or future rewards! The first practical teacher
of immortality was Christ; with him the second age of religion begins: the
first good book of elementary instruction, the Old Testament, from which
man had hitherto learned, was followed by the second, better one, the New
Testament. As we now can dispense with the first primer in regard to the
doctrine of the unity of God, and as we gradually begin to be able to
dispense with the second in regard to the doctrine of the immortality of
the soul, so this New Testament may easily contain still further truths,
which for the present we wonder at as revelations, until the reason shall
learn to derive them from other truths already established. Lessing himself
makes an attempt at a philosophical interpretation of the dogmas of the
Trinity (see above), of original sin, and of atonement. Such an advance
from faith to knowledge, such a development of revealed truths into proved
truths of reason, is absolutely necessary. We cannot dispense with the
truths of revelation, but we must not remain content with simply believing
them, but must endeavor to comprehend them; for they have been revealed in
order that they may become rational. They are, as it were, the sum which
the teacher of arithmetic tells his pupils beforehand so that they
may guide themselves by it; but if they content themselves with this
solution--which was given merely as a guide--they would never learn to
calculate. Hand in hand with the advance of the understanding goes the
progress of the will. Future recompenses, which the New Testament promises
as rewards of virtue, are means of education, and will gradually fall into
disuse: in the highest stage, the stage of purity of heart, virtue will
be loved and practiced for its own sake, and no longer for the sake of
heavenly rewards. Slowly but surely, along devious paths which are yet
salutary, we are being led toward that great goal. It will surely come, the
time of consummation, when man will do the good because it is good, this
time of the new, eternal Gospel, this third age, this "Christianity of
reason." Continue, Eternal Providence, thine imperceptible march; let me
not despair of thee because it is imperceptible, not even when to me thy
steps seem to lead backward. It is not true that the straight line is
always the shortest.

[Footnote 1: _Die Erziehung des Menschengeschlects_.]

With the thought that every individual must traverse the same course as
that by which the race attains its perfection, Lessing connects the idea
of the transmigration of souls. Why may not the individual man have been
present in this world more than once? Is this hypothesis so ridiculous
because it is the oldest?

If Lessing abandoned the ranks of the deists by his recognition of the
fact that the positive religions contain truth in a gradual process of
purification, by his free criticism, on the other hand, he broke with
the orthodox, whose idolatrous reverence for the Bible was to him an
abomination. The letter is not the spirit, the Bible is not religion, nor
yet its foundation, but only its records. Contingent historical truths can
never serve as a proof of the necessary truths of reason. Christianity is
older than the New Testament.

Already, in the case of Lessing, we may doubt, in view of his historical
temper and of certain speculative tendencies, whether he is to be included
among the Illuminati. In the case of Kant a decided protest must be
raised against such a classification. When Hegel numbers him among the
philosophers of the Illumination, on account of his lack of rational
intuition, and some theologians on account of his religious rationalism,
the answer to the former is that Kant did not lack the speculative gift,
but only that it was surpassed by his gift of reflection, and, to the
latter, that in regard to the positive element in religion he judged very
differently from the deists and appreciated the historical element more
justly than they--if not to the same extent as Lessing and Herder. We
do not need to lay great stress on the fact that Kant had a lively
consciousness that he was making a contribution to thought, and that the
Illumination contemplated this new doctrine without comprehending it, in
order to recognize that the difference between his efforts and achievements
and those of the Illumination is far greater than their kinship. For
although Kant is upon common ground with it, in so far as he adheres to its
motto, "Have courage to use thine own understanding, become a man, cease
to trust thyself to the guidance of others, and free thyself in all fields
from the yoke of authority," and, although besides such formal injunctions
to freedom of thought, he also shares in certain material tendencies and
convictions (the turning from the world to man, the attempt at a synthesis
of reason and experience, and the belief in a religion of reason); yet in
method and results, he stands like a giant among a race of dwarfs, like one
instructed, who judges from principles, among men of opinion, who merely
stick results together, a methodical systematizer among well-meaning but
impotent eclectics. The philosophy of the Illumination is related to
that of Kant as argument to science, as halting mediation to principiant
resolution, as patchwork to creation out of full resources, yet at the same
time as wish to deed and as negative preparation to positive achievement.
It was undeniably of great value to the Kantian criticism that the
Illumination had created a point of intersection for the various tendencies
of thought, and had brought about the approximation and mutual contact of
the opposing systems which then existed, while, at the same time, it had
crumbled them to pieces, and thus awakened the need for a new, more firmly
and more deeply founded system.

%4. The Faith Philosophy.%

The philosophers of feeling or faith stand in the same relation to the
German Illumination as Rousseau to the French. Here also the rights of
feeling are vindicated against those of the knowing reason. Among the
distinguished representatives of this anti-rationalistic tendency Hamann
led the way, Herder was the most prolific, and Jacobi the clearest. That
the fountain of certitude is to be sought not in discriminating thought,
but in intuition, experience, revelation, and tradition; that the highest
truths can be felt only and not proved; that all existing things are
incomprehensible, because individual--these are convictions which, before
Jacobi defended them as based on scientific principles, had been vehemently
proclaimed by that singular man, J.G. Hamann (died 1788) of Koenigsberg.
From an unprinted review by Hamann, Herder drew the objections which his
"Metacritique" raises against Kant's Critique of Reason--that the division
of matter and form, of sensibility and understanding, is inadmissible;
that Kant misunderstood the significance of language, which is just where
sensibility and understanding unite, etc.

In Herder[1] (1744-1803: after 1776 Superintendent-General in Weimar) the
philosophy of feeling gained a finer, more perspicuous and harmonious
nature, who shared Lessing's interest in history and his tendency to
hold fast equally to pantheism and to individualism. God is the all-one,
infinite, spiritual (non-personal) primal force, which wholly reveals
itself in each thing _(God: Dialogues on the System of Spinoza_, 1787).
To the life, power, wisdom, and goodness of God correspond the life and
perfection of the universe and of individual creatures, each of which
possesses its own irreplaceable value and bears in itself its future in
germ. Everywhere, one and the same life in an ascending series of powers
and forms with imperceptible transitions. Always, an inner and an outer
together; no power without organ, no spirit without a body. As thought is
only a higher stage of sensation, which develops from the lower by means of
language--reason, like sense, is not a productive but a receptive faculty
of knowing, perceiving ("_Vernehmen_")--so the free process of history is
only the continuation and completion of the nature-process (_Ideas for the
Philosophy of the History of Mankind_, 1784 _seq_.). Man, the last child of
nature and her first freedman, is the nodal point where the physical series
of events changes into the ethical; the last member of the organisms of
earth is at the same time the first in the spiritual development. The
mission of history is the unfolding of all the powers which nature
has concentrated in man as the compendium of the world; its law, that
everywhere on our earth everything be realized that can be realized there;
its end, humanity and the harmonious development of all our capacities. As
nature forms a single great organism, and from the stone to man describes
a connected development, so humanity is a one great individual which passes
through its several ages, from infancy (the Orient), through boyhood
(Eygpt and Phoenicia), youth (Greece), and manhood (Rome), to old age (the
Christian world). The spirit stands in the closest dependence upon nature,
and nature is concerned in history throughout. The finer organization of
his brain, the possession of hands, above all, his erect position, make
man, man and endow him with reason. Similarly it is natural conditions,
climate, the character of the soil, the surrounding animal and vegetable
life, etc., that play an essential part in determining the manners, the
characters, and the destinies of nations. The connection of nature with
history by means of the concept of development and through the idea that
the two merely represent different stages of the same fundamental process,
made Herder the forerunner of Schelling.

[Footnote 1: On Herder cf. the biography by R. Haym, 2 vols., 1877, 1885;
and the work by Witte which has been referred to above (p. 306, note).]

His polemic against Kant in the _Metacritique_, 1799 (against the _Critique
of Pure Reason_), and the dialogue _Calligone_, 1800 (against the _Critique
of Judgment_), is less pleasing. These are neither dignified in tone nor
essentially of much importance. In the former the distinction between
sensibility and reason is censured, and in the latter the separation of the
beautiful from the true and the good, but Kant's theory of aesthetics is
for the most part grossly misunderstood. The "disinterested" satisfaction
Herder makes a cold satisfaction; the harmonious activity of the cognitive
powers, a tedious, apish sport; the satisfaction "without a concept,"
judgment without ground or cause. The positive elements in his own views
are more valuable. Pleasure in mere form, without a concept, and without
the idea of an end, is impossible. All beauty must mean or express
something, must be a symbol of inner life; its ground is perfection or
adaptation. Beauty is that symmetrical union of the parts of a being, in
virtue of which it feels well itself and gives pleasure to the observer,
who sympathetically shares in this well-being. The charm and value of the
_Calligone_ lie more in the warmth and clearness with which the expressive
beauty of single natural phenomena is described than in the abstract

Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi (1743-1819) gave the most detailed statement of
the position of the philosophy of feeling, and the most careful proof of
it. He was born in Duesseldorf, the son of a manufacturer; until 1794 he
lived in his native place and at his country residence in Pempelfort; later
he resided in Holstein, and, from 1805, in Munich, where, in 1807-13, he
was president of the Academy of Sciences. Of his works, collected in five
volumes, 1812-25, we are here chiefly concerned with the letters _On the
Doctrine of Spinoza_, 1785; _David Hume on Faith, or Idealism and Realism_,
1787; and the treatise _On Divine Things_, 1811, which called out
Schelling's merciless response, _Memorial of Jacobi_. Besides Hume and
Spinoza, the sensationalism of Bonnet and the criticism of Kant had made
the most lasting impression on Jacobi. His relation to Kant is neither that
of an opponent nor of a supporter and popularizer. He declares himself in
accord with Kant's critique of the understanding (the understanding is
merely a formal function, one which forms and combines concepts only, but
does not guarantee reality, one to which the material of thought must be
given from elsewhere and for which the suprasensible remains unattainable);
in regard to the critique of reason he raises the objection that it; makes
the Ideas mere postulates, which possess no guarantee for their reality.
The critique of sensibility appears to him still more unsatisfactory, as
it does not explain the origin of sensations. Without the concept of the
"thing-in-itself" one cannot enter the Kantian philosophy, and with it
one cannot remain there. Fichte has drawn the correct conclusion from the
Kantian premises; idealism is the unavoidable result of the Critique of
Reason and foretold by; it as the Messiah was foretold by John the Baptist.
And by the evil fruit we know the evil root: the idealistic theory is
philosophical nihilism, for it denies the reality of the external world, as
the materialism of Spinoza denies a transcendent God and the freedom of
the will. Reality slips away from both these systems--they are the only
consistent ones there are--material reality escaping from the former
and suprasensible reality from the latter; and this must be so, because
reality, of whatever kind it be, cannot be known, but only believed and
felt. The actual, the existence of the noumenal as well as of the external
world, even the existence of our own body, makes itself known to us through
revelation alone; the understanding comprehends relations only; the
certainty that a thing exists is attained only through experience and
faith. Sense and reason are the organs of faith, and hence the true
sources of knowledge; the former apprehends the natural, the latter, the
supernatural, while for the understanding is left only the analysis and
combination of given intuitions.

Philosophy as a science from concepts must necessarily prove atheistic and
fatalistic. Conception and proof mean deduction from conditions. How shall
that which has no cause from which to explain it, the unconditioned, God,
and freedom, be comprehended and proved? Demonstration rises along the
chain of causes to the universe alone, not to a transcendent Creator;
mediate knowledge is confined to the sphere of conditioned being and
mechanical becoming. The intuitive knowledge of feeling alone leads us
beyond this, and along with the wonderful, the inconceivable power of
freedom in ourselves, which is above all nature, shows us the primal source
of all wonders, the transcendent God above us. The inference from our
own spiritual, self-conscious, free personality to that of God is no
unauthorized anthropomorphism--in the knowledge of God we may fearlessly
deify our human existence, because God, when he created man, gave his
divine nature human form. Reason and freedom are the same: the former
is theoretical, the latter practical elevation to the suprasensible.
Nevertheless virtue is not based upon an inflexible, despotic, abstractly,
formal law, but upon an instinct, which, however, does not aim at
happiness. Thus Jacobi attempts to mediate between the ethics of the
Illumination and the ethics of Kant, by agreeing with the former in regard
to the origin of virtue (it arises from a natural impulse), and with the
latter in regard to its nature (it consists in disinterestedness). Hence
with the Illumination he rejects the imperative form, and with Kant the
eudemonistic end. At the same time he endeavors to introduce Herder's idea
of individuality into ethics, by demanding that morality assume a special
form in each man. Schiller and the romantic school take from Jacobi their
ideal of the "beautiful soul," which from natural impulse realizes in its
action, and still more in its being, the good in an individual way.




The suit between empiricism and rationalism had continued for centuries,
but still awaited final decision. Are all our ideas the result of
experience, or are they (wholly or in part) an original possession of the
mind? Are they received from without (by perception), or produced from
within (by self-activity)? Is knowledge a product of sensation or of pure
thought? All who had thus far taken part in this discussion had resembled
partisans or advocates rather than disinterested judges. They had given
less attention to investigation than to the defense of the traditional
theses of their schools; they had not endeavored to obtain results, but
to establish results already determined; and, along with real arguments,
popular appeals had not been despised. Each of the opposing schools had
given variations on a definite theme, and whenever timid attempts had been
made to bring the two melodies into harmony they had met with no approval.
The proceedings thus far had at least made it evident to the unbiased
hearer that each of the two parties made extravagant claims, and, in the
end, fell into self-contradiction. If the claim of empiricism is true, that
all our concepts arise from perception, then not only the science of the
suprasensible, which it denies, but also the science of the objects of
experience, about which it concerns itself, is impossible. For perception
informs us concerning single cases merely, it can never comprehend all
cases, it yields no necessary and universal truth; but knowledge which is
not apodictically valid for every reasoning being and for all cases is
not worthy the name. The very reasons which were intended to prove the
possibility of knowledge give a direct inference to its impossibility. The
empirical philosophy destroys itself, ending with Hume in skepticism and
probabilism. Rationalism is overtaken by a different, and yet an analogous
fate--it breaks up into a popular eclecticism. It believes that it
has discovered an infallible criterion of truth in the clearness and
distinctness of ideas, and a sure example for philosophical method in the
method of mathematics. In both points it is wrong. The criterion of
truth is insufficient, for Spinoza and Leibnitz built up their opposing
theories--the pantheism of the one and the monadology of the other--from
equally clear and distinct conceptions; tried by this standard
individualism is just as true as pantheism. Mathematics, again, does not
owe its unquestioned acceptance and cogent force to the clearness and
distinctness of its conceptions, but to the fact that these are capable
of construction in intuition. The distinction between mathematics and
metaphysics was overlooked, namely, that mathematical thought can transform
its conceptions into intuitions, can generate its objects or sensuously
present them, which philosophical thought is not in a position to do. The
objects of the latter must be given to it, and to the human mind they are
given in no other way than through sensuous intuition. Metaphysics seeks
to be a science of the real, but it is impossible to conjure being out of
thought; reality cannot be proved from concepts, it can only be felt. In
making the unperceivable and suprasensible (the real nature of things, the
totality of the world, the Deity, and immortality) the special object
of philosophy, rationalism looked on the understanding as a faculty of
knowledge by which objects are given. In reality objects can never be given
through concepts; these only render it possible to think objects given
in some other way (by intuition). It is true that concepts of the
suprasensible exist, but nothing can be known through them, there is
nothing intuitively given to be subsumed under them.

With this failure to perceive the intuitive element in mathematics was
joined the mistake of overlooking its synthetic character. The syllogistic
method of presentation employed in the Euclidean geometry led to the belief
that the more special theorems had been derived from the simpler ones, and
these from the axioms, by a process of conceptual analysis; while the fact
is that in mathematics all progress is by intuition alone, the syllogism
serving merely to formulate and explain truths already attained, but not to
supply new ones. Following the example of mathematics thus misunderstood,
the mission of philosophy was made to consist in the development of
the truths slumbering in pregnant first principles by means of logical
analysis. If only there were metaphysical axioms! If we only did not
demand, and were not compelled to demand, of true science that it increase
our knowledge, and not merely give an analytical explanation of knowledge.
When once the clearness and distinctness of conceptions had been taken
in so purely formal a sense, it was inevitable that in the end, as
productivity became less, the principle should be weakened down to a mere
demand for the explanation and elucidation of the metaphysical ideas
present in popular consciousness. Thus the rationalistic current lost
itself in the shallow waters of the Illumination, which soon gave as
ready a welcome to the empirical theories--since these also were able to
legitimate themselves by clear and distinct conceptions--as it had given
to the results of the rationalistic systems.

It was thus easy to see that each of the contending parties had been guilty
of one-sidedness, and that in order to escape this a certain mean must be
assumed between the two extremes; but it was a much more difficult matter
to discover the due middle ground. Neither of the opposing standpoints is
so correct as its defenders believe, and neither so false as its opponents
maintain. Where, then, on either side, does the mistaken narrowness begin,
and how far does the justification of each extend?

The conflict centers, first, about the question concerning the origin of
human knowledge and the sphere of its validity. Rationalism is justified
when it asserts that some ideas do not come from the senses. If knowledge
is to be possible, some concepts cannot originate in perception, those,
namely, by which knowledge is constituted, for if they should, it would
lack universality and necessity. The sole organ of universally valid
knowledge is reason. Empiricism, on the other hand, is justified when it
asserts that the experiential alone is knowable. Whatever is to be knowable
must be given as a real in sensuous intuition. The only organ of reality is
sensibility. Rationalism judges correctly concerning the origin of the
most important classes of ideas; empiricism concerning the sphere of their
validity. The two may be thus combined: some concepts (those which produce
knowledge) take their origin in reason or are _a priori_, but they are
valid for objects of experience alone. The conflict concerns, secondly, the
use of the deductive (syllogistic) or the inductive method. Empiricism,
through its founder Bacon, had recommended induction in place of the barren
syllogistic method, as the only method which would lead to new discoveries.
It demands, above all things, the extension of knowledge. Rationalism, on
the contrary, held fast to the deductive method, because the syllogism
alone, in its view, furnishes knowledge valid for all rational beings. It
demands, first of all, universality and necessity in knowledge. Induction
has the advantage of increasing knowledge, but it leads only to empirical
and comparative, not to strict universality. The syllogism has the
advantage of yielding universal and necessary truth, but it can only
explicate and establish knowledge, not increase it. May it not be possible
so to do justice to the demands of both that the advantages which they seek
shall be combined, and the disadvantages which have been feared, avoided?
Are there not cognitions which increase our knowledge (are _synthetic_)
without being empirical, which are universally and necessarily valid
(_a priori_) without being analytic? From these considerations arises the
main question of the _Critique of Pure Reason_: How are synthetic judgments
_a priori_ possible?

The philosophy of experience had overestimated sense and underestimated the
understanding, when it found the source of all knowledge in the faculty of
perception and degraded the faculty of thought to an almost wholly inactive
recipient of messages coming to it from without. From the standpoint of
empiricism concepts (Ideas) deserve confidence only in so far as they can
legitimate themselves by their origin in sensations (impressions). It
overlooks the _active_ character of all knowing. Among the rationalists,
on the other hand, we find an underestimation of the senses and an
overestimation of the understanding. They believe that sense reveals
only the deceptive exterior of things, while reason gives their true
non-sensuous essence. That which the mind perceives of things is deceptive,
but that which it thinks concerning them is true. The former power is the
faculty of confused, the latter the faculty of distinct knowledge. Sense is
the enemy rather than the servant of true knowledge, which consists in the
development and explication of pregnant innate conceptions and principles.
These philosophers forget that we can never reach reality by conceptual
analysis; and that the senses have a far greater importance for knowledge
than merely to give it an impulse; that it is they which supply the
understanding with real objects, and so with the content of knowledge.
Beside the (formal) activity (of the understanding), cognition implies a
passive factor, a reception of impressions. Neither sense alone nor the
understanding alone produces knowledge, but both cognitive powers are
necessary, the active and the passive, the conceptual and the intuitive.
Here the question arises, How do concept and intuition, sensuous and
rational knowledge, differ, and what is the basis of their congruence?
Notwithstanding their different points of departure and their variant
results, the two main tendencies of modern philosophy agree in certain
points. If the conflict between the two schools and their one-sidedness
suggested the idea of supplementing the conclusions of the one by those of
the other, the recognition of the incorrectness of their common
convictions furnished the occasion to go beyond them and to establish a
new, a higher point of view above them both, as also above the eclecticism
which sought to unite the opposing principles. The errors common to both
concern, in the first place, the nature of judgment and the difference
between sensibility and understanding. Neither side had recognized that
the peculiar character of judgment consists in _active connection_. The
rationalists made judgment an active function, it is true, but a mere
activity of conscious development, of elucidation and analytical inference,
which does not advance knowledge a single step. The empiricists described
it as a process of comparison and discrimination, as the mere perception
and recognition of the relations and connections already existing between
ideas; while in reality judgment does not discover the relations and
connections of representations, but itself establishes them. In the former
case the synthetic moment is ignored, in the latter the active moment. The
imperfect view of judgment was one of the reasons for the appearance of
extreme theories concerning the origin of ideas in reason or in perception.
Rationalism regards even those concepts which have a content as innate,
whereas it is only formal concepts which are so. Empiricism regards all,
even the highest formal concepts (the categories), as abstracted from
experience, whereas experience furnishes only the content of knowledge,
and not the synthesis which is necessary to it. On the one hand too much,
and on the other too little, is regarded as the original possession of the
understanding. The question "What concepts are innate?" can be decided only
by answering the further question, What are the concepts through which the
faculty of judgment connects the representations obtained from experience?
These connective concepts, these formal instruments of synthesis are
_a priori_. The agreement of the two schools is still greater in regard to
the relation of sense and understanding, notwithstanding the apparently
sharp contrast between them. The empiricist considers thought transformed,
sublimated perception, while the rationalist sees in perception only
confused and less distinct thought. For the former concepts are faded
images of sensations, for the latter sensations are concepts which have not
yet become clear; the difference is scarcely greater than if the one should
call ice frozen water, and the other should prefer to call water melted
ice. Both arrange intuition and thought in a single series, and derive the
one from the other by enhancement or attenuation. Both make the mistake of
recognizing only a difference in degree where a difference in kind exists.
In such a case only an energetic dualism can afford help. Sense and
understanding are not one and the same cognitive power at different stages,
but two heterogeneous faculties. Sensation and thought are not different in
degree, but in kind. As Descartes began with the metaphysical dualism of
extension and thought, so Kant begins with the noetical dualism of
intuition and thought.

Much more serious, however, than any of the mistakes yet mentioned was
a sin of omission of which the two schools were alike guilty, and the
recognition and avoidance of which constituted in Kant's own eyes the
distinctive character of his philosophy and its principiant-advance beyond
preceding systems. The pre-Kantian thinker had proceeded to the discussion
of knowledge without raising _the question of the possibility of
knowledge_. He had approached things in the full confidence that the human
mind was capable of cognizing them, and with a naive trust in the power of
reason to possess itself of the truth. His trust was naive and ingenuous,
because the idea that it could deceive him had never entered his mind. Now
no matter whether this belief in man's capacity for knowledge and in the
possibility of knowing things is justifiable or not, and no matter how
far it may be justifiable, it was in any case untested; so that when the
skeptic approached with his objections the dogmatist was defenseless.
All previous philosophy, so far as it had not been skeptical, had been,
according to Kant's expression, dogmatic; that is, it had held as an
article of faith, and without precedent inquiry, that we possess the power
of cognizing objects. It had not asked _how_ this is possible; it had not
even asked what knowledge is, what may and must be demanded of it, and by
what means our reason is in a position to satisfy such demands. It had left
human intelligence and its extent uninvestigated. The skeptic, on the other
hand, had been no more thorough. He had doubted and denied man's capacity
for knowledge just as uncritically as the dogmatist had believed and
presupposed it. He had directed his ingenuity against the theories of
dogmatic philosophy, instead of toward the fundamental question of the
possibility of knowledge. Human intelligence, which the dogmatist had
approached with unreasoned trust and the skeptic with just as unreasoned
distrust, is subjected, according to the plan of the critical philosopher,
to a searching examination. For this reason Kant termed his standpoint
"criticism," and his undertaking a "Critique of Reason." Instead of
asserting and denying, he investigates how knowledge arises, of what
factors it is composed, and how far it extends. He inquires into the origin
and extent of knowledge, into its sources and its limits, into the grounds
of its existence and of its legitimacy. The Critique of Reason finds itself
confronted by two problems, the second of which cannot be solved until
after the solution of the first. The investigation of the sources of
knowledge must precede the inquiry into the extent of knowledge. Only after
the conditions of knowledge have been established can it be ascertained
what objects are attainable by it. Its sphere cannot be determined except
from its origin.

Whether the critical philosopher stands nearer to the skeptic or to the
dogmatist is rather an idle question. He is specifically distinct from
both, in that he summons and guides the reason to self-contemplation, to
a methodical examination of its capacity for knowledge. Where the one had
blindly trusted and the other suspected and denied, he investigates; they
overlook, he raises the question of the possibility of knowledge. The
critical problem does not mean, Does a faculty of knowledge exist? but, Of
what powers is it composed? are all objects knowable which have been so
regarded? Kant does not ask whether, but how and by what means, knowledge
is possible. Everyone who gives himself to scientific reflection must
postulate that knowledge is possible, and the demand of the noetical
theorists of the day for a philosophy absolutely without assumptions is
quite incapable of fulfillment. Nay, in order to be able to begin his
inquiry at all, it was necessary for Kant to assume still more special
postulates; for that a cognition of cognition is possible, that there is a
critical, self-investigating reason could, at first, be only a matter of
belief. This would not have excluded a supplementary detailed statement
concerning the _how_ of this self-knowledge, concerning the organ of the
critical philosophy. But Kant never gave one, and the omission subsequently
led to a sharp debate concerning the character and method of the Critique
of Reason. On this point, if we may so express it, Kant remained a

Kant felt himself to be the finisher of skepticism; but this was chiefly
because he had received the strongest impulse to the development of his
critique of knowledge from Hume's inquiries concerning causation. Brought
up in the dogmatic rationalism of the Wolffian school, to which he
remained true for a considerable period as a teacher and writer (till about
1760), although at the same time he was inquiring with an independent
spirit, Kant was gradually won over through the influence of the English
philosophy to the side of empirical skepticism. Then--as the result, no
doubt, of reading the _Nouveaux Essais_ of Leibnitz, published in
1765--he returned to rationalistic principles, until finally, after a
renewal of empirical influences,[1] he took the position crystallized in
the _Critique of Pure Reason_, 1781, which, however, experienced still
other, though less considerable, changes in the sequel, just as in itself
it shows the traces of previous transformations.

[Footnote 1: Cf. H. Vaihinger's _Kommentar zu Kants Kritik der reinen
Vernunft_, vol. i., 1881, pp. 48-49. This is a work marked by acuteness,
great industry, and an objective point of view which merits respect. The
second volume, which treats of the Transcendental Aesthetic, appeared in

It would be a most interesting task to trace in the writings which belong
to Kant's pre-critical period the growth and development of the fundamental
critical positions. Here, however, we can only mention in passing the
subjects of his reflection and some of the most striking anticipations and
beginnings of his epoch-making position. Even his maiden work, _Thoughts on
the True Estimation of Vis Viva_, 1747, betokens the mediating nature of
its author. In this it is argued that when men of profound and penetrating
minds maintain exactly opposite opinions, attention must be chiefly
directed to some intermediate principle to a certain degree compatible with
the correctness of both parties. The question under discussion was whether
the measure of _vis viva_ is equal, as the Cartesians thought, to the
product of the mass into the velocity, or, according to the Leibnitzians,
to the product of the mass into the square of the velocity. Kant's
unsatisfactory solution of the problem--the law of Descartes holds for
dead, and that of Leibnitz for living forces--drew upon him the derision
of Lessing, who said that he had endeavored to estimate living forces
without having tested his own. A similar tendency toward compromise--this
time it is a synthesis of Leibnitz and Newton--is seen in his
_Habilitationsschrift, Principiorum Primorum Cognitionis Metaphysicae Nova
Dilucidatio_, 1755, and in the dissertation _Monadologia Physica_, 1756.
The former distinguishes between _ratio essendi_ and _ratio cognoscendi_,
rejects the ontological argument, and defends determinism against Crusius
on Leibnitzian grounds. In the _Physical Monadology_ Kant gives his
adherence to dynamism (matter the product of attraction and repulsion), and
makes the monads or elements of body fill space without prejudice to
their simplicity. A series of treatises is devoted to subjects in natural
science: The Effect of the Tides in retarding the Earth's Rotation; The
Obsolescence of the Earth; Fire (Inaugural Dissertation), Earthquakes, and
the Theory of the Winds. The most important of these, the _General Natural
History and Theory of the Heavens_, 1755, which for a long time remained
unnoticed, and which was dedicated to Frederick II., developed the
hypothesis (carried out forty years later by Laplace in ignorance of Kant's
work) of the mechanical origin of the universe and of the motion of the
planets. It presupposes merely the two forces of matter, attraction and
repulsion, and its primitive chaotic condition, a world-mist with elements
of different density. It is noticeable that Kant acknowledges the failure
of the mechanical theory at two points: it is brought to a halt at the
origin of the organic world and at the origin of matter. The mechanical
cosmogony is far from denying creation; on the contrary, the proof that
this well-ordered and purposive world necessarily arose from the regular
action of material forces under law and without divine intervention, can
only serve to support our assumption of a Supreme Intelligence as the
author of matter and its laws; the belief is necessary, just because
nature, even in its chaotic condition, can act only in an orderly and
regular way.

The empirical phase of Kant's development is represented by the writings
of the 60's. _The False Subtlety of the Four Syllogistic Figures_, 1762,
asserts that the first figure is the only natural one, and that the others
are superfluous and need reduction to the first. In the _Only Possible
Foundation for a Demonstration of the Existence of God_, 1763, which, in
the seventh Reflection of the Second Division, recapitulates the cosmogony
advanced in the _Natural History of the Heavens_, the discussions
concerning being ("existence" is absolute position, not a predicate which
increases the sum of the qualities but is posited in a merely relative
way), and the conclusion, prophetical of his later point of view, "It is
altogether necessary that we should be _convinced_ of the existence of God,
but not so necessary that his existence should be _demonstrated_" are more
noteworthy than the argument itself. This runs: All possibility presupposes
something actual wherein and whereby all that is conceivable is given as
a determination or a consequence. That actuality the destruction of which
would destroy all possibility is absolutely necessary. Therefore there
exists an absolutely necessary Being as the ultimate real ground of all
possibility; this Being is one, simple, unchangeable, eternal, the _ens
realissimum_ and a spirit. The _Attempt to introduce the Notion of
Negative Quantities into Philosophy_, 1763, distinguishes--contrary to
Crusius--between logical opposition, contradiction or mere negation (_a_
and _not-a_, pleasure and the absence of pleasure, power and lack of
power), and real opposition, which cannot be explained by logic (+_a_ and
-_a_, pleasure and pain, capital and debts, attraction and repulsion;
in real opposition both determinations are positive, but in opposite
directions). Parallel with this it distinguishes, also, between logical
ground and real ground. The prize essay, _Inquiry concerning the Clearness_
(Evidence) _of the Principles of Natural Theology and Ethics_, 1764, draws
a sharp distinction between mathematical and metaphysical knowledge, and
warns philosophy against the hurtful imitation of the geometrical method,
in place of which it should rather take as an example the method which
Newton introduced into natural science. Quantity constitutes the object of
mathematics, qualities, the object of philosophy; the former is easy and
simple, the latter difficult and complicated--how much more comprehensible
the conception of a trillion is than the philosophical idea of freedom,
which the philosophers thus far have been unable to make intelligible.
In mathematics the general is considered under symbols _in concrete_, in
philosophy, by means of symbols _in abstracto_; the former constructs its
object in sensuous intuition, while the object of the latter is given
to it, and that as a confused concept to be decomposed. Mathematics,
therefore, may well begin with definitions, since the conception which is
to be explained is first brought into being through the definition, while
philosophy must begin by seeking her conceptions. In the former the
definition is first in order, and in the latter almost always last; in the
one case the method is synthetic, in the other it is analytic. It is the
function of mathematics to connect and compare clear and certain concepts
of quantity in order to draw conclusions from them; the function of
philosophy is to analyze concepts given in a confused state, and to make
them detailed and definite. Philosophy has also this disadvantage, that
it possesses very many undecomposable concepts and undemonstrable
propositions, while mathematics has only a few such. "Philosophical truths
are like meteors, whose brightness gives no assurance of their permanence.
They vanish, but mathematics remains. Metaphysics is without doubt the most
difficult of all human sciences _(Einsichten)_, but a metaphysic has
never yet been written"; for one cannot be so kind as to "apply the term
philosophy to all that is contained in the books which bear this title." In
the closing paragraphs, on the ultimate bases of ethics, the stern features
of the categorical imperative are already seen, veiled by the English
theory of moral sense, while the attractive _Observations on the Feeling
of the Beautiful and the Sublime_, which appeared in the same year, still
naively follow the empirical road.

The empirical phase reaches its skeptical termination in the satire _Dreams
of a Ghost-seer explained by the Dreams of Metaphysics_, 1766, which pours
out its ingenious sarcasm impartially on spiritualism and on the assumed
knowledge of the suprasensible. Here Kant is already clearly conscious of
his new problem, a theory of the limits of human reason, conscious also
that the attack on this problem is to be begun by a discussion of the
question of space. This second question had been for many years a frequent
subject of his reflections;[1] and it was this part of the general critical
problem that first received definitive solution. In the Latin dissertation
_On the Form and Principles of the Sensible and Intelligible World_, 1770,
which concludes the pre-critical period, and which was written on the
occasion of his assumption of his chair as ordinary professor, the
critique of sensibility, the new theory of space and time, is set forth in
approximately the same form as in the _Critique of Pure Reason_, while the
critique of the understanding and of reason, the theory of the categories
and the Ideas and of the sphere of their validity, required for its
completion the intellectual labor of several more years. For this essay,
_De Mundi Sensibilis atque Intelligibilis Forma et Principiis_, leaves
unchallenged the possibility of a knowledge of things in themselves and of
God, thus showing that its author has abandoned the skepticism maintained
in the _Dreams of a Ghost-seer_, and has turned anew to dogmatic
rationalism, whose final overthrow required another swing in the direction
of skeptical empiricism. In regard to the progress of this latter phase
of opinion, the letters to M. Herz are almost the only, though not very
valuable, source of information.

[Footnote 1: _New Theory of Motion and Rest_, 1758; _On the First Ground of
the Distinction of Positions in Space_, 1768; besides several of the works
mentioned above.]

The _Critique of Pure Reason_ appeared in 1781, much later than Kant had
hoped when he began a work on "The Limits of Sensibility and Reason," and a
second, altered edition in 1787.[1] After the _Prolegomena to every Future
Metaphysic which may present itself as Science_, 1783, had given a popular
form to the critical doctrine of knowledge, it was followed by the critical
philosophy of ethics in the _Foundation of the Metaphysics of Ethics_,
1785, and the _Critique of Practical Reason_, 1788; by the critical
aesthetics and teleology in the _Critique of Judgment_, 1790; and by the
critical philosophy of religion in _Religion within the Limits of Reason
Only_, 1793[2] (consisting of four essays, of which the first, "Of Radical
Evil," had already appeared in the _Berliner Monatsschrift_ in 1792). The
_Metaphysical Elements of Natural Science_, 1786, and the _Metaphysics
of Ethics_, 1797 (in two parts, "Metaphysical Elements of the Theory of
Right," and "Metaphysical Elements of the Theory of Virtue "), are devoted
to the development of the system. The year 1798 brought two more larger
works, the _Conflict of the Faculties_ and the _Anthropology_. Of the
reviews, that on Herder's _Ideen_ maybe mentioned, and among the minor
essays, the following: _Idea for a Universal History in a Cosmopolitan
Sense, Answer to the Question: What is Illumination f_ both in 1784;
_What does it mean to Orient oneself in Thought_? 1786; _On the Use of
Teleological Principles in Philosophy_, 1788; _On a Discovery according to
which all Recent Criticism of Pure Reason is to be superseded by a Previous
One_, 1790; _On the Progress of Metaphysics since the Time of Wolff; On
Philosophy in General, The End of all Things_, 1794; _On Everlasting
Peace_, 1795. Kant's _Logic_ was published by Jaesche in 1800; his _Physical
Geography_ and his _Observations on Pedagogics_ by F.T. Rink in 1803; his
lectures on the _Philosophical Theory of Religion_ (1817; 2d. ed., 1830)
and on _Metaphysics_ (1821; cf. Benno Erdmann in the _Philosophische
Monatshefte_, vol. xix. 1883, p. 129 _seq_., and vol. xx. 1884, p. 65
_seq_.) by Poelitz. If we may judge by the specimens given by Reicke in the
_Altpreussische Monatsschrift_, 1882-84, and by Krause himself,[3]
the promised publication of a manuscript of Kant's last years, now in
possession of the Hamburg pastor, Albrecht Krause, and which discusses the
transition from the metaphysical elements of natural science to physics,
will hardly meet the expectations which some have cherished concerning it.
Benno Erdmann has issued _Nachtraege zu Kants Kritik der reinen Vernunft aus
Kants Nachlass_, 1881, and _Reflexionen Kants zur kritischen Philosophie
aus handschriftlichen Aufzeichnungen_--the first volume first _Heft
(Reflexionen zur Anthropologie_) appearing in 1882, the second volume
_(Reflexionen zur Kritik der reinen Vernunft, aus Kants Handexemplar
von Baumgartens Metaphysica)_ in 1884. Max Mueller has made an English
translation of the _Critique of Pure Reason_, 2 vols., 1881.[4]

[Footnote 1: There has been much discussion and much has been written
concerning the relation of the two editions. In opposition to Schopenhauer
and Kuno Fischer it must be maintained that the alterations in the second
edition consist in giving greater prominence to realistic elements, which
in the first edition remained in the background, though present even

[Footnote 2: This publication was the occasion of a conflict between Kant
and the censorship concerning the right of free religious inquiry; cf.
Dilthey in the _Archiv fuer Geschichte der Philosophie_, vol. in. 1890, pp.

[Footnote 3: A. Krause: _I. Kant wider K. Fischer, zum ersten Male mit
Huelfe des verloren gewesenen Kantischen Hauptwerkes vertheidigt_, 1884 (in
reply, K. Fischer, _Das Streber- und Gruenderthum in der Litteratur_,
1884); also, _Das nachgelassene Werk I. Kants, mit Belegen
populaer-wissenschaftlich dargestellt_, 1888.]

[Footnote 4: Besides this (centenary) translation the English reader may
be referred to the earlier version of Meiklejohn in Bonn's Library; to the
versions of the _Prolegomena_ by Bax (also in Bonn's Library, and including
the _Metaphysical Elements of Natural Science_), and Mahaffy and Bernard,
new ed., 1889; to Abbot's _Kant's Theory of Ethics_, 4th ed., 1889,
containing the _Foundation of the Metaphysics of Ethics_ and the _Critique
of Practical Reason_ entire, with portions of the _Metaphysics of Ethics_
and _Religion within the Limits of Reason Only_; to Bernard's translation
of the _Kritik of Judgment_, 1892; and to Watson's _Selections from Kant_,
2d ed., 1888 (in Sneath's Modern Philosophers, 1892).--TR.]

The best complete edition of the works of Kant is the second edition of
Hartenstein, in eight volumes, 1867-68, which is chronologically arranged
and excellently gotten up. Simultaneously with the first edition of
Hartenstein in ten volumes, in 1838 _seq_., appeared the edition in twelve
volumes by K. Rosenkranz and F.W. Schubert (containing in the last volumes
a biography of Kant by Schubert, and a history of the Kantian philosophy by
Rosenkranz, 1842). Kehrbach's edition of the principal works in Reclam's
_Universal-Bibliothek_, with the pagination of the original and collective
editions (1877 _seq_.), is more valuable than Von Kirchmann's edition of
the complete works in his _Philosophische Bibliothek_.

Among the works on Kant those of Kuno Fischer (vols. iii.-iv. of the
_Geschichte der neueren Philosophie_, 3d ed., 1882; also Kant's _Leben und
die Grundlagen seiner Lehre_, 1860) take the first place. The writings of
Liebmann, Cohen, Stadler, Riehl, Volkelt, and others will be mentioned
later, in connection with the neo-Kantian movement; here we may give some
of the more important monographs and essays, selected from the enormously
developed Kantian literature:

Ad. Boehringer, _Kants erkenntnisstheoretischer Idealismus_, 1888;
K. Dieterich, _Die Kantische Philosophie in ihrer inneren
Entwickelungsgeschichte_, 2 parts, 1885 (first published separately,
_Kant und Newton_, 1877; _Kant und Rousseau_, 1878); W. Dilthey, _Aus
den Rostocker Kanthandschriften_ in the _Archiv fuer Geschichte der
Philosophie_, vols. ii.-iii. 1889-90; M.W. Drobisch, _Kants Ding an sich
und sein Erfahrungsbegriff_, 1885; B. Erdmann, _Kants Kritizismus in der
I. und II. Auflage der Kritik der reinen Vernunft_, 1878; the same, _Kants
Prolegomena herausgegeben und erlaeutert_, 1878, Introduction (in reply Emil
Arnoldt, _Kants Prolegomena nicht doppelt redigiert_, 1879; cf. also H.
Vaihinger, _Die Erdmann-Arnoldtsche Kontroverse_ in the _Philosophische
Monatshefte_, vol. xvi. 1880); Franz Erhardt, _Kritik der Kantischen
Antinomienlehre_, 1888; R. Eucken, _Ueber Bilder und Gleichnisse bei
Kant, Zeitschrift fuer Philosophie_, vol. lxxxiii, 1883, reprinted in his
_Beitraege zur Geschichte der neueren Philosophie_, 1886; F. Frederichs,
_Der phaenomenale Idealismus Berkeleys und Kants_, 1871; the same, _Kants
Prinzip der Ethik_, 1879; Ed. von Hartmann, _Das Ding an sich und seine
Beschaffenheit_, 1871, in the 2d ed., 1875, and the 3d, 1885, entitled
_Kritische Grundlegung des transzendentalen Realismus_; C. Hebler,
_Kantiana_, in his _Philosophische Aufsaetze_, 1869; Alfred Hegler, _Die
Psychologie in Kants Ethik_, 1891; A. Hoelder, _Darstellung der Kantischen
Erkenntnisstheorie_, 1873 J. Jacobson, _Die Auffindung des Apriori_, 1876;
the same, _Ueber die Beziehungen zwischen Kategorien und Urtheilsformen_,
1877; Wilhelm Koppelmann, _Kants Lehre vom analytischen Urtheil, Philosoph.
Monatshefte_, vol. xxi, 1885; the same, _Lotzes Stellung zu Kants
Kritizismus, Zeitschrift fuer Philosophie_, vol. lxxxviii, 1886; the same,
_Kants Lehre vom kategorischen Imperativ_, 1888; the same, _Kant und die
Grundlagen der Christlichen Religion_, 1890; E. Laas, _Kants Analogien
der Erfahrung_, 1876; the same, _Einige Bemerkungen zur
Transzendentalphilosophie_, Strassburg _Abhandlungen_, 1884; J. Mainzer,
_Die kritische Epoche in der Lehre von der Einbildungskraft_, 1881; J.B.
Meyer, _Kants Psychologie_, 1870; F. Paulsen, _Was Kant uns sein kann,
Vierteljahrsschrift fuer wissenschaftliche Philosophie_, 1881; B. Puenjer,
_Die Religionslehre Kants_, 1874; R. Quaebicker, _Kants und Herbarts
metaphysische Grundansichten ueber das Wesen der Seele_, 1870; J. Rehmke,
_Physiologie und Kantianismus_, address in Eisenach, 1883; Rud. Reicke,
_Lose Blaetter aus Kants Nachlass_, 1889 (on this H. Vaihinger in the
_Zeitschrift fuer Philosophie_, vol. xcvi. 1889); O. Riedel, _Die
monadologischen Bestimmungen in Kants Lehre vom Ding an sich_, dissertation
at Kiel, 1884; O. Schneider, _Die psychologische Entwickelung des Apriori_,
1883; the same, _Transzendentalpsychologie_, 1891; F. Staudinger,
_Noumena_, 1884; M. Steckelmacher, _Die formale Logik Kants_, Breslau
Prize Essay, 1879; A. Stern, _Die Beziehung Garves zu Kant,
nebst ungedruckten Briefen_, 1884; C. Stumpf, _Psychologie und
Erkenntnisstheorie, Abhandlungen der bayerischen Akademie der
Wissenschaften_, 1891; G. Thiele, _Kants intellectuelle Anschauung als
Grundbegriff seines Kritizismus_, 1876; the same, _Die Philosophie Kants
nach ihrem systematischen Zusammenhange und ihrer logischhistorischen
Entiwickelung_, I. (1) _Kants vorkritische Naturphilosophie_, 1882; (2)
_Kants vorkritische Erkenntnisstheorie_, 1887; Ad. Trendelenburg, _Ueber
eine Luecke in Kants Beweis von der ausschliessenden Subjectivitaet des
Raumes and der Zeit_ in vol. iii. of his _Historische Beitraege zur
Philosophie_, 1867; Ueberhorst, _Kants Lehre von dem Verhaeltnisse der
Kategorien zu der Erfahrung_, 1878; H. Vaihinger, _Eine Blattversetzung in
Kants Prolegomena, Philosoph. Monatshefte_, vol. xv. 1879; the same, _Zu
Kants Widerlegung des Idealismus_, Strassburg _Abhandlungen_, 1884; J.
Walter, _Zum Gedaechtniss Kants, Festrede_, 1881; Th. Weber, _Zur Kritik der
Kantischen Erkenntnisstheorie_ (from the _Zeitschrift fuer Philosophie_),
1882; W. Windelband, _Ueber die verschiedenen Phasen der Kantischen Lehre
vom Ding an sich, Vierteljahrsschrift fuer wissenschaftliche Philosophie_,
1877 (cf. the same author's _Geschichte der neueren Philosophie_, Sec. 58);
J. Witte, _Beitraege zum Verstaendniss Kants_, 1874; the same, _Kantischer
Kritizismus gegenueber unkritischem Dilettantismus_ (against A. Stoehr),
1885; Wohlrabe, _Kants Lehre vom Gewissen_, 1889; E. Zeller, _Ueber das
Kantische Moralprinzip_, 1880; R. Zimmermann, _Ueber Kants Widerlegung des
Idealismus von Berkeley_, 1871; the same, _Ueber Kants mathematisches
Vorurtheil und dessen Folgen_, 1871.

Popular expositions have been given by the following: K. Fortlage (in his
_Philos. Vortraege_, 1869); E. Last, _Mehr Licht! Die Haupsaetze Kants und
Schopenhauers_, 1879; the same, _Die realistiche und die idealistische
Anschauung entwickelt an Kants Idealitaet von Raum und Zeit_, 1884; H.
Romundt, _Antaeus, neuer Aufbau der Lehre Kants ueber Seele, Freiheit,
und Gott_, 1882; the same, _Grundlegung zur Reform der Philosophie,
vereinfachte und erweiterte Darstellung von Kants Kritik der reinen
Vernunft_, 1885; the same, _Die Vollendung des Socrates, Kants Grundlegung
zur Reform der Sittenlehre_; the same, _Ein neuer Paulus, Kants Grundlegung
zu einer sicheren Lehre von der Religion_, 1886; the same, _Die drei Fragen
Kants_, 1887; A. Krause, _Populaere Darstellung von Kants Kritik der reinen
Vernunft_, 1881; K. Lasswitz, _Die Lehre Kants von der Idealitaet des
Raumes und der Zeit_, 1883; Wilhelm Muenz, _Die Grundlagen der Kantischen
Erkenntnisstheorie_, 2d ed., 1885.

Among foreigners Villers, Cousin, Nolen, Desdouits, Cantoni, E. Caird [_\A
Critical Account of the Philosophy of Kant_, 1877; _The Critical Philosophy
of Immanuel Kant_, 2 vols., 1889], Adamson _[On the Philosophy of Kant_,
1879, and a valuable article in the _Encyclopedia Britannica_, 9th ed.,
vol. xiii.], Stirling [_Text-book to Kant_, 1881], [Watson, _Kant and his
English Critics_, 1881], Morris _Kant's Critique of Pure Reason_, Griggs's
Philosophical Classics, 1882, [Wallace, _Kant_, Blackwood's Philosophical
Classics, 1882; Porter, _Kant's Ethics_, Griggs's Philosophical Classics,
1886; Green, _Lectures_, Works, vol. ii., 1886.--Tr.], have among others
made contributions to Kantian literature. Of the older works we may mention
the dictionaries of E. Schmid, 1788, and Mellin (in six volumes), 1797
_seq_., the critique of the Kantian philosophy in the first volume of
Schopenhauer's chief work, 1819, and the essay of C.H. Weisse, _In
welchem Sinne hat sich die deutsche Philosophie jetzt wieder an Kant zu
orientieren_, 1847.

Kant's outward life was less eventful and less changeful than his
philosophical development.[1] Born in Koenigsberg in 1724, the son of J.G.
Cant, a saddler of Scottish descent, his home and school training were both
strict and of a markedly religious type. He was educated at the university
of his native city, and for nine years, from 1746 on, filled the place of
a private tutor. In 1755 he became _Docent_, in 1770 ordinary professor in
Koenigsberg, serving also for six years of this time as under-librarian. He
seldom left his native city and never the province. The clearness
which marked his extremely popular lectures on physical geography and
anthropology was due to his diligent study of works of travel, and to an
unusually acute gift of observation, which enabled him to draw from his
surroundings a comprehensive knowledge of the world and of man. He ceased
lecturing in 1797, and in 1804 old age ended a life which had always, even
in minute detail, been governed by rule. A man of extreme devotion to
duty, particularity, and love of truth, and an amiable, bright, and witty
companion, Kant belongs to the acute rather than to the profound thinkers.
Among his manifold endowments the tendency to combination and the faculty
of intuition (as the _Critique of Judgment_ especially shows) are present
to a noticeable degree, yet not so markedly as the power of strict analysis
and subtle discrimination. So that, although a mediating tendency is
rightly regarded as the distinguishing characteristic of the Kantian
thinking, it must also be remembered that synthesis is everywhere preceded
by a mighty work of analysis, and that this still exerts its power even
after the adjustment is complete. Thus Kant became the energetic defender
of a qualitative view of the world in opposition to the quantitative view

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest