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段时In vindicating human freedom, Plotinus had to encounter a difficulty exceedingly characteristic of his age. This was the astrological superstition that everything depended on the stars, and that the future fate of every person might be predicted by observing their movements and configurations at the time of his birth. Philosophers found it much easier to demolish the pretensions of astrology by an abstract demonstration of their absurdity, than to get rid of the supposed facts which were currently quoted in their favour. That fortunes could be foretold on the strength of astronomical calculations with as much certainty as eclipses, seems to have been an accepted article of belief in the time of Plotinus, and one which he does not venture to dispute. He is therefore obliged to satisfy himself with maintaining that the stars do not cause, but merely foreshow the future, in the same manner as the flight of birds, to the prophetic virtue of which299 he also attaches implicit credence. All parts of Nature are connected by such an intimate sympathy, that each serves as a clue to the rest; and, on this principle, the stars may be regarded as the letters of a scripture in which the secrets of futurity are revealed.443灵他做什We have now reached a point in history where the Greek intellect seems to be struck with a partial paralysis, continuing for a century and a half. During that period, its activity—what there is of it—is shown only in criticism and erudition. There is learning, there is research, there is acuteness, there is even good taste, but originality and eloquence are extinct. Is it a coincidence, or is it something more, that this interval of sterility should occur simultaneously with the most splendid period of Latin literature, and that the new birth of Greek culture should be followed by the decrepitude and death of the Latin muse? It is certain that in modern Europe, possessing as it does so many independent sources of vitality, the flowering-times of different countries rarely coincide; England and Spain, from the middle of the sixteenth to the middle of the seventeenth century, being the only instances that we can recall of two countries almost simultaneously reaching the highest point of their literary development. Possibly, during the great age of Latin literature, all the most aspiring Greeks found employment as tutors in Roman families; while the reading public of the West were too much absorbed by the masterpieces composed in their own language,166 or too elated with the consciousness of a new superiority, to encourage the rivalry of those from whom they had wrested not only poetical independence, but also, what till then had never been disputed with the Greeks, supreme dominion in the world of mind. It is, at any rate, significant that while Greek was the favourite language of Roman lovers in the time of Lucretius and again in the time of Juvenal, there are no allusions to its having been employed by them during the intermediate period.264 Be this as it may, from the fall of the Republic to the time of Trajan, philosophy, like poetry and eloquence—or at least all philosophy that was positive and practical—became domiciled in Rome, and received the stamp of the Roman character. How Stoicism was affected by the change has been pointed out in a former chapter. What we have now to study is chiefly the reaction of Rome on the Greek mind, and its bearing on the subsequent development of thought.皮直一个

    VII.蛮力We have said, in comparing him with his predecessors, that the Stagirite unrolled Greek thought from a solid into a continuous surface. We have now to add that he gave his surface the false appearance of a solid by the use of shadows, and of a?rial perspective. In other words, he made the indication of his own ignorance and confusion do duty for depth and distance. For to say that a thing is developed out of its possibility, merely means that it is developed out of something, the nature of which we do not know. And to speak about such possibilities as imperfect existences, or matter, or whatever else Aristotle may be pleased to call them, is simply constructing the universe, not out of our ideas, but out of our absolute want of ideas.出刹When we next hear of Aristotle he is at the Macedonian285 Court,174 acting as tutor to Alexander, the future conqueror of Asia, who remained under his charge between the ages of thirteen and sixteen years. The philosopher is more likely to have obtained this appointment by Court interest—his father was Court-physician to Alexander’s grandfather, Amyntas—than by his reputation, which could hardly have been made until several years afterwards. Much has been made of a connexion which, although it did not last very long, appeals strongly to the imagination, and opens a large field for surmise. The greatest speculative and the greatest practical genius of that age—some might say of all ages—could not, one would think, come into such close contact without leaving a deep impression on each other. Accordingly, the philosopher is supposed to have prepared the hero for his future destinies. Milton has told us how Aristotle ‘bred great Alexander to subdue the world.’ Hegel tells us that this was done by giving him the consciousness of himself, the full assurance of his own powers; for which purpose, it seems, the infinite daring of thought was required; and he observes that the result is a refutation of the silly talk about the practical inutility of philosophy.175 It would be unfortunate if philosophy had no better testimonial to show for herself than the character of Alexander. It is not the least merit of Grote’s History to have brought out in full relief the savage traits by which his conduct was marked from first to last. Arrogant, drunken, cruel, vindictive, and grossly superstitious, he united the vices of a Highland chieftain to the frenzy of an Oriental despot. No man ever stood further from the gravity, the gentleness, the moderation—in a word, the S?phrosynê of a true Hellenic hero. The time came when Aristotle himself would have run the most imminent personal risk had he been within the tyrant’s immediate grasp. His286 nephew, Callisthenes, had incurred deep displeasure by protesting against the servile adulation, or rather idolatry, which Alexander exacted from his attendants. A charge of conspiracy was trumped up against him, and even the exculpatory evidence, taken under torture, of his alleged accomplices did not save him. ‘I will punish the sophist,’ wrote Alexander, ‘and those who sent him out.’ It was understood that his old tutor was included in the threat. Fortunately, as Grote observes, Aristotle was not at Ecbatana but at Athens; he therefore escaped the fate of Callisthenes, who suffered death in circumstances, according to some accounts, of great atrocity.一次It might have been expected that, on reaching physiology, the Stagirite would stand on firmer ground than any of his contemporaries. Such, however, is not the case. As already observed, his achievements belong entirely to the dominion of anatomy and descriptive zoology. The whole internal economy of the animal body is, according to him, designed for the purpose of creating and moderating the vital heat;315 and in apportioning their functions to the different organs he is entirely dominated by this fundamental error. It was a common notion among the Greeks, suggested by sufficiently obvious considerations, that the brain is the seat of the psychic activities. These, however, Aristotle transports to the heart, which, in his system, not only propels the blood through the body, but is also the source of heat, the common centre where the different special sensations meet to be compared, and the organ of imagination and of passion. The sole function of the brain is to cool down the blood—a purpose which the lungs also subserve. Some persons believe that air is a kind of food, and is inhaled in order to feed the internal fire; but their theory would involve the absurd consequence that all animals breathe, for all have some heat. Anaxagoras and Diogenes did, indeed, make that assertion, and the latter even went so far as to say that fish breathe with their gills, absorbing the air held in solution by the water passed through them—a misapprehension, says Aristotle, which arose from not having studied the final cause of respiration.201 His physiological theory of generation is equally unfortunate. In accordance with his metaphysical system, hereafter to be explained, he distinguishes two elements in the reproductive process, of which one, that contributed by the male, is exclusively formative; and the other, that contributed by the female, exclusively material. The prevalent opinion was evidently, what we know now to be true, that each parent has both a formative and a material share in the composition of the embryo. Again, Aristotle, strangely enough, regards the generative element in both sexes as an unappropriated portion of the animal’s nutriment, the last and most refined product of digestion, and therefore not a portion of the parental system at all; while other biologists, anticipating Mr. Darwin’s theory of pangenesis in a very wonderful manner, taught that the semen is a con316flux of molecules derived from every part of the body, and thus strove to account for the hereditary transmission of individual peculiarities to offspring.202穿梭

  束扫 啃咬

    次操技两Or Justice most unjustly were she called语佛

    Our personality, says the Alexandrian philosopher, cannot be a property of the body, for this is composed of parts, and is in a state of perpetual flux. A man’s self, then, is his soul; and the soul cannot be material, for the ultimate elements of matter are inanimate, and it is inconceivable that animation and reason should result from the aggregation of particles which, taken singly, are destitute of both; while, even were it possible, their disposition in a certain order would argue the presence of an intelligence controlling them from without. The Stoics themselves admit the force of these considerations, when they attribute reason to the fiery element or vital breath by which, according to them, all things are shaped. They do, indeed, talk about a certain elementary disposition as the principle of animation, but this disposition is either identical with the matter possessing it, in which case the difficulties already mentioned recur, or distinct from it, in which case the animating principle still remains to be accounted for.千万Not that the vitality of Hellenic reason gave way simultaneously at every point. The same independent spirit, the same imaginative vigour which had carried physical speculation to such splendid conquests during the first two centuries of its existence were manifested with equal effect when the energies previously devoted to Nature as a whole concentratedxv themselves on the study of conduct and belief. It was thus that Socrates could claim the whole field of human life for scientific treatment, and create the method by which it has ever since been most successfully studied. It was thus that Plato could analyse and ideally reconstruct all practices, institutions, and beliefs. It was thus that Aristotle, while definitely arresting the progress of research, could still complete the method and create the language through which the results of new research have been established, recognised, and communicated ever since. It was thus that the Stoics advanced from paradox to paradox until they succeeded in co-ordinating morality for all time by reference to the three fundamental ideas of personal conscience, individual obligation, and universal humanity. And not only were dialectics and ethics at first animated by the same enterprising spirit as speculative physics, but their very existence as recognised studies must be ascribed to its decay, to the revolution through which philosophy, from being purely theoretical, became social and didactic. While in some directions thought was made stationary and even retrogressive by the very process of its diffusion, in other directions this diffusion was the cause of its more complete development. Finally, ethics and logic were reduced to a scholastic routine, and progress continued to be made only in the positive sciences, until, here also, it was brought to an end by the triumph of superstition and barbarism combined.界生

   395命运上海11选5和值怎么看规律 And turned their savage life to civil ways;全不械生


  

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A somewhat similar vein of reflection is worked out in the209 Cratylus, a Dialogue presenting some important points of contact with the Theaetêtus, and probably belonging to the same period. There is the same constant reference to Heracleitus, whose philosophy is here also treated as in great measure, but not entirely, true; and the opposing system of Parmenides is again mentioned, though much more briefly, as a valuable set-off against its extravagances. The Cratylus deals exclusively with language, just as the Theaetêtus had dealt with sensation and mental imagery, but in such a playful and ironical tone that its speculative importance is likely to be overlooked. Some of the Greek philosophers seem to have thought that the study of things might advantageously be replaced by the study of words, which were supposed to have a natural and necessary connexion with their accepted meanings. This view was particularly favoured by the Heracleiteans, who found, or fancied that they found, a confirmation of their master’s teaching in etymology. Plato professes to adopt the theory in question, and supports it with a number of derivations which to us seem ludicrously absurd, but which may possibly have been transcribed from the pages of contemporary philologists. At last, however, he turns round and shows that other verbal arguments, equally good, might be adduced on behalf of Parmenides. But the most valuable part of the discussion is a protest against the whole theory that things can be studied through their names. Plato justly observes that an image, to be perfect, should not reproduce its original, but only certain aspects of it; that the framers of language were not infallible; and that we are just as competent to discover the nature of things as they could be. One can imagine the delight with which he would have welcomed the modern discovery that sensations, too, are a language; and that the associated groups into which they most readily gather are determined less by the necessary connexions of things in themselves than by the exigencies of self-preservation and reproduction in sentient beings.直坠出无


  


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