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Francis Garden - 1878 - Table of contents

Diccionario filosófico
Complete edition

Diccionario de Filosofía
Brief definition of the most important concepts of philosophy.


A Dictionary of English Philosophical Terms Francis Garden

Vocabulary of Philosophy, Psychological, Ethical, Metaphysical
William Fleming

Biografías y semblanzas Biographical references and lives of philosophers

Brief introduction to the thought of Ortega y Gasset

History of Philosophy Summaries

Historia de la Filosofía
Explanation of the thought of the great philosophers; summaries, exercises...

Historia de la Filosofía
Digital edition of the History of Philosophy by Jaime Balmes

Historia de la Filosofía
Digital edition of the History of Philosophy by Zeferino González

Vidas, opiniones y sentencias de los filósofos más ilustres
Complete digital edition of the work of Diogenes Laertius

Compendio de las vidas de los filósofos antiguos

A brief history of Greek Philosophy
B. C. Burt


A Short History of Philosophy





Pantheism. The identification of the universe, τὺ πᾱν, the all, with God. This creed has appeared in nearly all ages, and in every country where thought and meditation have been habitual; in Hindostan, in Greece, and among the schoolmen of the Middle Ages, in more modern times, and largely in the present day.


It takes different forms, sometimes merging the universe in God, sometimes, and it is to be feared oftener, merging God in the universe. The former is perhaps the pantheism of Spinoza and of some of his followers, and in the mere statement does not involve atheism. But the things around us attest their reality by so strong a pressure, and self-consciousness so enforces our own existence upon us, that it is to be feared few can remain at this pole of pantheism, and when it is once quitted there will be an immediate flight to the other, and our God will be the universe, and the universe only.

Whatever poetical forms this scheme may assume, however delightful to think of one spirit in stars and in flowers, in bird, beast, and insect, as well as in man, it cannot amount to a recognition of the one living and true God of Revelation, the Jehovah who spake to Moses from the burning bush, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. To approach the God of the Bible we must believe in One who is at once the author of the universe and distinct from it. A spirit pervading all the world and identical with it, cannot be the object of prayer, of repentance, or of love.

No doubt though such pantheism be atheism, it , is atheism disguised, and can assume such poetical aspect, as to present great charm in certain moods of the mind. Hence poets fall into it we may often suppose unconsciously. The well-known lines of Pope:

    "All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
     Whose body Nature is, and God the soul,
     That, changed through all, and yet in all the same,
     Great in the earth, as in the ethereal frame,
     Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
     Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees,
     Lives through all life, extends through all extent,
     Spreads undivided, operates unspent,"

come very near to pantheism, and, as far as here quoted, are only redeemed from it by the clause "spreads undivided." There is no reason to believe that Pope, who is largely acquitted of understanding the real scope of his "Essay on Man," intended here anything but real theism; and in another passage he expressly guards himself against pantheism, saying,

    "The worker from the work distinct was known,
     And simple reason never sought but one."

So too Wordsworth's

            "------something far more deeply interfused,
    Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
    And the round ocean, and the living air,
    And the blue sky, and in the mind of Man,
    A motion and a spirit that impels
    All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
    And rolls through all things,"

approaches pantheism, if it does not reach it. By pantheism the whole poetry of Shelley is avowedly pervaded.



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