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ARCHIBALD B. D. ALEXANDER - 1922 - 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

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






Its origin and character


SOCRATES. Cynics and Cyrenaics



Stoicism. Epicureanism

Roman Moralists: Seneca, Epictetus, M. Aurelius
Alexandrian Mystics: Philo, Plotinus, Proclus


THE PATRISTIC PERIOD Augustine and Church Fathers

SCHOLASTIC PERIOD Nominalism and Realism

Anselm, Abelard, Peter Lombard

1. Alexander of Hales, Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas
2. Duns Scotus, Francis of Assisi, William of Occam


1. Revival of Learning
2. Reformation
3. Rise of Sciences
Bruno, Böhme, Montaigne



Geulinx, Occasionalism
Malebranche, Pantheism
Spinoza, Acosmism



Development of empiricism-Berkeley
Sceptical Conclusion-Hume

Natural Philosophy
Theological Controversy
Ethical Theories
Scottish Philosophy

Earlier Rationalism
Bossuet, Fontenelle, Bayle, Montesquieu, Condillac, Helvetius
Materialistic Tendencies
Voltaire, Diderot, D'Alembert,  La Mettrie, Holbach, Rousseau


Thomasius, Tschirnhausen, Wolff

Mendelssohn, Nicolai







Hamann, Herder, Jacobi
Schiller and Humboldt

1. Science of Knowledge
2. Its Theoretic Principles
3. Its Practical Sphere

1. Philosophy of Nature
2. Philosophy of Identity
3. Mythology and Revelation

1. Novalis and Schlegel
2. Baader and Krause
3. Schleiermacher


1. Herbart
2. Beneke
3. Schopenhauer


1. Influence of Hegelianism
2. Materialistic Tendency—Haeckel
3. Idealistic Tendency
Fechner, Lotze, Hartmann, Wundt
4. Modern Psychology
5. Neo-Kantianism
Dühring, Schuppe, Ritschl
6. Eucken and Activist Tendency

1. Cousin and Eclecticism
2. Comte and Positivism
3. Religious Philosophy
4. Philosophy of Development—Taine, Renan, Fouillée

1. Utilitarianism—Bentham and Mill
2. Evolution—Darwin and Spencer. Maurice, Newman, Martineau
3. Influence of German Idealism. Caird, Green, Bradley, etc.

Pragmatism—Wm. James
Neo-Realism. Revival of Idealism in Italy. The Philosophy of the Gifford Lectures








Earlier histories of Philosophy usually close with Hegel. He has been called the last of the great philosophers. It is true that since his time there have been few system-makers on the same scale. It is a mistake, however, to assume that nothing of interest in the world of thought has subsequently appeared. It may be acknowledged that, while there has been no lack of distinguished thinkers, speculation has been concentrated upon particular problems rather than devoted to the elaboration of comprehensive theories.

Two factors have largely moulded the intellectual activity of recent decades : (1) The awakened interest in natural science; and (2) the idea of development, which has displaced the old mechanical view of the universe, and has been applied not merely to physical things, but to society and history and the whole mental and spiritual life of man.


  On the one hand natural science has been gradually withdrawing interest from purely metaphysical questions and focussing attention upon a form of psychology which has for its aim the localizing of the seat of thought and the reference of all mental processes to the brain. As the result of these investigations, a material tendency in reaction against the idealism of German philosophy has been flowing steadily through the second part of the nineteenth century.

On the other hand, the historical view of the world inaugurated by Schelling and Hegel has not failed to exercise a powerful influence upon science, resulting in those theories of evolution according to which the whole connected system of material and mental existence is regarded as a single process of development of organic forms determined by the teleological idea of fitness for life.

We can only take a rapid survey of the intellectual movements of the century, and for the sake of clearness it will be most convenient to classify the various writers who have contributed to the progress of thought according to their nationality.

Chap. I. Recent German Thought

At the time of Hegel's death his philosophy was dominant throughout Germany, and at most of the universities his tenets were espoused by admiring disciples. Among these we may mention Gabler, Henning, Michelet, Hotho, Marheineke, Vatke, Erdmann, Rosenkranz, Strauss, Baur, Schwegler, and Kuno Fischer. But the unity of the school was not destined to last long. Soon a division arose in regard to the application of the master's principles to religious and theological questions. The reconciliation of faith with knowledge which Hegel attempted was felt by some to be not merely vague and unsatisfactory in expression, but unjustifiable from a scientific point of view. Just as at the death of Socrates there arose a number of antagonistic sects, each of which grasped only a fragment of their teacher's doctrine, so within the Hegelian circle a breach appeared so wide that the principles which, on the one side, were interpreted as the defence of orthodoxy, were employed on the other in support of atheism and nihilism. Hegel's fate, as he himself foresaw, exemplified the principles of his own philosophy. The weapon which he forged was turned against himself, and the dialectic method achieved his own destruction. Yet the very opposition which took place was a proof of the vitality of his principles. The very differences into which the unity of his system was broken were its justification as a stage in the evolution of thought.

1. The first word of revolt against the assumed identity of Hegel's teaching with Christian dogma was uttered in 1831 in an anonymous pamphlet, which proved to be by Ludwig Feuerbach, directed against belief in a personal existence after death. This was soon followed by a more radical and destructive effort from the pen of Strauss, which, in the form of a life of Christ, subjected the Gospels and the Christian creed to the keenest criticism. The deductions of Strauss were avowedly drawn from the principles of Hegel's philosophy, and it was soon felt that if the master's premises led to such negative consequences, the whole Christian character of his system was discredited. The appearance of Strauss' Life became, therefore, the occasion of a sharp division in the camp, and there arose two parties—the right wing, consisting of those who defended the orthodoxy of Hegel and contended for a positive interpretation of his tenets; and the left wing, representing those who saw in his philosophy a denial of the positive truth of Christianity.

The right wing or old Hegelians, as they are sometimes called, who sought to remain faithful to their master's teaching and jealously guarded every tassel of the ark, have now very little interest for us: their books are forgotten and their very names have almost passed into oblivion. Of these it is sufficient to mention Schaller, Gabler, Ganz, Henning, and also Erdmann, distinguished for his valuable history of modern philosophy.

Between the right wing and the left, there were those who took an intermediate position. This Centrum or middle party did not profess to be thoroughgoing disciples of Hegel, but they were in sympathy with his main principles, which they applied to the various sciences, particularly to Christian dogma and to history. To this section must be reckoned the famous "Tübingen School," of which Baur, Zeller and Schwegler, who applied Hegelianism to the development of doctrine and ecclesiastical history, were the most distinguished representatives.

To the same section may be assigned Rosenkranz, the biographer of Hegel, Biedermann and Daub, the liberal theologians, and, lastly, Edward Zeller (1814-1908), the learned historian of Greek philosophy, Kuno Fischer, the brilliant writer who has done for modern philosophy what Zeller did for ancient, and Otto Pfleiderer, the well-known author of Das Wesen der Religion and other works on the philosophy of religion, which have exerted a far-reaching influence on modern theology both in Germany and Britain. Fischer, who for more than thirty years adorned the Chair of Hegel in Heidelberg, and contended manfully against the materialism of the age for a spiritualistic interpretation of the world, died in the year 1907, while in the spring of the year 1908 Berlin has lost in Zeller and Pfleiderer two of its most renowned teachers.

Connected with this party, yet maintaining an independent attitude, there appeared a small group of theistic writers who, adopting the teaching of Schelling rather than Hegel, contended for the personality of God and the immortality of man. They found their rallying-point in the Journal for Philosophy and Speculative Theology which was started in 1837 by the younger Fichte—a magazine which, under the editorship of Falckenberg, still continues to exercise a considerable influence on German thought. The chief representatives of this theistic school were J. H. Fichte, Hermann Weisse, Ulrici, Chalybäus and Harms. The best known of these is Weisse, whose System der Aesthetik is specially noteworthy. But it is the left wing or young Hegelianism which has exerted the largest influence on the evolution of thought and has most deeply touched the political and social life of Germany. It contended that the true kernel of the Hegelian doctrine lay not so much in the system itself as in its method, in the dialectic of development, which advances from the positive to the negative, and, by bringing into prominence the opposite elements of life and thought, discloses the one-sidedness and inadequacy of existing beliefs and institutions. The left wing counted among its adherents not Strauss only, who deviated more and more from the Christian standpoint and eventually advocated a refined form of materialism in his Old and New Faith, but also Feuerbach, who, in his work—The Essence of Christianity (1841)—adopted a view of religion which was opposed not only to Hegel, but to all that is positive in the Christian faith. Religion, he maintains, is the offspring of human selfishness. It is a delusion which estranges man from the actual world, sacrifices love to faith, exhausts all morality of its best forces, destroys veracity, and is the fruitful source of superstition and fanaticism. Gradually Feuerbach departed wholly from the Hegelian standpoint, and ultimately reached a position of crass materialism. The physical life of man is the measure of all things. "Man is what he eats" (Man ist was er isst).

The principal organ of young Hegelian radicalism was the Halle Year-Book, of which Ruge and Echtermeyer were the editors, which soon expressed views which left those of Strauss and his friends far behind, until its publication was forbidden by the State of Saxony in 1843.

The ethical consequences of Feuerbach's philosophy were immediately drawn, on the one hand, by Max Stirner and Nietzsche, the representatives of egoism, and, on the other by the founders of modern socialism, Lassalle and Marx.

Max Stirner (1806-1856), the pseudonym adopted by Kaspar Schmidt, agrees with Feuerbach in strenuously opposing all supernaturalism, but goes even further in declaring the individual to be the source and measure of life. His remarkable work, "The only one and his property" (Der Einzige und sein Eigenthum), originally published in 1845, roused considerable attention in its day, which has recently been revived. "God and humanity," he declares, "have founded their affairs upon nothing, upon nothing but themselves. I must do likewise." "Of all men he whom I know and love best is myself." "The ego is my whole confession of faith. I do what I wish and what pleases me." We are all egoists, and the sooner we face the fact the better. Each single individualism is the centre of the world, and everything exists for him and him alone. Towards others I have no responsibilities, and I bow to no authority. Every form of social life, the family, the community, the State, is to be regarded as an enemy of the ego. I am the measure of all things. Truth is what benefits me, and I know no law but that which conduces to my pleasure. Humanity and morality are words without meaning. The spirit is an illusion, a mirage of matter. There is nothing real upon the earth but myself. "Man, the ideal, is realized when the Christian view is transformed into the proposition—'I, the only one, am the man.' Every higher existence I set above me, be it God or be it man, weakens the sense of my individuality and only pales before the sun of my own consciousness." This remarkable book ends as it begins—"I have placed my concerns upon nothing." It is difficult to decide how far Stirner was in earnest in proclaiming these wild paradoxes. One can only recognise in this extreme form of individualism a protest against the mechanical uniformity and levelling spirit of Statecraft and social life which just before the revolution of '48 found expression in German politics.

This same reaction against all existing institutions and social traditions has found in recent times an utterance even more pronounced. Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) is the modern representative of a form of individualism which strikes at all convention and public opinion, and seeks not only to overturn every accepted form of life and conduct, but to denounce every notion of submission to a higher will and every unselfish virtue as a sign of slavery and decadence. The task which Nietzsche undertakes is designated by him as the "Revaluation of all values." He would upset all previous estimates, deny whatever has been formerly affirmed and affirm all that has been denied. "Life is will for power." To exercise one's will is to add to one's positive force. He subjects the moral sentiments of Christianity to a keen criticism, and finds in them a "descent from the will to persist in being." In place of the weak servility and altruism of Christian morality, he advocates "the restoration of Egotism." There have been in history two opposite ethical estimates—one he calls the "morality of the rulers," the other " the morality of the slaves." Slave morality—the morality of gentleness, patience, self-sacrifice—has unfortunately gained the ascendency. The world will not be right and man will not come to his own till the sense of lordship and power, the instinct of conquest and mastery, has regained its rightful place in the esteem of mankind, and all such feelings as sympathy, pity, generosity, are abolished. This victory of slave morality which is everywhere visible to-day is a symptom of the decadence of humanity, a sign of declining vitality. The world for the strong, the great, the few—let that be our motto. To produce a new type of man, whom Nietzsche calls the over-man (Übermensch), is the task which lies before us in the future. The mission of this higher species is not to serve but to rule. A strong mighty race, self-assertive, full of will, vitality and force— that is the goal and ideal of humanity. Only as we individually live the master-life can life attain to true worth. Forget not, he cries to each, "that thou art here to live thine own life and to act for eternity."


  Nietzsche has been called the Rousseau of the nineteenth century. He too demands a return to nature—but it is not to a nature of simplicity and lowliness, but to a high self-determined independence. Nietzsche's bitter attack upon the religion of pity and self-sacrifice offers a strange contrast to his own nature, which, as presented in his sister's biography of him, was gentle and considerate, with nothing in it suggestive of the character of the proud 'over-man.'

He is an artist rather than a philosopher—a poet and not a strictly scientific writer. With all his extravagances is chief books —Thus spake Zaralhustra and The other side of good and evil—are full of deep and fruitful suggestiveness. He has called the tendency which he represents "moral naturalism," and he was much influenced in his earlier writings by Schopenhauer and Wagner; but it is difficult to place him. While some see in him the advocate of extreme individualism, others regard him as the real founder of the philosophy of value.

Naturalism, as represented by Feuerbach, Stirner and Nietzsche, is more a symptom of decadence than the Christianity which they oppose. Such wild paradoxes have little scientific value, and their practical tendency is to justify all animal instincts and base impulses. As a phase of thought it is interesting but unimportant. It has solved no problem, it has advanced no truth. It resembles a whirlwind which helps to clear the air and drive away superfluous leaves, but it does little to quicken or expand new seeds of life.

While Hegelianism has, on the one hand, developed an extreme form of individualism, it is a striking testimony to the many-sidedness of the master that his philosophy has also produced a no less extreme type of socialism. We cannot enter here upon the history of the socialistic movement, which extends practically throughout the whole of the nineteenth century. Taking its rise in the Utopian views of the eighteenth century French writers, St. Simon and Fourier, socialism received a more scientific treatment at the hands of Karl Marx (1818-1883), Friedrich Engels (1820-45), and Ferdinand Lassalle (1825-64). These men started on their literary careers as followers of Hegel, but gradually economic and industrial questions took the place of their earlier theoretic studies. Still the essentially social nature of the individual, the economic structure of society, the evolutionary character of personality and freedom—the gradual development through difference and conflict of the larger self-consciousness—the advance from status to contract, from individualism to co-operation, from rights to duties, from selfishness to service—these principles which are implicitly contained in Hegel's Philosophy of Right became the basis of the scientific socialism of Marx and Lassalle. The socialistic movement has indeed been disfigured by many extravagances, and while the theory of the extension to industry and economics of the free self-governing principle recognised in democracy—"industry of the people for the people"—is in the main sound, recent manifestations have degenerated into nihilism, anarchy and atheism, and wild schemes have been proposed which are subversive of all government and law.

On the literature of the so-called "Young Germany" Hegelianism acted as an emancipating power, destroying faith in religious dogma and freeing the individual from the somewhat cold and formal Christianity of the State-Church. Even such an entirely lyric nature as that of Heine was coloured with Hegelianism, and in the peculiar turn of his wit we may detect the influence of the "dialectic." But it was chiefly in the form of modern Hellenism that the Hegelian philosophy exercised its most beneficial influence over the young minds. Even as a boy Hegel was a lover of classical literature, and in later life the Antigone of Sophocles was for him the typical Greek work of Art; and he, not less than Goethe, did much to foster the enthusiasm for the models of antiquity which marks German literature from the middle of the century onwards.

One other effect of Hegelianism may be mentioned—its influence on the study of history. Not only has the nineteenth century been distinguished by the great historical works of Ranke, Giesebrecht, and Mommsen, but the names of Erdmann, Kuno Fischer, Überweg, Zeller, and Lange in the department of philosophy, not to speak of Winkelmann and Burckhardt in the realm of antiquity and Art, show that the philosophical activity of Germany tends to historical research rather than constructive thought. Hegel has given a new worth to history, and it is felt that every fresh departure in philosophy must henceforth not merely recognise the achievements of the past, but justify its appearance by proving itself to be a necessary stage in the evolution of thought.

As the century has worn on, the philosophy of Hegel has been somewhat neglected in his own country, and no system of equal importance has arisen to rival it.

2. In the main, two tendencies may be distinguished in Germany in recent times—the one a scientific materialism and the other a modified idealism. The materialistic tendency was partly a protest against the neglect of nature by the great idealists of Schelling's and Hegel's school, and partly a result of the new interest in natural science which recent discoveries have awakened. Of this materialism, of which Lange has written the history, we may simply mention, as examples, the names of Moleschott, Büchner, and Vogt, the latter of whom emphasizes the absolute sovereignty of the mechanical view of the world. The most popular exposition of this tendency is given by Ludwig Büchner in his book, Kraft und Stoff. Force and matter are the expressions of what we call mind and body, and are but the two different sides or manifestations of one and the same unknown essence or ground of all things. Matter has existed long before mind, and what we call the soul is dependent wholly on physical functions.

The distinguished naturalist, H. Helmholtz, has brought his scientific investigations to bear on philosophy, and has shown that a study of physiology can render to psychology important services.

In 1899, the year of Büchner's death, a remarkable book appeared which has done more than any other to spread and popularize a materialistic view of the world. The book is The Riddle of the Universe, by Ernest Haeckel. While Haeckel does not claim to have wholly solved the riddle, he does claim to have led back the problem to its source—to the one substance which lies at the root of everything. There are only two possible positions in philosophy, according to Haeckel. The one sees in the world two opposed principles, a material and an immaterial. The other recognises only one substance, in which God and Nature, body and spirit, are inseparable. The latter view, the monistic, is the only truly rational one. The ground-idea of Haeckel's philosophy is, therefore, the notion of substance, in which matter and energy must be conceived as inseparably bound together. The ultimate that we know is motion, and all the laws of the mind as well as the actions of the body must be explained in terms of motion. From his knowledge of the functions and structure of the sensorium Haeckel proceeds to trace the development of the intellect of the higher animals and of man to its source in the simplest forms of life—an analysis which brings into view that centralization of sentient energy called the soul.

In the kingdom of the inorganic world we find two material elements, ponderable mass and imponderable ether. The physicist is unable to attribute any positive qualities to that extension called ether in which the cosmic masses revolve, except the energies of light, heat, electricity, and magnetism. According to Haeckel, ether is neither gaseous, fluid, nor solid,—it is structureless, but must be regarded as infinite and ever-active. The whole universe, he says, is divided into potential and actual energy, which terms are mutually convertible, just as all life springs from reciprocity of force, a correlating change of material.

Without following him further, we may notice that he declares the soul to be simply a natural product, and psychology to be a branch of physiology. "All the phenomena of the psychic life are, without exception, bound up with certain material changes in the living substratum of the body—the protoplasm." The soul is merely a psychological abstraction, like assimilation or generation. In man and the higher animals, the highest psychic function, conscious perception, is developed by the mirroring of the sensations in a central part of the nervous system" (Riddle of Universe, chapter VII.).

While Haeckel undoubtedly reveals an extensive knowledge of the natural sciences, especially of biology and physiology, his acquaintance with mental philosophy and with theological and ethical science is by no means trustworthy. His use of terms, such as force, matter and spirit, is, to say the least, very loose and unscientific; and his whole theory is based upon the assumption that mind and matter are one and the same; that, therefore, the soul is nothing but a function of the body, and that thought has its seat in the brain. It is needless to follow Haeckel in his ill-concealed enmity to Christianity and his contempt for all forms of religious feeling. A well-known writer, the late Professor Paulsen of Berlin, has declared that he has read this book with shame — shame for the general intelligence and philosophical culture of our people. That such a book is possible, that it should be written, published, bought, read, admired, and believed by a nation which has possessed a Kant and a Goethe, is a painful reflection. "But," he adds, "each age just gets the literature it deserves."

3. But alongside of the materialistic interpretation of the world, an idealistic tendency, whose aim is to mediate between philosophy and science, has more recently appeared. The new idealism differs from the old by its method. It relinquishes the purely deductive procedure of earlier writers, and insists upon a full recognition of the labours of natural science as a preliminary to metaphysical generalization. While recognising generally a spiritual interpretation of the world, it is convinced of the necessity of basing its metaphysical conclusions upon the assured results of an experimental psychology. Such a form of idealism is represented at present by a large number of thinkers. Quite recently Bergmann, in his work, A System of Objective Idealism, published in 1903, says that "the physical world is a totality, the properties of which, while embraced as the contents of a single consciousness, must be ascertained by the strict methods of experimental science."

The first clear programme of this new standpoint of inductive metaphysics was given by Fechner in his work, Zend-Avesta, which appeared in 1851, in which he laid down the principle that the only way to reach sure results is to proceed from the known to the unknown, and by induction, analogy, and the rational combination of particulars to attain to the general. "Not a pre-assumed idea of God determines God's being, but what is cognisable by us of God in the world and in ourselves determines our idea of Him."

Fechner (1801-1887) pursues this method in the various works which he has given to the world. He complains that Schelling and Hegel, by their process of deduction, have placed the cart before the horse, and have confounded the goal with the starting-point of philosophy. They have been building castles in the air. No firm structure of metaphysics can be reared except on the basis of the results of natural science. He regards the world as a closely articulated psychological unity. Just as the body and soul are indissolubly related in the individual, so in the world as a whole, men, animals, and plants, all earthly forms and heavenly bodies, are bound together in one organic system. The universe, he conceives, as forming an ascending series of circles, the larger including the lesser, the lesser, still smaller. Human beings are the smaller circles, the earth is the larger, while God is the largest of all. The whole universe is tenanted by a soul, and is animated through all its parts by the world-spirit. Every single individual has his own soul which shares in the general life of the whole. God is the highest soul of all, and all things are contained in Him, and participate in His spirit. While in one sense the earth is placed higher in the ascending series than man, in another, man is the goal and crown of creation. The world is, indeed, like a great house in which all things have their place. The highest constituent in the house is man, as the being for whom all the arrangements of it exist, and to whom all the particular objects are subservient. "But the house which supports this copestone must denote more than the cope-stone itself, for without the house it would fall into nothingness, though the house also would be void of meaning without its tenant."

The relation of the lower and higher forms of consciousness is determined by Fechner by a closer investigation of the life of the soul. In each individual there exists a variety of sensations, feelings, and ideas, which stimulate each other and strive for the mastery. This action and reaction among the particular physical elements is dependent upon the fact that they all take place within a larger common consciousness in which the various individuals share. In this way Fechner explains not only the influence of one part of our consciousness upon another, but also the living spiritual co-relation and intercourse of humanity. Without the supposition of a mightier, greater consciousness as a common centre of influence, it would be impossible, he holds, to understand the action of mind upon mind, the growth of ideas, and the commingling of souls which exist. The all-embracing consciousness, which includes all the lesser series of psycho-physical appearances, the supreme spirit—whose body is the world—is called God, whose soul takes up into itself all particular forms of consciousness, but, at the same time, remains in its unity superior to them all.

Fechner does not draw a sharp distinction between body and soul. He regards them as modes of phenomenal manifestation, completely separated and different in kind, but in constant correspondence with each other—of one and the same unknown reality. They are related like the convex and concave of the same circle. "The body is appearance for others," says Fechner, "the soul is self-manifestation."

Fechner's general significance in the history of philosophy rests, on the one hand, on his being the first to emphasize the necessity of basing metaphysics upon natural science and of proceeding in our investigations, not by à priori speculations, but by the methods of induction and analogy; and, on the other hand, in the development of a psycho-physical explanation of the world in which all things are connected in a living unity, and by an ascending series of stages lead up to and find their existence in the consciousness of God.

Connected with Fechner in his spiritual and teleological conception of the world, Lotze deserves to be mentioned (1817-1881) as one of the greatest thinkers of recent times. His best known work, Microcosmus, was published in three volumes in 1856-64. The attractive style and popular character of his writings have caused them to be widely read. The construction of his system is most comprehensive in its scope as well as artistic in its arrangement. Lotze follows Fechner in his repudiation of the speculative method. But while he acknowledges the need of recognising the work of the physical sciences, he does not regard their results as in themselves final. The philosophy of Hegel, Lotze considers, set up a splendid ideal, but it committed the great error of conceiving that ideal as realizable by our finite knowledge. The goal of an all-sufficing rational view of the world lies, according to Lotze, in the infinite. We can only provisionally reach it, and must ever regard reality as much richer than our conception of it. The province of metaphysics is to present the total reality that is known to us in a logical, reasonable form; its vocation is not to create or construe a world according to our own ideas.

The object of metaphysics is reality. Reality belongs to things which are—to events which happen, to relations which subsist. The question as to what a thing is in itself, or how an event happens, is unanswerable. To solve such problems we would require to place ourselves wholly outside of all reality, which is impossible. At the same time, for the right understanding of reality as given, it is required that we should not merely know the laws of its working and the elements of which it is composed. A knowledge of the mere mechanism of nature, such as science gives, is not sufficient to afford an insight into the meaning of the processes and manifestations of the actual world. We must also have some conception of the goal towards which the entire machinery is working, and have an idea of the worth or purpose which the world by its existence and development would realize. Therefore, beyond the mechanical view must exist for philosophy a teleological view.

In his metaphysics, Lotze starts with an analysis of the notion of being. What do we mean when we say that a thing is? It is not enough to say with Berkeley that a thing is when we perceive it, as if it depended on our perception. Nor can we affirm with Herbart that we know a thing when it is apprehended in its absoluteness as independent of all relations, which would be simply an unthinkable abstraction. If we would determine the being of a thing with reference to given reality, then all we can say is, that a thing is that which stands in relations with other things. The unity of a being does not consist of its properties. These change. The being itself remains amid every variety of quality. A thing, therefore, is a unity in multiplicity. When one quality alters, all the others are likewise altered, but the balance of qualities remains constant. What we perceive in objects, then, is a perpetual activity or exchange of constituents, a constant action and reaction in relations. The question of metaphysics, therefore, comes to be, how does this reciprocal activity take place? A causal connection, a direct influence of one object upon another is inconceivable—or, at all events, is beyond our cognition. When we say one thing acts upon another, all we can mean is that corresponding changes take place in the two things. The problem of causality can only be solved by regarding the individual existences as modes, conditions, or parts of one single infinite, all-embracing substance. Thus, according to Lotze, we are compelled to assume an absolute, all-comprehending unity in which all things are rooted and have their being. But, by the analogy of experience, we must infer that only a spiritual being, a soul, has the property of remaining a unity throughout all change and variety of manifestation. Hence it follows that all things whose unity we recognise must be conceived by us as spirits or souls after the analogy of our own inner life. Thus all the souls of the universe are united, and form a community of monads, which are held together in mutual correspondence and relationship through their direct relation with the supreme substance or absolute spirit. Every single monad is a spiritual being, and it has its place and justification in the system in virtue of its service and fitness to the whole. The idea of the absolute which metaphysics establishes as the unity of the universe, receives from religion the value of a personal God. Thus, at the head of this world of spirits Lotze is constrained to place a divine personal Being whose will of goodness and purpose diffuses itself through and over them all, so as to create in them in varying degrees feelings and aims similar to His own. He is at once personal and immanent—the soul of souls—the vivifying breath of the universe. By thought, indeed, we cannot grasp Him, and can only enter into conscious communion with Him through feeling. It will thus be seen that Lotze combines the monadology of Leibnitz with the pantheism of Spinoza. Lotze maintains a constant polemic against the so-called scientific philosophy of the age. While conceding to mechanism its fullest rights in the explanation of events and outward facts, he insists that the function of mechanism is entirely subordinate, and "must be regarded philosophically as the instrument of a purpose." It gives us but the outer scaffolding of existence, while the inner meaning of the universe can only be read in the light of the highest good. Lotze's conception of the world is, therefore, essentially a teleological one. The universe is a microcosm whose Maker and indwelling Spirit is God, and whose purpose is the supreme good. The question as to how or why the world has come into existence is unanswerable. We understand, indeed, the sense of the drama that is being unfolded before us, but how the machinery behind the scenes is worked we cannot see.

With Lotze we may associate the name of Eduard v. Hartmann, in so far as he also would reject the deductive method and base his philosophy upon scientific observation. Like Lotze he is somewhat of an eclectic; but while Lotze is an optimist, and sees in the constitution of the world a divine order, Hartmann, though recognising an ultimate purpose, follows Schopenhauer in his pessimistic view of the evolution of mankind. While again a strain of agnosticism runs through the philosophy of Lotze, and he everywhere exhibits the temper of extreme diffidence and restraint in advocating his own views, Hartmann is full of assurance, of self-confidence. He delights in vigorous onslaughts upon the prevailing cowardice of the age. If the world is growing worse, as he believes with Schopenhauer, men have themselves to blame. He never tires, therefore, of condemning the "unmanly fashion of cowering before the March winds of misery and of despising that weariness ere eventide which has become so common in our generation." Hartmann was born in Berlin in 1842, and has given us an account of his own life in his collected studies, published in 1876. He is a voluminous writer, and his works are marked by clearness and grace of style. In his earlier years he was chiefly engaged in studying the natural sciences. From 1878 onwards he has been more concerned with questions of religion and ethics. His chief writings are his Philosophy of the Unconscious, 1S69; The Religious Consciousness of Humanity in its Stages of Development, 1881; and his Doctrine of the Categories, 1896. Hartmann has characterized his system as a synthesis of Hegel and Schopenhauer, which he has reduced by means of Schelling's conception of the unconscious, and a fusion of Leibnitz' individualism with modern scientific realism, to a concrete monism. He proposes to reject the deductive method and to base his system upon the inductive procedure of the natural sciences. "I have followed Schelling's precedent in uniting Hegel's one-sided identification of the world's substance with the logical idea with Schopenhauer's similarly one-sided identification of it with Will, so I have also endeavoured to effect a higher unity between Hegel's coldness and want of feeling whereby the individual is degraded to an insensitive instrument of the idea, and Schopenhauer's lack of interest in the process of the All, and his insistence on the redemption of the self from an individual existence of pain as the sole end of life." What is the nature of that reality, the existence of which we are justified in assuming from the facts presented in our experience? Hartmann designates it "the unconscious absolute," to which he attributes two inseparable functions,—Will and Idea. These in combination create the world as we see it. The one, the Will, gives us the outward substantial phenomena; the other, the Idea, gives the rational form or the order of the world. Without the will, the idea could never be realized; without the idea, the will in its irrational striving would never attain to an intelligent purpose. The original rest of the unconscious absolute is broken up by the effort of the irrational, active will to express itself, which it does by producing a world of suffering and meaningless phenomena. But as the unconscious also contains the attribute of the idea, the world assumes the character of reason and purpose. Hence the two, will and idea, are in constant conflict, and the aim of the idea is to overcome the illusions of the will, to undo the pain and suffering which it creates, and bring back the world to the peace and harmony which the absolute originally enjoyed. The goal of the development of the world is deliverance from the misery of being, the peace of non-existence, and the return to the pre-existent identity of will and idea. In bringing about this end, individuals must co-operate, by ceasing to follow the dictates of their blind impulse and obeying the behests of intelligence. Not by withdrawing ourselves in cowardly isolation from the world, but by mutual assistance in overcoming the suffering of the world do we fulfil our moral purpose. The greater the number of individuals who are possessed of the intelligent principle, and who have yielded themselves as instruments of the rational purpose, the more surely will the consummation be realized. The world, Hartmann believes with Schopenhauer, is a huge blunder. The notion of happiness is an illusion both for the individual and the race, but it is an illusion which must be lived through, and can only be expelled by successive attainments of consciousness and the gradual victory of intelligence over the irrational will. When the last illusion of all is dissipated, then humanity will attain to the Nirvana of peace, the end of all striving and desire— the goal of existence.

The inductive method originated by Fechner and applied by Lotze and Hartmann with such different results, was finally followed up and developed by Wilhelm Wundt (b. 1832), who has founded a school of psychology which has at present a considerable number of adherents. While Wundt is known specially in connection with his psychological studies, he has interested himself in all departments of philosophy. Regarded in the Germany of his day as the most influential among the writers who have mediated between philosophy and natural science, he has done not a little to regain for the queen of sciences the respect which, during the last decades, it has somewhat lost. His chief works are Principles of Physiological Psychology, three vols., 5th Ed., 1902; Logic, 1894; Ethics, 1903; and Psychology of the Nations, 1904.

Philosophy, according to Wundt, rests upon the particular sciences, and forms a general enlargment and completion of them. It is its province to bind their results into a unity, and show their inter-relations. Philosophy ought to confine itself chiefly to an exposition of the presuppositions which lie at the root of all science, and to a systematic comprehension of their results. In this way Wundt seeks to avoid all ungrounded speculation, and to abolish every conception of the world which does not follow from a strictly scientific induction. While we must never dissociate our reasoning from experience, there is one law we detect among the principles of the mind which at least carries with it the possibilities of knowledge beyond what is immediately given. This is the law of ground and inference, a law which binds together all our ideas. By this principle we are able to reach truth which, while partly given in experience, also transcends experience.

In particular metaphysical problems are divided into Cosmological, Psychological, and Ontological. In the case of Cosmological, by the law of inference or transcendence we are led to the idea of an absolutely indivisible unity and to the idea of an infinite totality of experience. A like double inference takes place in the psychological realm. There we infer at once an independent unity and a universal totality of humanity. From these two inferences there springs a third, an ontological. The realization of the unity of the objective world and the oneness of humanity demands an adequate basis in an all-embracing ontological conception of the universe. This idea of an absolute ground of the world we identify with the idea of God. It is true that metaphysics of itself is not in a position to give concrete content to this idea. But here religious faith, which is an actuality of experience, comes in and fills the metaphysical conception with a moral ideal. This God can only be conceived by us as the world-will; and the development of nature and of history may be regarded by us as the unfolding of the divine willing and working. Thus Wundt believes that by beginning with the facts of experience and basing our conclusions on the results of science, by the logical process of inference, we may build up a rational system of metaphysics which will embrace both a cosmogony and a theology.

4. With Fechner, Wundt and others, psychology tends more and more to become separate from metaphysics. No longer the science of the mind, it is now treated as the science of inner psychical facts and processes, whose value can be computed, and their physiological concomitants. To discover laws instead of causes, to examine the facts of animal existence and human consciousness, is the task of the new psychology.

Psychology therefore is regarded by Wundt and other modern exponents as an exact science like physiology. The old idea of a soul-substance or fixed substratum has been generally discarded. There is no psychical "substance," but only "psychical processes." At the same time, these processes are not fragmentary and isolated, but linked together, thereby disclosing a certain unity. The psychical processes therefore stand in a certain "relation" to each other—a fact which constitutes the first and most general psychical law, "the law of relativity." From this law of relativity there arises the conception first propounded by Leibnitz, that the world of the spirit forms a 'continuous stream.' These considerations naturally lead to the study of Weber's or Fechner's law, which aims at establishing, with mathematical accuracy, the relation existing between the various sensations and the strength of the corresponding physical impressions by which they are produced.

It cannot be denied that the discovery of this law, if it could be accurately applied, would place psychology upon an entirely new footing, and render it possible to investigate experimentally the behaviour of mental processes in their reciprocal relations. At the same time, it would be a mistake, as Wundt has pointed out, to infer that there exists any absolute parallelism between two totally different orders of phenomena or that the mental processes are caused by, or are wholly dependent upon, physical or cerebral changes. While sensations, as the simplest of psychical processes and those more nearly allied to physical changes, may be susceptible of objective measurement, it must be remembered that there is a large series of more complicated mental phenomena—subtle emotions, high intellectual activities and acts of volition— to which it is impossible to apply any mechanical standard of measurement. Wundt, after a long and accurate study of the subject, has shown that psychology has its own laws, that indeed there is a 'psychical causality,' but that this form of it cannot be subjected to the accurate measurements applicable to physical causality. It is a further merit of Wundt that, following the suggestions of Spencer, he has contributed to the principles of a new science which has been called the "Psychology of Peoples." History, sociology, political economy, are all connected with events and facts which are nothing but products of the human consciousness. Inasmuch as individual psychology, dealing only with the mental processes of the individual considered in his isolation, had no direct connection with the moral sciences, it was necessary to find a branch of investigation which should serve to connect psychology and the moral sciences. Hence Wundt has instituted a parallelism between the evolution of the consciousness of the individual and that of the community, discovering that the same laws and principles govern both. The individual, as he is at present, has been formed by social evolution, and social evolution is the work of individuals. Hence to investigate the life of primitive races and ancient civilizations, by mental physiology, pathology and linguistic research, to study, in short, the reciprocal action of the social surroundings on the individual and of the individual on his surroundings, have become the method and aims of modern psychological research.

Modern Psychology may be said to date from Herbart, who published his psychological works about 1820. He was followed by Beneke, Lotze, and Spencer, whose Principles of Psychology appeared in 1855, by Fechner, and by Bain, whose Senses of the Intellect, 1856, and his Emotions and the Will, 1859, contributed materially to the progress of the science. The works of Lazarus and Steinthal, dating from about i860, mark the beginning of the psychology of peoples. The first period of modern psychology may therefore be said to extend from Herbart to Lazarus. The second period, which may be called that of 'Contemporary Psychology,' starts with the first publications of Sully, Wundt, and Bretano, and comes down to the present day, including among its most prominent representatives Ribot, Höffding, Ladd, James, Baldwin, Külpe, Ebbinghaus, Munsterberg, Ward, Bidet, Jodl and others. Apart from the works of these writers, it may be added that the best account of the progress and present position of psychology may be obtained from Mercier's Les origines de la psychologie contemporaine (1897), and especially from the Italian writer Guido Villa, whose work has been admirably translated under the title Contemporary Psychology, 1903.

5. The Materialism which about the middle of the century appeared as the inevitable reaction from the one-sided idealism of the Romantic philosophy was not satisfactorily overcome by the weapons of the theological or spiritualistic writers, who merely assumed, without proving, a spiritualistic basis. It began to be felt by many that what was needed was a re-examination of the principles of knowledge. Hence from different sides the cry was raised, "Back to Kant." As early as 1850 Schopenhauer had already indicated that the Critique of Pure Reason was the true basis of all philosophy; but the real revival of interest began in i860 with the appearance of Kuno Fischer's great work on Kant. Otto Liebmann gave to this movement an energetic impulse by the publication of his book, Kant und die Epigonen, in 1865, with its constant refrain, "Thus we must go back to Kant." Paulsen also, who recognises in Kant's theory of cognition "the only basis of the philosophy of the future," helped to direct attention to this subject. The book, however, which dealt the most decisive blow to the materialistic tendencies of the age and gave a new name to the revival of Kantianism, was Albert Lange's History of Materialism, the last edition of which appeared in 1875. The result arrived at by Lange in this important work is that while materialism is indispensable as a method of investigation, it is untenable as a system. We have to thank materialism for the banishment of the notions of miracle and caprice from nature, and for its deliverance of men from fear of supernatural powers; but its central positive dogma of the absoluteness of corporeal substance cannot stand in face of the advance of modern thought alike in physics and metaphysics. The law of the persistence of force is altogether incompatible with the dogmatic claims of materialism. While Lange himself cannot be styled a Kantian, still the whole tendency of his teaching was in the line of critical idealism. It is enough to mention the names of Cohen and Natorp of Marburg, and Riehl of Halle as the present representatives of Neo-Kantianism.

The Kantian view—that our knowledge must be limited to the province of possible experience, that it can yield no information regarding things in themselves,—these transcendental matters which lie beyond the boundaries of consciousness—has exerted in its revived form an immense influence upon the various branches of present-day science and theology. First of all, it has given rise to a new form of Scientific Positivism, represented on the one hand by the Empirico-Criticism of Avenarius (1843-96) and the Materialism of Mach; and on the other hand to The Philosophy of Realism of Eugen Dühring, who defines philosophy as the development of the highest forms of the consciousness of the world and life, and affirms that our understanding is capable of grasping the whole of reality. The law of identity is the ultimate law of all reality. The principles of the mind and the principles of the world of experience are the same. The only real, which is also the only rational, is the actuality which lies before us. Notwithstanding his recognition of Kant, it must be confessed that Dühring's standpoint is that of a somewhat crude materialism. He attaches a high importance to Comte and Feuerbach, as well as to Buckle and the English Empirical writers. Dühring would explain all phenomena upon mechanical principles. In sense-perception, nature, so to speak, repeats herself, and we are justified in assuming that the objects in space and time have a real existence corresponding to our perceptions of them. Connected also with the revival of Kantianism, yet opposed to the philosophy of reality of Dühring, is the so-called Immanent Philosophy, which has affinity not with Kant only, but even more with Hume and Berkeley. The aim of this movement, which is represented to-day by Wilhelm Schuppe (b. 1836), professor in Greifswald, Richard v. Schubert Soldern (b. 1852), Bergmann (1840-1904), and Johann Rehmke (b. 1848), also professor in Greifswald, is simply to analyse the contents of our inner consciousness and to abjure all metaphysical theorizing about what is beyond. Nothing exists outside of our immediate experience. What is real is what is known. There is no object without its subject, and no subject without its object. The one and only true starting-point of all investigation is the existence of the conscious ego, the source and measure of all our knowledge. Within my consciousness lies the whole world I know.

Finally, the influence of Neo-Kantianism may be traced to the latest school of German theology—Ritschlianism— of which, besides Albert Ritschl himself, who died in 1889, Herrmann(1) of Marburg, Kaftan of Berlin, and Schultz, now in Strassburg, are the latest representatives. The professed object of this school is to overcome the antagonism between Supranaturalism and Rationalism in faith and science, and finally conquer an independent province in the religious consciousness by dissociating religion from metaphysics, natural science, and historical criticism. Ritschl insists with Kant upon the purely subjective character of the categories which the theoretic reason formulates and upon the pre-eminent function of the practical reason. He denies that we can attain to a knowledge of what lies beyond the domain of experience by the theoretic way of induction and intuition. This method can never discover the real principles of being, and still less can it establish any doctrine whatever regarding God and the realities of the invisible world. Every attempt to exalt the simple representations of faith to the rank of ideas is involved in metaphysical fiction. Thus Ritschl completely separates theology from philosophy, and finds the only authority for religion in the person and work of Christ as made known to us through the first religious community. Herrmann holds that the absolute does not exist for science, and is only found in the moral law which man discovers, by the light of religion, within the depths of his own consciousness. In his Essence of the Christian Religion Kaftan presents a clear exposition of the tenets of the Neo-Kantian school. Religion belongs not to the domain of theoretical judgment, but to that of feeling or the estimation of worth. The essence of the Christian Religion is determined by the good which it offers to man. The kingdom of God, which is at once the Supreme Good, is the proper object of the activity of man.

6. In Germany to-day philosophy proper tends to become more and more specialized, and it would be impossible to name the various workers in the separate departments of thought. Among the most eminent exponents of philosophy may be mentioned W. Windelband of Heidelberg, Eucken of Jena, Siebeck of Giessen, Troeltsh of Heidelberg, Dilthey of Göttingen, and Rickert of Freiburg. These writers, though they have a certain sympathy with one another, can scarcely be styled a school. Of these the most representative and best known is Rudolph Eucken, who has already produced a large number of important works, of which we may mention, Die Einheit des Geisteslebens, 1888; Der Kampf um einen Geistigen Lebensinhalt, 1896; Der Wahrheitsgehalt der Religion, 1901; Geistige Strömungen der Gegenwart, 1904; and more recently Der Sinn und Wert des Lebens, 1907.

In some respects Eucken may be said to have affinities with the philosophy of value, which has come so much to the front both on the continent and in America. Generally speaking his attitude is that of objective Idealism. While recognising the causal relations in nature, he seeks to establish the independence of the soul-world over against the necessity of natural law. With this end in view, he analyses and estimates the meaning and worth of personal action, the development and trend of individual life, and above all, the historical significance of art, science, and religion, in which the spirit through individual effort finds expression. In these various departments of human endeavour the spirit appears as a universal infinite power, which is called forth and sustained by its own activity. Through all the manifold complex and often conflicting streams of spiritual life there moves and works a higher principle, which at once combines and controls the whole and determines its direction and progress.

The distinguishing feature of Eucken's philosophy is the idea of a "personal world" above and beyond the actual world, which he conceives. Superior to all natural order and human existence there is an eternal spiritual world, which he sometimes calls a "spiritual substance" or "soul basis" (Eine geistige Substanz, ein seelischer Bestand), a world of spiritual ends which unfolds itself in the actual world, and constitutes the active source and uniting bond of all the variety and activity of human life. This eternal world contains the possibility of new life-formations and the potentiality of continual development. In this higher soul-world lies the essence and worth of life as well as the goal and purpose of all endeavour. Idealism with Eucken is not a mere theory: it is a life, an ideal to be wrought out not merely in the individual but, above all, in the general spiritual activity of the race.

The method of thought by which Eucken seeks to establish this life-essence he calls the "noological spirit" (from Nous), which he distinguishes at once from the psychological and metaphysical in so far as it does not merely analyse the conditions and contents of the individual mind, but investigates the activity of the spirit as it is realized in the totality of the spiritual life.

The noological process leads directly to the fact of religion—the presence of an absolute soul life which is raised above the phenomena of experience but yet works in and through them all. Eucken distinguishes between two kinds of religion—the "Universal Religion" and the "Characteristic Religions." The foundation of religion in the universal sense is the recognition of a higher timeless order in constant conflict with the immediately given world. This universal religion changes the character of ordinary life. It acts as a constant challenge and ideal. It gives a purpose to all our striving, and calls forth new conditions and forms of life. But the universal religion can only exist as it finds expression in the characteristic religions—in the positive and particular faiths which have appeared in history,—each of which, in its own way, seeks to present a clear and complete image of the truth. Characteristic religion is so named because it realizes itself in great personalities, who in their character and work give expression to the inmost essence of the spiritual life. Thus universal religion is ever breaking forth into new life, and those realizations which the particular religions disclose are at once attainments and new starting-points in a mighty spiritual evolution.

Eucken's place in the philosophy of religion is determined before all else by his conviction that values in life can only be known and estimated if we assume that behind and beyond the world of manifold experience, in which the spiritual life is dissipated and scattered, there exists a higher reality which endures amid all change as an eternal unity. With deep religious earnestness and in language often poetical and mystic, he insists upon the necessity of the opposition between the actual and the ideal world. It is, he declares, the province of philosophy to indicate the possibilities, to point to the ideals; while it is the mission of great souls, prophetic personalities, to embody these ideals in actual living forms. Eucken thus attaches great importance to the personal life as the expression of the spiritual. The sense and worth of life lies in this, that it is the channel of the divine. "Is human life," he asks, "but a mere addition to nature, or is it the beginning of a new world?" Upon this question depends the very constitution of our being, the entire worth and direction of our action. Religion seeks to raise human existence to a height above all transitory things, and thus to rescue life from nullity. If our endeavour be only a flight of Icarus, then all hope is fled, our noblest and best aspirations are but empty fancies, and the whole world ends in unreason."

Two cardinal principles underlie Eucken's whole philosophy. The first is the conception of a spiritual realm, independent of man, but communicating itself to him who strives for, and responds to, it. The second is the doctrine of activism. Life is action, conflict, adventure. We are here to make for ourselves a new spiritual world. But we must break with our lower nature and press forward to the positive truth, that there exists a deeper spiritual reality in which we may participate. For Eucken, as for Dante, there must be "the penitence, the tears, and the plunge into the river of Lethe before the new transcendent love begins." No one can study the works of this thinker without realizing that he is in touch with a mind which has an inspiring message for our times, and that he reveals deep affinities with the central truth of Christianity.


(1) Herrmann died Feb. 1922.

Reaction against Hegelianism. Schopenhauer                                       French Thought. From the Revolution



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