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ideal and the real, Aristotle represents the climax of Greek thought. But he also marks its decline, and inaugurates a new epoch in the general evolution of humanity. He resembles a Semite or a Roman in the unremitting good sense which he displays, and in his sober positivism. His style is not, like that of his master, the work of the Muses. But his philosophy is even more realistic in matter than in form. His fundamental metaphysical teaching, which makes matter a necessary element of finite existence; the epistemological doctrine that the mind is an empty tablet ; his monotheism, which is much more outspoken and absol. ute than Plato's; his morality of the golden mean; his monarchical tendencies, — everything about his system is a forecast of the new world, the elements of which were pre pared at Pella, Rome, Alexandria, and Jerusalem.
Among the most distinguished scholarchs who succeeded him in the Lyceum are to be mentioned Theophrastus, Dicæarchus, Aristoxenus, and, above all, Strato of Lamp sacus, the teacher of Ptolemy Philadelphus. Aristoxenus denies the immortality of the intellect, and Strato the exist ence of God; which proves, either that the master's doctrine of immortality and the first mover was merely an accom. modation, or that his ancient followers were even less united than his mediæval disciples. What distinguishes the pupils from the master, and what characterizes post Aristotelian philosophy as a whole, is the gradual division of scientific labor which takes place after Aristotle. The work of Aristotle the scientist was continued in Sicily,
1 Cicero ad Attic., II., 16 ; Acad. post., I., 9; De finibus, V., 5, 12; Tuscul. V., 9; Simplicius, In Phys., f. 225. [See also for Theophras. tus and other disciples of Aristotle, Ritter and Preller, pp. 361 ff. ; Mullach, vol. II., pp. 293 ff. ; Writings edited by Schneider, 1818 ff.; Fragments, by Wimmer, 1854, 1862. - Tr.] 2 Cic., Tuscul. I., 10.
3 lbid. 4 Cic. de nat. deor., 1, 13; De fin., V., 5; Diog. L., V., 58; Sim plicius, loc. cit.
Egypt, and the islands of the Mediterranean ; while Athens, and in Athens the Lyceum itself, merely retained a philosophy of reasoning, dialectics, and eristics, which cared less and less for the physical cosmos, and devoted its entire attention to the soul.
What is the essence, the aim, the destiny of the human soul, the favorite topic of Attic philosophy ? Plato regards thought as the essence and end of the soul, and Aristotle's theology is at bottom simply an apotheosis of voûs. Epicurus, however, like Democritus, negates the thoughtsubstance and teaches a philosophy of pleasure. Between these two extremes we have the concrete spiritualism of the Stoics.
B. APOTHEOSIS OF MATTER. NEGATION OF THE
§ 18. Epicurus EPICURUS I was born about 340, at Gargettos, of Athenian parents. Reflection on his mother's superstitious practices and the study of Democritus made him sceptical, and convinced him that our fear of the gods and the hereafter is the principal obstacle to the happiness of man; and it is the business of philosophy to make us happy by freeing us, through observation and reasoning, from the belief in the
1 Sources : Diog. L., X.; Cic., De fin., I. ; Lucretius, De rerum natura ; Sext. Emp., Adv. math., XI. ; Gassendi, De rita, moribus, et doctrina Epicuri, 1647, and Syntagma philosophiæ Epic., 1055; The Studies on Epicurus and Lucretius by J. Rondel (Paris, 1679), Batteux (1758), etc. ; Ritter and Preller, pp. 373 ff.; Guyan, La morale d'Epicure et ses rapports arec les doctrines contemporaines, Paris, 1878; [Trezza, Epicuro e l'Epicureismo, Florence, 1877, 211 ed. Milan, 1885; P. v. Gizycki, Ueber das Leben und die Moralphilosophie des Epikurs, Halle, 1879; W. Wallace, Epicureanism, London, 1880 ; L'sener, Epicurea, Leipsic, 1887. See also Grote's Aristotle, and Susemihl, mentioned p. 140. TR.]
supernatural. In the society which he founded at Athens about 306, his personal influence seems to have been very great, and the maxims which he dictated to his disciples (κύριαι δόξαι) formed the permanent basis of the Epicurean teaching long after his death (270). But neither polytheism nor Christianity had any interest in preserving his numerous writings,' nearly all of which have been lost, and this Socrate doublé d'un Voltaire has been more bitterly attacked than any other founder of a school.
Unlike Aristotle, who loves science for science's sake, and considers the first philosophy as the best and most divine science, “although others may be more useful,” 2 Epicurus makes science the servant of life, and is interested in theory only in so far as it is related to practice. The aim of philosophy,' which he divides into the canonic (logic), physics, and ethics, is, according to him, to make human life tranquil and peaceful (åtapačía), and this aim he finds realized in the system of Democritus, with whom he agrees in almost every respect.
Matter is not non-being, as Plato holds, but the positivo and only principle of things, the universal substratum, of which soul, mind, and thought are mere accidents (ouuttóuata ñ ouußeßnkóra). Outside of it, there is nothing but the void, the condition of movement. Matter is composed of innumerable, uncreated, and indestructible atoms in perpetual motion. According to Democritus, these corpuscles naturally and necessarily move downward. But inasmuch
1 About three hundred, according to Diogenes Laertius. With the exception of the Letters, etc., preserved by this historian, we know nothing of the lost writings except what we can learn from the quotations found in various Greek authors, the valuable résumé presented by Lucretius in his De rerum natura, and the fragments of the work repi púoews, etc., discovered at Herculaneum.
Met., I., 2, 19-25. * Epicurus defines it as follows: 'Eνέργεια λόγους και διαλογισμοις τον cüdaipova Biov TepeTTOLOWoa (Sext. Emp., Adv. math., XI., 169)
as they are joined together and form bodies, it must be assumed, according to Epicurus, that they deviated from the perpendicular line. Such a deviation could only have been the result of chance. Epicurus is not, therefore, an absolute determinist, for he assumes chance, that is, the possibility of an effect without a cause. This view allows him to recognize in ethics the freedom of indifference, or causes without effects. 1
But though, by an inconsistency that does more credit to his imagination than to his logic, he differs from Democritus on the subject of causality, he agrees with him regarding the eternity of the universe. The absolute creation and absolute destruction of the world are out of the question. Creation in the proper sense of the term is impossible. In order to convince ourselves that the world is not the work of the gods, we have simply to consider the nature of its alleged creators, on the one hand, and its imperfections, on the other. Why should such perfect and supremely happy beings, who are self-sufficient and have no need of anything, burden themselves with creating the world? Why should they undertake the difficult task of governing the universe? Let us, however, suppose for a moment that the world is their product. If they have created it, they have created it either eternally or in time; in the former case, the world is eternal ; in the latter, we have two possibilities: Either creation is a condition of divine happiness, and then the gods were not supremely happy for an entire eternity, inasmuch as they did not create the world until after the lapse of an eternity of inaction; or, it is not, and in that case, they have acted contrary to their innermost essence.
Moreover, what could have been their purpose in making it? Did they desire a habitation? That would be equivalent to saying that they had no dwelling-place for a whole eternity, or at least, none worthy of them. Did they create it for the sake of man? If they made it for the few sages whom this world contains, their work was not worth the trouble; if they did it in order to create wicked men, then they are cruel beings. Hence it is absolutely impossible to hold that creation is the work of the gods.
1 Lucretius, De rerum natura, II., 216 ff. ; Diog. L., X., 133-134.
Let us examine the matter from the standpoint of the world. How can we assume that a world full of evils is the creation of the gods ? What have we? Barren deserts, arid mountains, deadly marshes, uninhabitable arctic zones, regions scorched by the southern sun, briars and thorns, tempests, hail-storms and hurricanes, ferocious beasts, diseases, premature deaths ; do they not all abundantly prove that the Deity has no hand in the governance of things ? Empty space, atoms, and weight, in short, mechanical causes, suffice to explain the world; and it is not necessary for metaphysics to have recourse to the theory of final causes. It is possible, nay, it is certain that gods exist: all the nations of the earth agree to that. But these supremely happy beings who are free from passion, favoritism, and all human weaknesses, enjoy absolute repose. In their far-off home they are unmoved by the miseries of humanity; nor can they exert any influence on the life of man. There can be no magic, divination, or miracles, nor any kind of intercourse between them and us.
We should cease to fear the punishments of Tartarus. The soul is material, and shares the fate of the body. What proves it to be matter - exceedingly fine matter, of
— course – is the influence exercised upon it by the body in fainting, anæsthesia, and delirium, in cases of injury and disease, and above all, the fact that the advance and the decline of the soul correspond to analogous bodily
1 Diog. L., Χ. 139 : To μακάριον και άφθαρτον ... ούτ' όργαΐς ούτε χάρισι συνέχεται. έν ασθενει γάρ παν το τοιούτον.