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It was confined to the world of letters and hardly pene. trated the masses. Stoicism has nothing to make it popular; it pursues the paths of science and of meditation; it, too, shuns “ the vulgar crowd” and is identified, in practice, with Epicureanism.
$ 20. Sceptical Reaction. Pyrrhonism Aristotle was both a zealous theorist and an earnest dogmatist. Although Zeno and Epicurus cared very little for abstract science, they recognized its importance for life. According to the Stoics, who differ from the Cynics in this respect, science teaches us to recognize Providence in nature and in history, to respect its authority, and to follow
[For Cicero (edition of Works, p. 7), see Krische, Forschungen ; Herbart, Ueber die Philosophie des Cicero (Works, vol. XII., pp. 167– 182); Hirzel, Untersuchungen zu Cicero's philosophischen Schriften, 3 Parts, Leipsie, 1877-83; Schmekel, Die Philosophie der mittleren Stoa, pp. 18–184 ; II. Durand de Laur, Mouvement de la pensée philosophique depuis Cicéron jusqu'à Tacite, V ersailles, 1874; for Seneca (edition of Works, p. 7) see: F. Chr. Baur, Seneca und Paulus, in Drei Abhandlungen zur Geschichte der alten Philosophie, ed. by Zeller, 1875; W. Ribbeck, L. A. Seneca der Philosoph, etc., Ilanover, 1887; Lightfoot, St. Paul's Epistle to the Philippians, 4th ed., London, 1878. For Epictetus : ed. of the carpißai and 'Eyxelpídiov by Schweighäuser, Leipsic, 1799–1800; Engl. transl. by T. W. Higginson, Boston, 1865, Bonhöfer, op. cit. For Marcus Aurelius : ed. of his Tà eis éavróv by Stich, Leipsic, 1882; Eng. tr. by G. Long; Zeller, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, in Vorträge und Abhandlungen, pp. 82-107; E. Renan, M. Aurelius et la fin du monde antique, Paris, 1882; Watson, The Life of M. Aurelius, London, 1884. – Tr.)
2 Diog. L., X., IX. ; Sextus Emp., Hypot. Pyrrh., I. ; Ritter and Preller, pp. 367 ff. ; [N. Maccoll, The Greek Sceptics, London and Cambridge, 1869; L. Haas, De philosophorum scepticorum successionibus, etc., Würzburg, 1875; Waddington, Pyrrho et Pyrrhonisme, Paris, 1877; Hirzel, Untersuchungen zu Ciceros philos. Schriften (op. cit.); Natorp, Forschungen (op. cit.)]; V. Brochard, Les sceptiques Grecs, work crowned by the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences, Paris, 1887; [Sepp, Pyrrhonische Studien, Freising, 1893).
its inspirations ; according to the Epicureans, it frees us from superstition and the spiritualistic prejudices which destroy our happiness. Both schools agree that there is a criterion of truth. Peripatetic dogmatism is opposed by the sceptical reaction which had been inaugurated by Democritus and Protagoras. Pyrrho of Elis, a contemporary of Aris
" totle and a friend of Alexander the Great, represents this movement. He, too, like the Socratics and Epicurus and Zeno, his younger contemporaries, desires átapačía; but he does not believe that metaphysics can obtain it for us. There are, as a matter of fact, no two schools of philosophy that agree upon the essential problems. Hence, instead of procuring peace, the source of true happiness, speculatior brings us trouble and uncertainty, and involves us in end less contradictions. It is useless, because it causes disputes without end; impossible, because we can, in every case prove both the affirmative and the negative side (avtihoyía. åvhideous tv loywv). The essence of things is incompre hensible (akatanTTtos). Pyrrho’s sage refrains from mak. ing dogmatic statements on either side; he suspends his judgment as much as possible (étéxelv, étoxń), and be wares against taking part in heated discussions. He avoids absolute negation as well as categorical affirmation, and therefore differs from the dogmatists, who affirm knowledge, and the Sophists, who demonstrate its impossibility.
The physician Timon,2 an admirer and friend of Pyrrho of Elis, published, among other sceptical writings, a satir ical poem (Oi Salou), in which he emphasizes the contra dictions of the metaphysicians from Thales to the Acad. emician Arcesilaus. Eusebius has preserved the fragments of this work in his Præparatio evangelica. His doctrine
1 Born about 365.
. Mullach, Timonis Phliasii fragmenta, I., pp. 83 ff. ; Wachsmuth De Timone Phliasio cæterisque sillographis Græcis, Leipsic, 1859.
may be summarized in three paragraphs: (1) The dogmatic philosophers cannot prove their starting-point, which there. fore is merely hypothetical ; (2) it is impossible to have an objective knowledge of things : we know how they affect us, we shall never know what they are apart from our intelligence and our senses; (3) hence, in order to be happy, we must abandon barren speculations, and unreservedly obey the law of nature.
Pyrrhonism reminded the philosophers, in a pointed way, that the problem of certitude is a fundamental one. consequence of the rivalry existing between the Academy and the younger dogmatic Stoic school, the sceptics soon found themselves established in the chair of Plato. The first appearance of the critical problem inaugurated the age of reason in Greece, its reappearance after the death of Aristotle marks the period of decline in Hellenic philosophy.
§ 21. Academic Scepticism The scepticism of the Academy is simply an exaggeration of the underlying principle of this school, and, in a measure, a return to the original sources. Scepticism, as we know, formed the starting point of Socrates and Plato. The names of Arcesilaus and Carneades, the founders of the Middle and the New Academy, are connected with this movement. ARCESILAUS of Pitane, the successor of the scholarch Crates, returns to the Socratic method. He does not set up a system of his own, but confines his efforts to developing the minds of his hearers; he teaches them how to think for themselves, to investigate, to separate truth from error His only dogma is : to assume nothing unconditionally He was at first a critical philosopher,
1 In Aeolia, 318-244 ; Sources : Diog. L., IV.; Sextus Emr., Hyp. Pyrrh., I.; Ade. math , VII.; Ritter and Preller, pp. 411 ff. (See also, Hirzel and Schmekel, opera citata.]
but the dogmatic opposition of Zeno drove him into the arms of extreme scepticism. Zeno makes clear ideas (@av
( Tao lai katalnttikal) the criterion of truth. Arcesilaus, however, calls attention to the many illusions in which the senses involve us. Socrates had said : One thing alone I know, and that is that I know nothing. Arcesilaus exaggerates his scepticism and declares : I do not even know that with certainty. He does not, however, deduce the final consequences of his principle. Certainty cannot be reached in metaphysics, but it is possible in the domain of ethics, in which he agrees with the Stoics. But his successors are logically compelled to extend their scepticism to ethics.
The most consistent among them is CARNEADES,' who differs in nothing from the Sophists of the fifth century. He is an opponent of the Stoics in ethics and religion as well as in ontology and criticism. With wonderful dialectical skill he brings out the contradictions involved in the Stoic theology. The God of the Porch is the soul of the world; like the soul, he possesses feeling. Now a sensation is a modification (étepoiwors). Hence the Stoic God may be modified. But whatever is changeable may be changed for the worse; it can perish and die. Hence the God of the Stoics is not eternal, their sensational God is not God. Moreover, as a sensible being the God of the Stoa is corporeal, which suffices to make him mutable. If God exists, Carneades goes on to state, he is either a finite or an infinite being. If he is finite, he forms a part of the whole of things, he is a part of the All and not the complete, total, and perfect being. If he is infinite, he is immutable, immovable, and without modification or sensation ; which means that he is not a living and reai being. Hence, God cannot be conceived either as a finite or an infinite being. If he exists, he is either incorporeal or corporeal. If he has no body, he is insensible; if he has a body, he is not eternal. God is virtuous or without virtue; and what is a virtuous God but a God who recognizes the good as a law that is superior to his will, i. e., a god who is not the Supreme Being? And, on the other hand, would not a god without virtue be inferior to man? The notion of God is therefore a contradictory one, however you may conceive it.
1 215–130. Sources: Diog. L., IV.; Sextus Emp., Adv. math., VII. ; Ritter and Preller, pp. 444 ff. ; Victor Brochard, op. cit. ; Constant Martha, Le philosophe Carneade (Revue des Deux Mondes, vol. XXIX.). [See also Hirzel and Schmekel.]
Carneades handles the conceptions of right, duty, and responsibility in the same way. Upon being sent to Rome on a political mission, he delivered two sensational speeches, one in favor of justice on the first day, another against it, the next. There is no absolute certitude in morals any more than in metaphysics. In the absence of evidence, we must content ourselves with probability (TÒ Tibavóv) in theory as well as in practice.
Neo-Academic scepticism was superseded among the scholarchs who succeeded Carneades by a somewhat ingenious form of critical eclecticism, and then by a yncretism that indiscriminately combined the doctrines of Plato, Aristotle, Zeno, Epicurus, and Arcesilaus.
§ 22. Sensationalistic Scepticism. Idealistic scepticism, which traces its origin to the Ele. atics, was opposed by sensationalistic scepticism. This form
scepticism, which had been taught by Protagoras, Aristippus, and Timon, was continued by a number of thinkers who were for the most part physicians. The invariable result of their investigations is that we have no criterion of truth, no knowledge of things-in-themselves. Arcesilaus and Carneades base their arguments upon dialecties and the inevitable contradictions involved in it; while em