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and the physical conditions under which it developed, forms its starting-point. This naturalism had passed the period of infancy long before the appearance of philosophy. The luminous Ether (Diaus-Zeus), the Sun and its fire (Apollo), the Storm-cloud and its thunderbolts (Pallas-Athene), were originally taken for the gods themselves. Just as the child transforms its surroundings into an enchanted world, and regards its doll and wooden horse as living beings, so the humanity-child makes nature after its own image.
For the contemporaries of Homer and Hesiod, such objects are merely the sensible manifestations of the invisible divinity concealed behind them, a being that is similar to the human soul, but superior to it in power, and, like it, invested with immortality. The gods form a kind of idealized, transcendent humanity, whose vices as well as virtues are magnified. The world is their work, their empire, the theatre of their wishes,
The Old Testament, which might be cited against us, and which is cer. tainly far from being explicit on the subject of individual immortality, is so much the more outspoken on the question of the immortality of Israel. Nay, the immortality of Israel is its fundamental dogma. It has been well said, men would have no religion at all if there were no death; and the essence of the religious phenomenon was excellently characterized by the preacher who once remarked: “I never have such well-disposed hearers as on Good Friday, and what makes them so religious is the memento mori.” Hence we may define religion as follows : Subjectively, it is the fear with which the givers of life and death, be they real or imaginary, inspire us ; objectively, it is the sum of ideas, doctrines, and institutions resulting from this feeling. Religious theory, or theology, and religious practice, or worship, the original form of morality, are constitutive, but derived and secondary elements, the products of an essentially emotional, instinctive, and æsthetical phenomenon called religion. By reflecting upon itself religion becomes theology; theology, in its turn, reflects upon itself, and becomes religious criticism, philosophy (Xenophanes). [Concerning the origin and evolution of religion, see Paulsen's Introduction to Philosophy, pp. 266 ff.]
defeats, and triumphs. Man, whom they envy rather than love, exists for their pleasure. They are the highest personifications of the will-to-live, and are jealous of their unquestioned superiority; hence they deny him perfect happiness. The most assiduous worship, the richest sacrifices, the most perfect fidelity, cannot move them when our prosperity displeases them. Hence the melancholy which breathes in the gnomic poetry of a Solon or a Theognis, who prefer death to life, and esteem them happy who have never been born or who die young.
In the measure in which the moral conscience is developed and refined, religious ideas are transformed and spiritualized. The gods of Homer, who reflect the exuberant, versatile, and quarrelsome youth of the Hellenic nation, are succeeded by the just and wise gods, the creations of its riper manhood (Pindar, Æschylus, Sophocles). This qualitative transformation of the religious ideas is accompanied by a quantitative transformation. Polytheism aims at greater simplicity. The good, which the will perceives as its highest end, is synonymous with harmony, and harmony means unity in diversity. Religious and moral progress is, in consequence, a progress in the unitary and monotheistic direction.
The moral consciousness, which among the Greeks is identical with the sense of the beautiful, finds a powerful ally in reason anıl its natural tendency to unity. Guided by the monistic instinct, theology asks itself the question, Who is the oldest of the gods, and in what order do they spring from their common Father? and receives an answer in the theogonies of Hesiod, Pherecydes of Syros,and Orpheus. Here, for the first time, the philosophical spirit
1 Cf. Zeller, vol. I., Introduction.
? Pherecydis fragmenta coll. et illustr. Fr. G. Sturz, 2d ed., Leipsi, 1834.
: See concerning Orpheus the scholarly work of Lobeck, Aglaopha mus sive de theologiæ mysticæ Græcorum causis, 2 vols., 1829
ınds satisfaction; these fantastic conceptions are anticipa tions of the rational explanation of nature.
To conscience and reason a third factor, experience, is added. This, too, assists in the transformation of religious ideas by demonstrating, with increasing evidence, the impossibility of explaining all phenomena, without exception, by capricious wills. The facts of mathematics, because of their universality and necessity, especially defy theological interpretation; how indeed can we assume the fact that twice two is four or that the three angles of a triangle are equal to two right angles, to be the result of caprice and not of absolute necessity? In the same way the observation of astronomical and physical facts, and their constant regularity and periodicity, gives rise to the idea of a Will lat is superior to the whims of the gods (ανάγκη, αδράστεια, μοίρα, τύχη), of an immutable Justice (δίκη, ειμαρμένη), of a divine Law (@eios vópos), of a supreme Intelligence (Delos Xoyos, Deios voūs). The pioneers of philosophy, men like Thales, Xenophanes, and Pythagoras, who were the first to protest against theological anthropomorphism, were likewise mathematicians, naturalists, and astronomers, if we may so designate men who had an elementary knowledge of the course of the stars, the properties of numbers, and the nature of bodies.
Philosophy dates her origin from the day when these physicians, as Aristotle terms them in distinction from their predecessors, the theologians, relegated the traditional gods to the domain of fable, and explained nature by principles and causes (apxai kai astia). Emerging as she did from the conflict between reason and religious authority, which sought revenge by systematically accusing her of atheism and treason, philosophy did not at once cast off the mythological garb. She loved to express herself in the rhythmical language of the poets; and even her conceptions retained the marks of the religious faith from which
she sprang. The gods are not abolished; they are restored to their true nature, and regarded as elements (otoixeia). Following the example of theology, philosophy begins to ask herself the question, What is the primitive element, the one that precedes the others in dignity and in time, and from which, consequently, the others have been generated? The theogonies become cosmogonies, and the only important question concerning which the first thinkers differ is the question as to what constitutes the primordial natural force, the principle (åpxń).
§ 5. The School of Miletus. Thales, Anaximander,
1. THALES,2 the head of what may be called the school of Miletus, and the father of all the Ionian schools, lived about 600 B.C. According to him, water is the first principle, the universal substratum, of which the other bodies are merely modifications; water envelops the earth on all sides; the earth floats upon this infinite ocean, and constantly derives from it the nourishment it needs.
This doctrine is the old Aryan myth of the heavenly Okeanos translated into scientific language: the water o the storm-cloud fructifies the earth and is the father of all living things. It is all we know positively of the philosophy of Thales. He is, moreover, represented to us by antiquity as the first geometrician, the first astronomer, and the first physicist among the Greeks. He is said to
1 [For the pre-Socratics, see the collections of Fragments, Teichmüller's Studien and Neue Studien, Byk, Burnet, etc., cited above. Translations of the Fragments found in Burnet. See also Ritter, Geschichte der ionischen Philosophie, Berlin, 1821. — Krische, For. schungen auf dem Gebiet der alten Philosophie, Göttingen, 1840. - Tr.]
Chief source, Met., I., 3; (Ritter and Preller, 7th ed., pp. 8–11. TR.].
Plato, Cratylus, 402 B.
have predicted the eclipse of the 28th of May, 585, and to have been acquainted with the phenomenon of magnetism, as well as with the attractive property of polished amber (ηλεκτρον).
2. According to ANAXIMANDER,' a fellow-countryman and disciple of Thales, the author of a work on Nature, the first principle is not water, but the infinite atmosphere (TÒ åtreipov), from which it comes in order to fructify the earth. This infinite, indistinct matter is the mother of the heavens and the worlds which they encompass (των ουρανών και των év aútois kóouwv). Everything that exists owes its being to the first principle, and arises from it by separation; it is therefore just that everything render to it, at the hour appointed by Fate, the life which Fate has given it, in order that this life may circulate and pass to new beings. The opposites, warm and cold, dry and moist, which do not exist in the åttelpov, the primitive chaos where everything is neutralized, are gradually parted off, and form nature, with its contraries, its opposite qualities, and separate elements. The first opposition is that between the warm and dry, on the one hand, and the cold and moist, on the other; the former occurring in the earth, the latter in the heavens which surround it. The earth is a cylindrical body, and floats freely in the infinite ether, being held in equilibrium because of its equal distance from all the other heavenly bodies (διά την ομοίαν πάντων απόστασιν). There are an infinite number of worlds (deoi), which are alternately formed and destroyed. The first animals were produced
1 Sources : hristotle, Met., XI., 2; Phys., III., 4; Simplicius, In Phys., f. 6, 32 ; Plutarch, in Eusebius, Prep. evang., I., 8; Hippolytus, Refut. hæres., I., 6; Cicero, De nat. deor., I., 10; Schleiermacher, Veber Anaximandros, Complete Works, 3d series, vol. II., pp. 171-296; Ritter and Preller, pp. 12–19; [Mullach, Fragmenta, I., p. 240; Burnet, pp. 47 ff. - Tr]; C. Mallet, Histoire de la philosophie ionienne, Paris, 1842; [Teichmüller, Studien and Neue Studien. – TR.).