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induction. But yet Aristotle was so superior to all other Greek philosophers as an observer of nature, that we find in Suidas, he is called the interpreter of nature-'Αριστοτέλης της φύσεως γραμματεύς ήν.
Let it not be supposed, from what we have said of the deficiencies of the Aristotelic logic, that we value it at a low estimate ; it is far otherwise. We put the highest estimate, both upon the influence which it has exercised directly upon the progress of knowledge, and indirectly in disciplining the higher faculties of the mind. It was as great a need in Aristotle's time as the inductive method was in Bacon's. The work to be done, in the state of knowledge in Aristotle's time, was to sift the thought accumulated, discover its logical dependencies, eliminate, by the principle of contradiction, as Socrates did in his conversations with the Sophists, apparent errors, and retain what would stand the test of logical principles. The time had not arrived for the inductive method of objective observation and material illation. This we will endeavour to elucidate.
All thinking is either materially false, or formally false, or both. We have shown, that there was much inaterial falseness in ancient philosophy; as the notions which formed its matter were the result of unscientific observation. But this was not the only vice of ancient philosophy. There was in it, also, a great deal of formal or logical falseness; and, until this was corrected, the time had not come for correcting its other vice. Even in so profound a thinker as Plato, there are paralogisms of every kind so gross as to astonish the modern mind not familiar with the looseness of ancient thought. The very ingenuity of the Greek mind led to sophisms. And many of these sophisms, which are seen by the modern mind to be a mere play of wit and acuteness, were deemed very important by some of the most distinguished thinkers of antiquity. In ancient times, men lived more in public, and carried on scientific investigations more in oral discussions, or conversations, than in the soliloquy of private meditation. Profundity, therefore, would be less valued than wit, dexterity in questioning, and adroit discovery of objections. The Sophists were accomplished masters in this art. There were, too, certain artificial rules, by which their dialogues were regulated. Every answer to a question, for instance, was to be yes or no. The interrogator, therefore, could constrain his adversary to move in a foreseen
Now, as the method of science was not understood, men might perceive a fallacy, and yet not be able to point it out; for they had not even the requisite language to express these fallacies. How compendiously does the technical expression, “ begging of the question," indicate a common fallacy! Such expressions, furnished by logic, not only facilitate the exposure of error, but enable us to get clearer views of truth. It was, therefore, the first
demand of science, that the laws of thought should be investigated and understood, so that, by their application, fallacious reasonings might be discovered. This Aristotle attempted by considering the reasons embodied in ancient thought. IIe saw that the clue to the whole scheme of Sophistry, was to discriminate the essence of the internal thought from the accident of the external expression. In this way, he discovered, that the syllogism is the one form of reasoning, and that fallacies consist in the covert violations of the logical laws which govern the syllogism. He developed this doctrine into the greatest monument of speculative genius which illustrates the history of philosophy. The great purpose of the Aristotelic logic, was to purge the understanding, and to keep it free of those errors which arise from the confusion and perplexity of inconsequent thinking. The
purpose of this article forbids any more extended review of the doctrines of the followers of Socrates. Plato and Aristotle rise so far above all others, in the importance of their contributions to the progress of philosophy, that, in a sketch like this, an examination of their doctrines must suffice.
The Romans were not acquainted with philosophy until after their conquest of Greece; and they never did succeed in speculative inquiries. Cicero reproduced and developed the moral philosophy of the Greeks, and, carrying the spirit of the orator into philosophy, he clothed it in the grand habiliments of the eloquence nurtured amidst the meditatives shades of Tusculum. enim perfectam philosophiam (says Cicero), semper judicavi qua de mácimis questionibus copiose posset ornateque dicere.” But, for the most part, philosophy was at Rome degraded to a menial to serve personal interests, by displaying an apparent love of truth in a pretended devotion to elevated studies. Rome has, therefore, no chapter in the history of philosophy.
After the Macedonian conquests, Alexandria became the great focus of learning. From its situation, it was the centre of the commerce of the world; many were attracted thither by the libraries of the Ptolemies. IIere met philosophers from the East and the West; the religious dogmas of Jew and Gentile, Pagan and Christian, and systems the most opposing, met on the same arena. Plotinus, Proclus, and Porphyry, were the most distinguished philosophers of this school. Their doctrines were Platonic, and therefore the school was called Neoplatonic. Their philosophy was, however, a cloudy exhalation from the vast inundation of the confluent streams of diverse doctrines which had flooded in from many nations. It vanished before the light of Christianity. The only doctrines of Paganism, which existed after this period, were those adopted by the fathers of the Christian Church.
The fathers of the Church devoted little attention to philosophy, and still less to nature. They gave a preference to Plato,
but were adherents of no particular system, culling and selecting from all. “God (says Chrysostom) did not send men into the world to syllogise and form arguments, but to expound the truthnot to dispute and contend with one another, but to deal out truth with impartiality. It was not in philosophical arguments that the Apostles interested themselves, but they preached simply and clearly, and it is from their example that we are to act." And Cleinent of Alexandria says: “What I call philosophy, is not what Plato and Aristotle have promulgated, but what they have spoken true and favourable to religion.' Such are the most favourable views of philosophy entertained by the fathers of the Church. For, some of the sects, especially the Épicureans and Stoics, they openly attacked. St. Augustine did more than any other of the fathers of the Church to further philosophy; but he conformed his doctrines to Christianity.
But this twilight of philosophy at last sunk into night in the sixth century, and for several ages there is a blank in the history of speculation.
Our modern philosophy, like our civilization, takes its rise in the middle ages. Its character in these ages, is philosophy under ecclesiastical authority-philosophia ancillans theologiæ. The middle ages begin when the church became disencumbered from the ruins of ancient philosophy. This crisis was not until the time of Charlemagne. He was the vassal of the Pope. He opened schools throughout his vast empire; and from these philosophy obtained the name Scholastic. The clergy were the cultivators of this philosophy, and its character is given in the nature of its origin, and may be summed up in the saying of Joannus Scotus Eregina, There are not two studies of philosophg and religion, but what is true philosophy is also true religion.
The Scholastic philosophy is distributed into several epochs or changes. During the first, philosophy was under absolute subordination to religion ; during the second, the subordination was softened down to an alliance, and in the third, a separation took place, indistinct at first, but finally more discriminating; and at last, terminating in modern philosophy:
The rampant spirit of physical inquiry in this age, is too prone to look back at the schoolmen as mere logical knight-errants, and their philosophy as logic run mad, because it did not advance physical science. Because the schoolmen, not perceiving the relativity of general terms, and that they afford no irrespective objects, wasted so much time in disputes about Nominalism and Realism; and not discriminating the primary and secondary qualities of matter, and therefore not perceiving that the words denoting the secondary qualities were ambiguously applied both to the knowing mind and the object known, disputed, whether fire is hot, sugar sweet, grass green, and other like questions; it has been concluded that all
their discussions were idle disputes of mere words. And because they were subject in all their judgments to the Church, as recognized arbiter, it has been supposed that all the doctrines of the schoolmen were the blind opinions ordered by the unreasoned decrees of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. In these conclusions there is great error; for, with all the circumscription of the Church, there was ample scope left for the loftiest speculations. Though the authority of the Church was imperative when it issued its mandate, yet she left a large proportion of the problems of philosophical theology undetermined ; and questions which, among Protestants, would cause a difference of sects, were decided in either alternative without impairing the orthodoxy of the parties. The fact is, that the faculties of the human mind were never more vigorously exerted (just as is the case with lawyers, though their discussions move, too, within the limits of authority), than during the middle ages by the schoolmen ; though often on trivial questions, with trivial results, but often on important questions, with important results.
We are indebted to the schoolmen for much of the analysis which shows from the nature of the thing that the formal laws of thought are the adequate object-matter of logic. We are also indebted to them for the proper scientific definition of truth, as the correspondence or agreement of a cognition or a cognitive act of thought with its object. The schoolmen did also much towards fitting the modern languages for philosophical thinking. The great problem of philosophy is, to analyze the contents of our acts of knowledge or our cognitions, and discriminate what elements have been contributed by the knowing subject and by the object known. There must, therefore, be terins adequate to designate these correlative opposites, and discriminate the share each has in the total cognition. The exact distinction of subject and object was first made by the schoolmen. This distinction involves the whole science of mind; for this science is nothing more than the articulate discrimination of the subjective and the objective, in themselves and in their mutual relations. The two opposite pairs of nouns, subject and object, and adjectives, subjective and objective, taken together and correlatively, enable us to designate the primary and most important antithesis of philosophy in the most precise and complete manner. Therefore it is seen that the most important seeds of modern philosophy are to be found in the Scholastic.
The capture of Constantinople by the Turks, in the year 1453, scattered over the West the learned Greeks of that capital ; and then it was that philosophy rebelled against the supremacy of Aristotle and the Church. Philosophy, which had been the mere handmaid of the Church, came now to be cultivated for itself. New schools were opened, and almost every school of antiquity had its
supporters. Europe beheld the revival of the Academy, the Lyceum, and the Porch. The system which first rose into greatest repute was the Platonic, contaminated with many mysteries of the Alexandrian fathers. But there arose a sect of independent thinkers, whose doctrines were subversive of even the spirituality of God and man. Cardamus, Tulesimus, Beregard, Cesalpinus, and Verini, present a group of philosophers who cannot be classed under any particular sect
. They launched out into speculations which we are forced to admire for their vigour and independence. Skepticism had its supporters, at this time, in Montaigne and others. But the whole philosophy of this age, was a mere reflex of that of antiquity. The want of method was the fundamental defect; and exclusive deference to authority was the great impediment to mental progress. It is difficult for us, in this age of free thought and speech, to realize the extreme submission to the authority of the Church, when that authority was exerted, and the absolute deference paid to Aristotle, during the scholastic period. The two great ends to be accomplished, in order to set free the human mind, were to discover a better method of philosophizing, and to shake off the yoke of authority.
Scholasticism had turned away the minds of thinkers from nature. But now, nature begun to receive a remarkable degree of attention. The discovery of America, and of the passage to the East Indies, had widened the scope of view; and the discoveries of Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo, had carried the thoughts of men beyond the limits of tradition and authority, and given an entirely new direction to the thinking of the age. These discoveries refuted a series of traditional errors and prejudices, and gave the thinking mind a self-dependence which caused it to break loose from the fetters of authority, and place itself upon the basis of observation and experiment, inquiry and
At this juncture in the progress of thought, the most majestic and prophetic mind known to the history of philosophy, rose up to lead men in the new career of investigation which had been begun. Trained in the practice of a jurisprudence the most technical, and in its routine the most servile, and the most obedient to authority and traditional usage of any which has been established amongst men, we see the remarkable spectacle of a Lord Chancellor of England laying aside, for the moment, the king's seals, to become the keeper of the seals of nature. And in a majesty of diction unparalleled in the history of philosophy, this great thinker proclaimed to the world a new method of philosophizing to guide the mighty spirit of inquiry which was abroad, over the fields of observation. Philosophy, no longer confined to the schools, is led forth by a politician and lawyer, out from the confines of authority into the amplitudes of nature. From this moment, the freedom of the human mind was established. This man of business, this