出现 It may safely be assumed that the prejudices once entertained against Epicureanism are now extinct. Whatever may have been the speculative opinions of its founder, he had as good a right to them as the Apostles had to theirs; nor did he stand further aloof from the popular religion of any age than Aristotle, who has generally been in high favour with theologians. His practical teaching was directed towards the constant inculcation of virtue; nor was it belied by the conduct either of himself or of his disciples, even judged by the standard of the schools to which they were most opposed. And some of his physical theories, once rejected as self-evidently absurd, are now proved to be in harmony with the sober conclusions of modern science. At any rate, it is not in this quarter, as our readers will doubtless have already perceived, that the old prejudices, if they still exist, are likely to find an echo. Just now, indeed, the danger is not that Epicurus should be depreciated, but that his merits should obtain far more than their proper meed of recognition. It seems to be forgotten that what was best in his physics he borrowed from others, and that what he added was of less than no value; that he was ignorant or careless of demonstrated truths; that his avowed principles of belief were inconsistent with any truth rising above the level of vulgar apprehension; and finally, that in his system scientific interests were utterly subordinated to practical interests. He has become keen and shrewd; he has learned how to flatter his master in word and indulge him in deed; but his soul is small and unrighteous. His slavish condition has deprived him of growth and uprightness and independence; dangers and fears which were too much for his truth and honesty came upon him in early years, when the tenderness of youth was unequal to them, and he has been driven into crooked ways; from the first he has practised deception and retaliation, and has become stunted and warped. And so he has passed out of youth into manhood, having no soundness in him, and is now, as he thinks, a master in wisdom.128 At the time when Carneades delivered his lectures, the morality of Rome resembled that of Sparta during her great conflict with Athens, as characterised by one of the speakers in the Melian Dialogue. Scrupulously honourable in their dealings with one another, in their dealings with foreign nations her citizens notoriously identified justice with what was agreeable or advantageous to themselves. The arguments of the Academic philosopher must, therefore, have been doubly annoying to the leaders of the State, as a satire on its public policy and as a source of danger to the integrity of its private life. In this respect, old Cato was a type of the whole race. In all transactions with his fellow-citizens, and in every office undertaken on behalf of the community, his honesty was such that it became proverbial. But his absolute disregard of international justice has become equally proverbial through the famous advice, reiterated on every possible occasion, that an unoffending and unwarlike city should be destroyed, lest its existence should at some future time become a source of uneasiness to the mistress of the world. Perhaps it was a secret consciousness of his own inconsistency which prevented him from directly proposing that Carneades should not be allowed to continue his lectures. At any rate, the ex-Censor contented himself with moving that the business on which the Athenian envoys had come should be at once concluded, that they might return to their classes at Athens, leaving the youth of Rome to seek instruction as before from the wise conversation and example of her public men.214 We are not told whether his speech on this occasion wound up with the usual formula, caeterum, Patres Conscripti, sententia mea est Carthaginem esse delendam; but as it is stated that from the year 175 to the end of his life, he never made a motion in the Senate that was not terminated by those words, we are entitled to assume that he did not omit them in the present instance. If so, the effect must have been singularly grotesque; although, perhaps, less so than if attention had been drawn to the customary phrase by its unexpected absence. At any rate, Carneades had an opportunity of carrying back one more illustration of ethical inconsistency wherewith to enliven his lectures on the ‘vanity of dogmatising’ and the absolute equilibrium of contradictory opinions.
Aristotle has sometimes been represented as an advocate of free-will against necessity. But the question had not really been opened in his time. He rejected fatalism; but it had not occurred to him that internal motives might exercise a constraining power over action. Nor has his freedom anything to do with the self-assertion of mind, its extrication from the chain of physical antecedents. It is simply the element of397 arbitrariness and uncertainty supposed to characterise the region of change and opposition, as distinguished from the higher region of undeviating regularity. 的背 Then as now, Judaism seems to have had a much greater attraction for women than for men; and this may be accounted218 for not only by the greater credulity of the female sex, which would equally predispose them in favour of every other new religion, but also by their natural sympathy with the domestic virtues which are such an amiable and interesting feature in the Jewish character. Josephus tells us that towards the beginning of Nero’s reign nearly all the women of Damascus were attached to Judaism;336 and he also mentions that Poppaea, the mistress and afterwards the wife of Nero, used her powerful influence for the protection of his compatriots, though whether she actually became a proselyte, as some have supposed, is doubtful.337 According to Ovid, the synagogues were much visited by Roman women, among others, apparently, by those of easy virtue, for he alludes to them as resorts which the man of pleasure in search of a conquest will find it advantageous to frequent.338 It is not, then, surprising that the Academic and Peripatetic schools utterly failed to carry on the great movement inaugurated by their respective founders. The successors of Plato first lost themselves in a labyrinth of Pythagorean mysticism, and then sank into the position of mere moral instructors. The history of that remarkable revolution by which the Academy regained a foremost place in Greek thought, will form the subject of a future chapter: here we may anticipate so far as to observe that it was effected by taking up and presenting in its original purity a tradition of older date than Platonism, though presented under a new aspect and mixed with other elements by Plato. The heirs of Aristotle, after staggering on a few paces under the immense burden of his encyclopaedic bequest, came to a dead halt, and contented themselves with keeping the treasure safe until the time should arrive for its appropriation and reinvestment by a stronger speculative race.
It is well known that Spinoza draws a sharp line of demarcation between the two attributes of Extension and Thought, which, with him, correspond to what are usually called body and mind. Neither attribute can act on the other. Mind receives no impressions from body, nor does body receive any impulses from mind. This proposition follows by rigorous logical necessity from the Platonic principle that mind is independent of body, combined with the Stoic principle that nothing but body can act on body, generalised into the wider principle that interaction implies homogeneity of nature. According to some critics, Spinoza’s teaching on this point constitutes a fatal flaw in his philosophy. How, it is asked, can we know that there is any such thing as body (or extension) if body cannot be perceived,—for perceived it certainly cannot be without acting on our minds? The idea of infinite substance suggests a way out of the408 difficulty. ‘I find in myself,’ Spinoza might say, ‘the idea of extension. In fact, my mind is nothing but the idea of extension, or the idea of that idea, and so on through as many self-reflections as you please. At the same time, mind, or thought, is not itself extended. Descartes and the Platonists before him have proved thus much. Consequently I can conceive extension as existing independently of myself, and, more generally, of all thought. But how can I be sure that it actually does so exist? In this wise. An examination of thought leads me to the notion of something in which it resides—a substance whose attribute it is. But having once conceived such a substance, I cannot limit it to a single attribute, nor to two, nor to any finite number. Limitation implies a boundary, and there can be no boundary assigned to existence, for existence by its very definition includes everything that is. Accordingly, whatever can be conceived, in other words whatever can be thought without involving a contradiction,—an important reservation which I beg you to observe,—must necessarily exist. Now extension involves no contradiction, therefore it exists,—exists, that is to say, as an attribute of the infinite substance. And, by parity of reasoning, there must be an idea of extension; for this also can exist without involving a contradiction, as the simplest introspection suffices to show. You ask me why then I do not believe in gorgons and chimaeras. I answer that since, in point of fact, they do not exist, I presume that their notion involves a contradiction, although my knowledge of natural law is not sufficiently extended to show me where the contradiction lies. But perhaps science will some day be able to point out in every instance of a non-existing thing, where the contradiction lies, no less surely than it can now be pointed out in the case of impossible geometrical figures.’ In short, while other people travel straight from their sensations to an external world, Spinoza travels round to it by the idea of an infinite substance.564 间他 The chief theological doctrines held in common by the two schools, were the immortality of the soul and the existence of daemons. These were supposed to form a class of spiritual beings, intermediate between gods and men, and sharing to some extent in the nature of both. According to Plutarch, though very long-lived, they are not immortal; and he quotes the famous story about the death of Pan in proof of his assertion;390 but, in this respect, his opinion is not shared by Maximus Tyrius391, who expressly declares them to be immortal; and, indeed, one hardly sees how the contrary could have been maintained consistently with Platonic principles; for, if the human soul never dies, much less can spirits of a higher rank be doomed to extinction. As a class, the daemons are morally imperfect beings, subject to human passions, and capable of wrong-doing. Like men also, they are divided into good and bad. The former kind perform providential and retributive offices on behalf of the higher252 gods, inspiring oracles, punishing crime, and succouring distress. Those who permit themselves to be influenced by improper motives in the discharge of their appointed functions, are degraded to the condition of human beings. The bad and morose sort are propitiated by a gloomy and self-tormenting worship.392 By means of the imperfect character thus ascribed to the daemons, a way was found for reconciling the purified theology of Platonism with the old Greek religion. To each of the higher deities there is attached, we are told, a daemon who bears his name and is frequently confounded with him. The immoral or unworthy actions narrated of the old gods were, in reality, the work of their inferior namesakes. This theory was adopted by the Fathers of the Church, with the difference, however, that they altogether suppressed the higher class of Platonic powers, and identified the daemons with the fallen angels of their own mythology. This is the reason why a word which was not originally used in a bad sense has come to be synonymous with devil. ”