History of France - Wikipedia. S mostly talking about the historianapos, s bringing the past to life illustrated by our understanding the motives of particular persons. Perhaps cultic activities were to fall under mythapos. At one point Cassirer says that material objects are composed of our sense impressions. But I think he meant that our representations of material objects are constructions or inferences from sense impressions.
This text is available for download in the following formats.. The farther we trace the development of human culture from these beginnings the more this i:;ltrovect: view seems to come to the fore. Man's natural c!!!
We can study this growth in almost an tEe forms of the cultural life of man. TIle question of the origin of the world is inextricably interwoven with the question of the origin of man. B,eligioU does not tro these first m tholo ioal explanations. On the contrary, it preserves the mythological cosmo ogy and anthro-. Henceforth 18 sell-knowledge is not conceived as a merely theoretical interest. In all the higher forms of religious life the maxim "Know thyscif" is regarded as a categorical imperative, as an ultimate moral and religious law.
In this imperative we feel, as it were, a sudden reversal of the first natural instinct to know-we perceive a transvaluation of an values. In the histories of all the religions of the world-in Judaism, Buddhismj, Confucianism, and Christianity-we can observe the individual steps of this development. The same principle holds good in the general evolution of philosophical thought. In its earliest stages Greek philosoph;! Beyond the physical philosophy oIi' the M!. Heraclitus stands on the border line between cosmological and anthropological thought.
Although he still speaks as a natural philosopher, and he belongs to the "ancient physiologists," yet he is COD' vinced that it is impossible to penetrate into thl secret of I'III! I lure without having studied the secret of man. We must fulfil the dereand of self-reflection if we wish to keep hold of reality and to understand its meaning. Thus it is in the problem of mall that we find the landmark separating Socratic from pre-Socratic thought. Socrates never attacks or criticizes the.
Krantz sth ed. Berlin, ' , I, The problems of Greek natural phi. In Socrates we no longer have an independent theory of nature or an independent logical theory. We do not even have a coherent and systematic ethical theory. Only one question remains: What is man! Socrates always maintains and defends the ideal of an objective, absolute, universal truth. His philosophy-if he possesses a philosophy-is strictly anthropological. In one of the Platonic dialogues Socrates is described asbeing engaged in a conversation with his pupil Phaedrus, They are walking, and after a short time they come to a place outside the gates of Athens.
He is delighted with the landscape, which he praises highly. But Phaedrus interrupts. Socrates puts symbolic meaning into his reply. Socrates gives us a detailed and meticulous analysis of individual human qualities and virtues. He seeks to determine the nature oj ldJese qualities and to define them: goodness, justice, temperance, courage, and so on. But he never ventures a definition of man. How is this seeming deficiency to be accounted for?
But here, more than anywhere else, we should suspect Socratic irony. It is precisely the negative answer of Socrates which" throws new and unexpected light on the question, and which gives us the positive insight into the Socratic conception of man. Physical things may be described in terms of their objective properties, but man may be described and defined only in terms of his consciousness. Empirical observation and logical analysis, in the sense in which these terms were used in pre-Socratic philosophy, here proved inefficient and inadequate.
For it is only in our immediatfr. We must actually confront man, we must lIeet him squarely face to face, in order to understand him. PhilosoEhy, which had hithertlit' been conceived as an intellectual" monologue, istranstormcd into a dialogue. Only hy way 01 dialogical or dialectic thought can we apprOlich the knowledge of human nature. Previously truth might have been conceived to be a sort of ready-made thing which could be grasped by an effort of the individual 'thinker, and readily transferred and communicated to others.
But Socrates could no longer subscribe to this view. Truth is by nature the offspring of dialectic thought. It cannot be gained, therefore, except through a constant cooperation of the subjects in mutual interrogation and reply, It is not therefore like an empirical object; it must b! Both his knowledge and his morality are comprehended in this circle. It is by this fundamental faculty, by this faculty of giving a response to himself and to others, that man becomes a "responsible" being, a moral subject.
This first answer has, in a sense, always remained the classical answer. The Socratic problem and the Socratic method can never be forgotten or obliterated.
Through the! There is perhaps no SUTer or shorter way of convincing ourselves of the deep - unity and perfect continuity of ancient philosophic thought than by comparing these first stages in Greek philosophy with one of the latest and noblest products of Oraeco-Roman oolture, the book To Himself written by the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, At first sight such a comparison may appear arbitrary; for Marcus Aurelius was not an original thinker, nor did he follow a strictly logical method.
He himself 4. Plato, Apology 37E Jowett trans. In the following pages I shan not attempt to give a survey of the historical development of anthropological philosophy. I shall merely ::'stlect a few typical stages in order to illustrate the general line of thought. The history of the philosophy of man is still a, desideratum. Whereas the history of metaphysics, of natural philosophy, 9f ethical and scientific thougbt has been studied in all detail, we are here still at the beginning.
During the lasl century the importance of this problem has been felt more and more vividly. Wilhelm Dijthey bas concentrated all his efforts upon its solution, But Dilthey's work, IIpwever rich and suggestive, remained incomplete.
One of the pupili 0'1 Dilthey, Bernhard Groethuysen, has given an excellent description of the general development of anthropological philosophy. But unfortunately even this description stops short of the last and decisive step-that of our moden era.
Csssirer Oxford, Clarendon Press, , pp. They cannot be claimed of a man; the man's nature does not guarantee them; they are no consummations of that nature, Consequently neither is the end for which man lives placed in these things, nor yet that which is perfective of the end, namely the Good, Moreover, if any of these thmgs did fall to a man, it would not fall to him to contemn them and set his face against them" ,.
V, par, '5, 8, Idem, Bk, IV. Idem, Bk. III, pat, 6. Man proves his inherent power of criticism, of judgment and discernment, by conceiving that in this COliClation tbe Self, not the Universe, has the leading part. For it is the only thing in which man entirely depends on himself; it is free, autonomons, self-sufficingP "Distract not thyself," says Marcus Aurelius, "be not too eager, but be thine own master, and look upon life as a man, as a human being, as a citizen, as a mortal creature.
Things do not touch the soul, for they are external and remain '1i1imovable, but our disturbance comes only of that judgment that we form in ourselves. The Universe-mutation, Life-aflirmation. V, par. VIII, par. IV, par. The tenn "affirmation" or "judgment" seems to me a much more adequate expression of the thought of Marcus Aurelius than "opinion," which I find in all the English versions I have consulted.
In the mind of the Stoic philosopher these assertions do not conflict; they are correlated with one another. Man finds himself in perfect equipoise with the universe, and he knows that this equipoise must not be disturbed by any external force. Such is the dual character of Stoic "imperturbability" ataraxia. This Stoic theory proved to be one of the strongest formative powers of ancient culture. But it founllf.
The conflict with this new force shook the classical ideal of man to its very foundations. The Stoic and the Christian theories of man are not necessarily hostile one another. Nevertheless, there always remains one point on which the antagonism between the Christian and the Stoic ideals proves irreconcilable. The assei ted abo solute independence of man, which in the Stoic theory wi! As long as man perseveres in this error there is no pussible road to salvation.
The struggle between these two conflicting views has lasted for many centuries, and at the beginning of the mod em era-at the time of the Renaissance and In the seventeenth century-we still feel its full strenth.
This philosophy is not, like other branches of philosophical investigation, a slow and continuous, develoPlIIent of general ideas, Even in the history of logic, metaphysics, and natural philosophy we find the sharpest oppositions. This history may be described in Hegelian tell.!!
Platonic doxa] contains an element of change and uncertainty which is not iJ. Nevertheless there is an inner consistency, a clear logical order, connecting the different stages of this dialectic process.
For we arc confronted, not with a peaceful development of concepts or theories, but with a clash between conflicting spiritual powers. The history of anil;hropological philosophy is fraught with the deepest human passions and emotions. It is not concerned with a single theoretical problem, however general its scope; here the whole destiny of man is at stake and clamoring for an ultimate de"i8ion. This character of the problem has found its clearest expression in the work of Augustine.
Augustine stands at the frontier of two ages. Living in the fourth century of the Christian era, he has grown up in the tradition of Greek philosophy, and it is especially the system of Nco-Platonism which has left its mark on his whole philosophy.
But, on the other hand, he is the pioneer of medieval thought; he is the founder of medieval philosophy and of Christian dogmatics. In his Confessions we can follow every step of his way from Greek philosophy to Christian revelation. According to Augustine all philosophy prior to the appearance of Christ was liable to one fundamental error, and was infected with one and the same heresy. But what man could never know until he was enlightened with a special divine revelation is that reason itself is-one of the most questionable and ambiguous things in the world.
Reason cannot show us the way to clarity, to truth and wisdom. For it is itself obscure in its meaning, and its origin is irappcd in mystery-in a mystery soluble only by Christian" revelation, Reason for Augustine does not have a simple and unique but rather a double and divided nature. But all this has been lost through the fall of ''Adam. From that time on all the original power of reason has And reason alone, when left to itself and its own faculties, never can find the way back.
If such a reformation is ever possible, it is only by supernatural aid, by the power of divine grace. Such is the new anthropology, as It is understood by Augustine, and maintained in all the great systems of medieval thought. Even Thomas Aquinas, the disciple of Aristotle, who goes back to the sources of Greek philosophy, does not venture to deviate from this fundamental dogma. He concedes to human reasort, a much higher power than Augustine did; but he is convinced that reason cannot make the right use of these powers unless it is guided and illuminated by the grace of God.
What once seemed to be the highest privilege of man proves to be his peril and his temptation; what appeared as his pride becomes his deepest humiliation. TIle Stoic precept that man has to obey and revere his inner principle, the "demon" within himself, is now regarded as dangerous idolatry. It is not practicable here to describe further the character of this new anthropology, to analyze its fundamental motives and to follow up its development.
But in order to understand its purport we may choose a different and shorter way. At the, beginning of modern times there appeared a thinker who gave' to this anthropology a new vigor and a new splendor. In the work of Pascal it found its last and perhaps most impressjW. Pascal was prepared for this task as no other write I had been. He possessed an incomparable gift for elucidating' the most obscure questions and condensing and concentrating complex and scattered systems of thought.
Nothing seems tOI be impermeable to the keenness of his thought and the lucidity of his style. But he uses them as weapODS against the modern spirit, the spirit of Descartes and his philosophy, At first sight Pascal seems to accept all the presuppositions of Cartesianism and of modern science. There is nothing ill nature that can resist the effort of scientific reason for there is nothing that can resist geometry.
It is a curlon! When sixteen years old, Pascal wrote the treatise on conic sections that opened a new and a very rich and fertile field of geometrical thought. But he was not only a great geometer, he was a philosopher; and as a philosopher he was not merely absorbed in geometrical problems but he wished to understand the true use, the extent, and the limits of geometry. He was thus led rto make tllut fundamental distinction between the "geometrical spirit" and the "acute or subtle spirit.
The advantage of this spirit consists in the clarity of its' principles and in the necessity of its deductions. Bnt not all objects are capable of such treatment. There are things which because of their subtlety and their infinite variety defy every 'attempt at logical analysis. And if there is anything in the world that we have to treat in this second way, it is the mind of man. Hence rnathernaticsl can never become the instrument of a true doctrine of man, of a philosophical anthropology.
It is ridiculous to speak of man. Rational thought, logical and metaphysical thought cqn tcomprehend only those objects which are free from contradiction, and which have a consistent nature and truth, It is, '5. For the distinction between I'e'pril geornetrique and ee'Prit de linesse compare Pascal's treatise "De l'esprit geornetdque" and Pascal's Pensees, ed.
Wight New York, The philosopher is not permitted to construct an artificial, man; he must describe a real one. All the so-called definitions of man are nothing but airy speculation so long as they are not based upon and confirmed by our experience of man. There is no other way to know man than to understand his life and conduct. But what we find here defies every attempt at inclusion within a single and simple formula.
Contradiction is the very element of human existence. Man has no "nature" -no simple or homogeneous being. He is a strange mixture of, being and non being. His place is between these two opposite poles. There is, therefore, only one approach to the secret of human nature: that of religion.
Religion shows us that there is; a double man-the man before and alter the full. Man was des'tined for the highest goal, but he forfeited his position. By the fall he lost his power, and his reason and will were perverted. Man cannot confide in himself and listen to himself. He has to silence himself in order to hear a higher and truer voice. Listen to God. Religion cannot offer such a solution.
Religion cannot be clear and rational. What it relates is an obscure and somber story: the story of the sin and the fall of man. It reveals a fact of which rational explanation is possible.
We cannot account for the sin of man; for it is not produced or necessitated 6. Pensees, chap. Nor can we account for man's salvation; for this salvation depends on an inscrutable act of divine I race.
It is freely given and freely denied; there is no human action and no human merit that can deserve it.
Aristotle was convinced that in order to understand the general plan of nature, the origins of life, the lower forms must be interpreted in the light of the higher forms. We cannot account for the sin of man; for it is not produced or necessitated 6.
Man's natural c!!! But what we find here defies every attempt at inclusion within a single and simple formula. And this cosmic order now appears in a wholly new light. But here, more than anywhere else, we should suspect Socratic irony.
TIle Stoic precept that man has to obey and revere his inner principle, the "demon" within himself, is now regarded as dangerous idolatry. It reveals a fact of which rational explanation is possible. It had received its classical expression in Aristotle's psychology and in his general view of organic life. It cannot be gained, therefore, except through a constant cooperation of the subjects in mutual interrogation and reply, It is not therefore like an empirical object; it must b! The reason is that this, most of all senses, makes u;; know and brings to light many differences between things,"! But what became 36 more important for the general history of ideas and for the development of philosophical thought was not the empirical facts of evolution but the theoretical interpretation of these facts.
In one of the Platonic dialogues Socrates is described asbeing engaged in a conversation with his pupil Phaedrus, They are walking, and after a short time they come to a place outside the gates of Athens. Man no longer lives in the world as a prisoner enclosed within the narrow walls of a finite physical universe. Wilhelm Dijthey bas concentrated all his efforts upon its solution, But Dilthey's work, IIpwever rich and suggestive, remained incomplete. Such a philosophical eulogy of man's sensuous life would be irnPossible in the work of Plato! They strive, so to speak, to turn the apparent curse of the new cosmology into a blessing. Ross, The Warks at A.
B,eligioU does not tro these first m tholo ioal explanations.
Though rarely acknowledged, this metaphysical cast of evolutionary thinking was a latent motivating force. The quest now is for a general theorY' of man based on empirical observations and on general logical principles. He possessed an incomparable gift for elucidating' the most obscure questions and condensing and concentrating complex and scattered systems of thought. Things do not touch the soul, for they are external and remain '1i1imovable, but our disturbance comes only of that judgment that we form in ourselves. PhilosoEhy, which had hithertlit' been conceived as an intellectual" monologue, istranstormcd into a dialogue. Man proves his inherent power of criticism, of judgment and discernment, by conceiving that in this COliClation tbe Self, not the Universe, has the leading part.
To that eighteenth-century galaxy we must now add the names of Gauss, of Riemann, of Weierstrass, of Poincare, Everywhere in the science of the nineteenth century we meet with the triumphal march of new mathematical ideas and concepts. TIle question of the origin of the world is inextricably interwoven with the question of the origin of man.
The problems of Greek natural phi. In general they tell us that such a method is very 16 precarious, They are convinced that a strictly objective behavioristic attitude is the only possible approach to a scientific psychology. Though rarely acknowledged, this metaphysical cast of evolutionary thinking was a latent motivating force. They strive, so to speak, to turn the apparent curse of the new cosmology into a blessing. Modem theory takes up this challenge.
By means of this concept alone we can demonstrate the reality of God and, in an indirect way, the reality of the material world. Reason cannot show us the way to clarity, to truth and wisdom. Of course the divine intellect knows and conceives an infinitely greater number of.
This interpretation was not determined, in an unambiguous sense, by the empirical evidence itself, but rather by certain fundamental principles which had a definite metaphysical character.