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A History of Philosophy in Epitome by Schwegler

And thus could not escape the Cartesian dualism

style="text-align: justify;"> SECTION XXVII.


We have now reached a point of divergence in the development of philosophy. Descartes had affirmed and attempted to mediate the opposition, between thought and being, mind and matter. This mediation, however, was hardly successful, for the two sides of the opposition he had fixed in their widest separation, when he posited them as two substances or powers, which reciprocally negated each other. The followers of Descartes sought a more satisfactory mediation, but the theories to which they saw themselves driven, only indicated the more clearly that the whole premise from which they started must be given up. At length Spinoza abandoned the false notion, and took away its substantiality from each of the two opposed principles. Mind and matter, thought and extension, are now one in the infinite substance. Yet they are not one _in themselves_, which would be the only true unity of the two. That they are one in the substance is of little avail, since they are indifferent to the substance, and are not immanent distinctions in it. Thus even with Spinoza the two remain strictly separate. The ground of this isolation we find in the fact that Spinoza himself did not sufficiently renounce the Cartesian notion, and thus could not escape the Cartesian dualism. With him, as with Descartes, thought is _only_ thought, and extension _only_ extension, and in such

an apprehension of the two, the one necessarily excludes the other. If we would find an inner mediation for the two, we must cease to abstract every thing essential from each. The opposite sides must be mediated even in their strictest opposition. To do this, two ways alone were possible. A position could be taken either on the material or on the ideal side, and the attempt made to explain the ideal under the material, or the material under the ideal, comprehending one through the other. Both these attempts were in fact made, and at about the same time. The two parallel courses of a one-sided _idealism_, and a one-sided _realism_ (Empiricism, Sensualism, Materialism), now begin their development.



The founder of the realistic course and the father of modern Empiricism and Materialism, is _John Locke_, an Englishman. _Thomas Hobbes_ (1588-1679) was his predecessor and countryman, whose name we need here only mention, as it has no importance except for the history of natural rights.

John Locke was born at Wrington, 1632. His student years he devoted to philosophy and prominently to medicine, though his weak health prevented him from practising as a physician. Few cares of business interrupted his leisure, and he devoted his time mostly to literary pursuits. His friendly relations with Lord Anthony Ashley, afterwards Earl of Shaftesbury, exerted a weighty influence upon his course in life. At the house of this distinguished statesman and author he always found the most cordial reception, and an intercourse with the most important men of England. In the year 1670 he sketched for a number of friends the first plan of his famous _Essay on the Human Understanding_, though the completed work did not appear till 1689. Locke died aged 72 in the year 1704. His writings are characterized by clearness and precision, openness and determinateness. More acute than profound in his philosophizing, he does not in this respect belie the characteristic of his nation. The fundamental thoughts and results of his philosophy have now become common property, especially among the English, though it should not therefore be forgotten that he is the first who has scientifically established them, and is, on this account, entitled to a true place in the history of philosophy, even though his principle was wanting in an inner capacity for development.

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