1. Name and Conception of Philosophy 1
2. The History of Philosophy 8
3. Division of Philosophy and of its History 18
THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE GREEKS.
CHAPTER I. THE COSMOLOGICAL PERIOD 27
4. Conceptions of Being : 31
5. Conceptions of the Cosmic Processes or Becoming ... 47
6. Conceptions of Cognition 57
CHAPTER II. THE ANTHROPOLOGICAL PERIOD 66
7. The Problem of Morality 72
8. The Problem of Science 87
CHAPTER III. THE SYSTEMATIC PERIOD 99
9. Metaphysics grounded anew by Epistemology and Ethics . 104
10. The System of Materialism 109
11. The System of Idealism 116
12. The Aristotelian Logic 132
13. The System of Development 139
THE HELLENISTIC-ROMAN PHILOSOPHY.
CHAPTER I. THE ETHICAL PERIOD 159
14. The Ideal of the Wise Man 163
15. Mechanism and Teleology . 178
16. The Freedom of the Will and the Perfection of the Uni
17. The Criteria of Truth 197
CHAPTER II. THE RELIGIOUS PERIOD 210
18. Authority and Revelation 219
19. Spirit and Matter 229
20. God and the World 235
21. The Problem of the World s History 255
THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE MIDDLE AGES.
CHAPTER I. FIRST PERIOD 270
22. The Metaphysics of Inner Experience 276
23. The Controversy over Universals 287
24. The Dualism of Body and Soul 301
CHAPTER II. SECOND PERIOD 310
25. The Realm of Nature and the Realm of Grace .... 318
26. The Primacy of the Will or of the Intellect 328
27. The Problem of Individuality .337
THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE RENAISSANCE.
CHAPTER I. THE HUMANISTIC PERIOD 352
28. The Struggle between the Traditions 357
29. Macrocosm and Microcosm 366
CHAPTER II. THE NATURAL SCIENCE PERIOD 378
30. The Problem of Method 383
31. Substance and Causality 399
32. Natural Right 425
THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT.
CHAPTER I. THEORETICAL QUESTIONS 447
33. Innate Ideas 449
34. Knowledge of the External World 466
35. Natural Religion 486
CHAPTER II. PRACTICAL QUESTIONS 500
36. The Principles of Morals 502
37. The Problem of Civilisation 518
THE GERMAN PHILOSOPHY.
CHAPTER I. KANT S CRITIQUE OF THE REASON 532
38. The Object of Knowledge 537
39. The Categorical Imperative 551
40. Natural Purposiveness 559
CHAPTER II. THE DEVELOPMENT OF IDEALISM 568
41. The Thing-in-itself 573
42. The System of Reason 590
43. The Metaphysics of the Irrational 615
THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY.
44. The Controversy over the Soul 634
45. Nature and History 648
46. The Problem of Values 660
INDEX . . 699
HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY.
1. The Name and Conception of Philosophy.
R. Haym, Art. Philosophic in Ersch und Griiber s Encyclopadie, III. Abth.,
W. Windelband, Praeludien (Freiburg i. B., 1884), 1 ff.
A. Seth, Art. Philosophy in Erie. Brit. ]
G. T. Ladd, Introduction to Philosophy. N.Y. 1891.]
BY philosophy present usage understands the scientific treatment
of the general questions relating to the universe and human life.
Individual philosophers, according to the presuppositions with
which they have entered upon their work, and the results which
they have reached in it, have sought to change this indefinite idea
common to all, into more precise definitions, 1 which in part diverge
so widely that the common element in the conception of the science
may seem lost. But even the more general meaning given above is
itself a limitation and transformation of the original significance
which the Greeks connected with the name philosophy, a limita
tion and transformation brought about by the whole course of the in
tellectual and spiritual life of the West, and following along with
1. While in the first appearance in literature 2 of the words
<t>iXoar (f>flv and <f>iXoo-o<f>ia the simple and at the same time indefinite
meaning, " striving after wisdom," may still be recognised, the word
" philosophy " in the literature after Socrates, particularly in the
school of Plato and Aristotle, acquired the fixed significance accord-
1 Cited in detail in Ueberweg-Heinze, Grundriss der Geschichte der Philoso
phic, I. 1. [Eng. trans. Ueberweg s History of Philosophy, trans, by G. S.
Morris. N.Y. 1871.]
2 Herodotus, I. 30 and 50 ; Thucydides, II. 40 ; and frequently also even in
Plato, e.g. Apol. 29 ; Lysis, 218 A ; Symp. 202 E ff.
ing to which it denotes exactly the same as the German word
" Wissenschaft." l According to this meaning philosophy in general 2
is the methodical work of thought, through which we are to know
that which "is"; individual "philosophies" are the particular sci
ences in which individual realms of the existent are to be investi
gated and known. 3
With this first theoretical meaning oi the word " philosophy " a
second was very early associated. The development of Greek
philosophy came at the time when the naive religious and ethical
consciousness was in process of disintegration. This not only
made the questions as to man s vocation and tasks more and more
important for scientific investigation (cf. below, Part I. ch. 2), but
also made instruction in the right conduct of life appear as an
essential aim, and finally as the main content of philosophy or
science. Thus philosophy in the Hellenistic period received the
practical meaning of an art of life, based upon scientific principles*
a meaning for which the way had already been prepared by the
Sophists and Socrates.
In consequence of this change, purely theoretical interest passed
over to the particular " philosophies," which now in part assumed
the names of their special subjects of research, historical or belong
ing to natural science, while mathematics and medicine kept all the
more rigorously that independence which they had possessed from
the beginning with relation to science in general. 5 The name of
philosophy, however, remained attached to those scientific efforts
which hoped to win from the most general results of human knowl
edge a conviction for the direction of life, and which finally culmi
nated in the attempt (made by Neo-Platonism) to create from such
a philosophy a new religion to replace the old that had been lost. 6
1 A conception which it is well known is of much greater compass than the
English and French " science." [In this translation the words " science" and
" scientific " are used in this larger sense. The term " natural science " will be
used for the narrower meaning which "science " alone often has. If it should
serve to remind the beginner that philosophy and scientific thought should be
one, and that natural science is not aii of science, it may be of value.]
2 Plato, Bfp. 480 B ; Aristotle, Met. VI. 1, 102(5 a 18.
3 Plato, Theiet. 1431). Aristotle sets the doctrine " of Being as such" (the
later so-called Metaphysics) as "First Philosophy" over against the other
"philosophies," and distinguishes further theoretical and practical "philoso
phy." In one passage (Met. I. 6, 987 a 29) he applies the plural < />tXo < ro0/ai also
to the different systems of science which have followed in historical succession,
as we should speak of the philosophies of Kant, Fichte, Hegel, etc.
* Cf. the definition of Epicurus in Sext. Emp. Adv. Math. XI. 169, and on
the other hand that of Seneca, Epist. 89.
5 Cf. below, Part I.
G Hence Proclus, for example, would prefer to have philosophy called
1.] Name and Conception of Philosophy. 3
There was at first little change in these relations, when the remains
of ancient science passed over into the culture of the present peoples
of Europe as the determining forces of their intellectual life. Con
tent and task of that which the Middle Ages called philosophy coin
cided with the conception held by later antiquity. 1 And yet the
meaning of philosophy underwent an essential change by finding
philosophy s task already performed, in a certain sense, by religion.
For religion, too, afforded not only a sure conviction as a rule for
the guidance of personal life, but also in connection with this, a gen
eral theoretical view of all reality, which was the more philosophical
in its character, as the dogmas of Christianity had been formulated
entirely under the influence of ancient philosophy. Under these
circumstances, during the unbroken dominance of Church doctrine,
there remained for philosophy, for the most part, only the position
of a handmaid to ground, develop, and defend dogma scientifically.
But just by this means philosophy came into a certain opposition to
theology as regards method ; for what the latter taught on the
ground of divine revelation, the former was to win and set forth by
means of human knowledge. 2
But the infallible consequence of this relation was, that the freer
individual thinking became in its relation to the Church, the more
independently philosophy began the solution of the problem which
she had in common with religion ; from presentation and defence of
doctrine she passed to its criticism, and finally, in complete inde
pendence of religious interests, sought to derive her teaching from
the sources which she thought she possessed in the "natural light"
of human reason and experience. 3 The opposition to theology, as
regards methods, grew in this way to an opposition in the subject
matter, and modern philosophy as " world-wisdom " set itself over
against Church dogma. 4 However manifold the aspects which this
relation took on, shading from a clinging attachment to a passionate
conflict, the office of " philosophy " remained always that which
1 Cf., for example, Augustine, Solil. I. 7 ; Conf. V. 7; Scotus Erigena, De
Div. Pra>dest. I. 1 (Migne, 358) ; Anselm Proslog., ch. 1. (Migne, I. 227) ;
Abelard, Introd. in Theol. II. 3 ; Raymundus Lullus, De Quinque Sap. 8.
2 Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theol. I. 32, 1 ; Contr. Gent. I. 8 f., II. 1 ff. ;
Duns Scotus, Op. Ox. I. 3, qu. 4 ; Durand de Pounjain, In Sent. Prol., qu. 8 ;
Raymundus of Sabunde, Theol. Natur. Prooem.
3 Laur. Valla, Dialect. Disp. III. 9 ; B. Telesio, De Nat. Rer. Prooem. ; Fr.
Bacon, De Awjm, III. 1 (Works, Spedding, I. 539 = 111. 336); Taurellus,
Philos. Triumph. I. 1 ; Paracelsus, Paragr. (ed. Huser) II. 23 f. ; G. Bruno,
Delia Causa, etc., IV. 107 (Lagarde, I. 272) ; Hobbes, De Corpor. I. (Works,
Molesworth, I. 2 and 6 f.).
4 Characteristic definitions, on the one hand, in Gottsched, Erste Griinde dcr
gesammten Weltweisheit (Leips. 1756), pp. 97 ff. ; on the other hand, in the
article Philosophie, in the Encyclopedie (Vol. XXV. pp. 632 ff.).
antiquity had assigned to it, to supply from scientific insight a
foundation for a theory of the world and of human life, where relig
ion was no longer able to meet this need, or at least to meet it alone.
In the conviction that it was equal to this task, the philosophy of
the eighteenth century, like that of the Greeks, considered it its
right and duty to enlighten men with regard to the nature of things,
and from this position of insight to rule the life of the individual
and of society.
In this position of self-security philosophy was shaken by Kant,
who demonstrated the impossibility of a philosophical (i.e. meta
physical) knowledge of the world beside of or above the individual
sciences, and thereby restricted once more the conception and the
task of philosophy ; for after this quitclaim the realm of philosophy,
as a particular science, was narrowed to just that critical consideration
by Reason of itself, from which Kant had won his decisive insight, and
which needed only to be extended systematically to activities other
than that of knowing. With this function could be united what
Kant 1 called the universal or cosmical conception of philosophy,
its vocation in the practical direction of life.
It is, to be sure, far from true that this new and apparently final
conception of philosophy gained universal acceptance at once. It is
rather the case that the great variety of philosophical movements of
the nineteenth century has left 110 earlier form of philosophy unre-
peated, and that a luxuriant development of the " metaphysical
need " 2 even brought back, for a time, the inclination to swallow up
all human knowledge in philosophy, and complete this again as an
2. In view of these mutations through which the meaning of the
word " philosophy " has passed in the course of time, it seems im
practicable to pretend to gain a general conception of philosophy from
historical comparison. None of those brought forward for this
purpose 3 apply to all those structures of mental activity which
lay claim to the name. Even the subordination of philosophy under
the more general conception " science " is questionable in the case
of those types of teaching which place a one-sided emphasis on the
1 Critique of Pure Reason, A. 839 ; B. 866.
2 Schopenhauer, World as Will and Idea, Vol. II. ch. 17.
3 Instead of criticising particular conceptions it is sufficient here to point to
the widely diverging formulas in which the attempt has been made to perform
this impossible task : cf., for example, only the introductions to works such as
those of Erdinann, Ueberweg, Kuno Fischer, Zeller, etc. All these conceptions
thus determined apply only in so far as the history of philosophy has yielded
the result which they express, but they do not apply with reference to the inten
tions expressed by the philosophers themselves.
1.] Name and Conception of Philosophy. 5
practical significance of their doctrine : ! still less can we define
the subject-matter and form of philosophy considered as a special
science, in a way that shall hold good for all cases. For even aside
from the primitive or the revived standpoint for which philosophy
is a universal science, 2 the attempts to limit it are extremely vari
ous. The problems of natural science form at first almost the sole
objects of interest for philosophy, then for a long period are in
cluded in its scope, and do not separate from it until modern times.
History, on the other hand, has remained an object of indifference to
most philosophical systems, and has emerged as an object of philo
sophical investigation relatively late and in isolated cases. Meta
physical doctrines, again, in which the centre of philosophy is
usually sought, we see either pushed one side at important turning-
points in history or declared to be entirely impossible 3 ; and if at
times the ability of philosophy to determine the life of the indi
vidual or of society is emphasised, a proud standpoint of pure theory
has renounced such a menial occupation. 4
From still another side it has been claimed that philosophy treats
the same subjects as the other sciences, but in another sense and by
another method ; but neither has this specific characteristic of form
historical universality. That there is no such acknowledged his
torical method would of course be no objection if only the endeavour
after such a method were a constant characteristic of all philoso
phies. This is, however, so far from being the case that in fact
many philosophers imprint on their science the method of other
disciplines, e.g. of mathematics or of investigation of nature, 5 while
others will have nothing at all to do with a methodical treatment of
their problems, and regard the philosophic activity as analogous to
the creations of genius in art.
3. From these circumstances is explained also the fact that there
is no fixed relation of philosophy to the other sciences, which is capa
ble of a definition valid for all history. Where philosophy presents
itself as the universal science, the other sciences appear only as its
more or less distinctly separated parts. 6 Where, on the contrary,
philosophy is assigned the task of grasping the results of the par-
1 So in the case of the majority of the philosophers of later antiquity.
2 As for Chr. Wolf ; cf. his Logica, 29 ff.
3 This is especially the case where philosophy is regarded solely as "science
of cognition." Cf., e.g., W. Hamilton in his notes to Reid s works, II. 808.
Among the French at the close of the eighteenth and the beginning of this cen
tury, philosophy = analyse de I entendement humain.
4 E.g. with Plotinus.
5 So Descartes and Bacon.
6 So, for example, in the Hegelian system.
ticular sciences in their general significance, and harmonising them
into a comprehensive knowledge of the world, we have as the result
peculiarly complex relations : in the first place, a dependence of
philosophy upon the existing condition of insight reached in the par
ticular disciplines a dependence which expresses itself principally
in the furtherance of philosophy by the prominent advances made
by individual sciences; 1 in the next place, an influence in the
opposite direction, when philosophy takes part in the work of the
particular sciences. This action is felt as help or as hindrance,
according as the philosophical treatment of the questions embraced
under the particular disciplines sometimes contributes valuable
factors for their solution, by means of its wider range of vision and
its tendency toward unity, 2 but at other times presents itself only
as a duplication which, if it leads to like results, appears useless, or
if it wishes to furnish other results, dangerous. 3
From what has been said it is evident farther, that the relations
of philosophy to the other activities of civilisation are no less close than
its relation to the individual sciences. For the conceptions arising
from the religious and ethical and artistic life, from the life of the
state and of society, force their way everywhere, side by side with
the results won from scientific investigation, into the idea of the
universe which the philosophy of metaphysical tendencies aims to
frame ; and the reason s valuations ( Werthbestimmunyen) and stand
ards of judgment demand their place in that idea the more vigor
ously, just in proportion as it is to become the basis for the practical
significance of philosophy. In this way humanity s convictions and
ideals find their expression in philosophy side by side with its
intellectual insights ; and if these convictions and ideals are regarded,
erroneously often, as gaining thereby the form of scientific intelli
gence, they may receive under certain circumstances valuable clari
fication and modification by this means. Thus this relation also of
philosophy to general culture is not only that of receiving, but also
that of giving.
It is not without interest to consider also the mutations in external position
and social relations which philosophy has experienced. It may be assumed that
science was from the first, with perhaps a few exceptions (Socrates), pursued in
Greece in closed schools. 4 The fact that these, even at a later time, had the form
1 As the influence of astronomy upon the beginnings of Greek, or that of
mechanics upon those of modern, philosophy.
2 The Protestant theology of the nineteenth century stands in this relation
to German philosophy.
3 Cf. the opposition of natural science to Schelling s philosophy of nature.
4 H. Diels, Ueber die altesten Philosophenschulen der Griechen in Philos.
Aufsatze zum Jubilaum E. Zeller s, Leips. 1887, pp. 241 ff.
l.J Name and Conception of Philosophy. 7
of societies with religious laws ! would not in itself alone, in view of the religious
character of all Greek judicial institutions, prove a religious origin of these
schools, but the circumstance that Greek science worked out its contents directly
from religious ideas, and that certain connections with religious cults present
themselves unmistakably in a number of directions, 2 makes it not improbable
that the scientific societies sprang originally from religious unions (the Mys
teries) and continued in a certain connection with them. But when the scien
tific life had developed to complete independence, these connections fell away
and purely scientific schools were founded as free unions of men who, under the
guidance of persons of importance, shared with each other the work of research,
exposition, defence, and polemic, 3 and at the same time had an ethical bond in
a common ideal of the conduct of life.
With the advent of the larger relations of life in the Hellenistic and Roman
period, these unions naturally became loosened, and we frequently meet writers,
especially among the Romans, who are active in the field of philosophy in a
purely individual way, neither members of a school nor professional teachers.
Such were Cicero, Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius. Not until the latest period of
antiquity were the ties of the schools drawn more closely again, as in Neo-
Pythagoreanism and Neo-Platonism.
Among the Romanic and Germanic peoples the course of events has been not
unlike that in the ancient world. The science of the Middle Ages also appears
in the train of the Church civilisation ; it has its seats in the cloister-schools, and
is stimulated toward independent development primarily by questions of religious
interest. In it, too, the oppositions of various religious orders, such as the Do
minicans and Franciscans, assert themselves for a time, and even the freer
scientific associations out of which the universities gradually developed, had
originally a religious background and an ecclesiastical stamp. 4 Hence there
was always but a slight degree of independence with reference to Church doc
trine in this corporate philosophy of the universities, and this held true on into
the eighteenth century for the Protestant universities also, in the foundation
and development of which ecclesiastical and religious interests had a foremost
On the other hand, it is characteristic of the "world-wisdom" or secular
philosophy which was gaining its independence at the beginning of the modern
period, that those who bring and support it are not at all men of the schools,
but men of the world and of life. An escaped monk, a state-chancellor, a
cobbler, a nobleman, a proscribed Jew, a learned diplomat, independent men of
letters and journalists, these are the founders of modern philosophy, and in
accord with this, their work takes for its outer form not the text-book or the
deposit of academical disputations, but the free literary production, the essay.
Not until the second half of the eighteenth century did philosophy again
become corporate, and domesticated in the universities. This took place first
in Germany, where the most favourable conditions were afforded by the rising
independence of the universities, and where a fruitful interchange between
teachers and students of the university was beneficial to philosophy also. 5
1 v. Wilamowitz-Mollendorf, Antigonos von Karystos (Philol. Stud. IV.
Berlin, 1881, pp. 263 ff.).
2 The Pythagoreans, as is well known, offer a pre-eminent example of this ;
but sympathies with the Apollo cultus are plain enough in the Platonic Academy
also. Pfleiderer has lately sought to bring the apparently isolated Heraclitus
into connection with the Mysteries (E. Pfleiderer, Heraklit von Ephesus.
3 Cf. II. Usener, Ueber die Organisation der wissenschaftlichen Arbeit im
Alte.nhum (Preuss. Jahrb., Jahrg. LIII., 1884, pp. 1 ff.), and E. Heitz, Die Philo-
sophenschulen Athens (Deutsche Revue, 1884, pp. 826 ff.).
4 Cf. G. Kaufmann, Geschichte der deutschen Universitdten 1. pp. 98 ff. (Stuttg.
5 Schelling has erected the finest monument to the ideal conception of science
in the activity of German universities, in his Vorlesunyen uber die Methode des
akademischen Studiums (2. and 3. Vorlesung. Ges. Werke, I. Abth., Vol. 5,
pp. 223 ff.).
From Germany this spread to Scotland, England, Franco, and Italy, and in gen
eral it may be said that in the nineteenth century the seat of philosophy is essen
tially to be sought in the universities. 1
In conclusion, the share of the various peoples in the development of philoso
phy deserves a brief mention. As with all developments of European culture,
so with philosophy, the Greeks created it, and the primitive structure of
philosophy due to their creative activity is still to-day an essential basis of the
science. What was added in antiquity by the mixed peoples of Hellenism and
by the Romans does not, in general, amount to more than a special form and
practical adaptation of the Greek philosophy. Only in the religious turn which
this last movement took (cf. below, Part II. ch. 2) do we find something essen
tially new which sprang from the harmonising of national differences in the
Roman Empire. The scientific culture of the Middle Ages was also international,
as is implied in the universal employment of the Latin language. It is with
modern philosophy that the special characters of particular nations first present
themselves as of decisive influence. While the traditions of mediaeval scholas
ticism maintain themselves most vigorously and independently in Spain and
Portugal, the Italians, Germans, English, and French supply the first movements
of the new science which reached its highest point in the classical period of
German philosophy. Compared with these four nations, the rest stand almost
entirely in a receptive attitude ; a certain independence is noticeable, if any
where, in more recent time among the Swedes.