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and a stormy endeavour after new forms. How content were our forefathers on their earth, resting in the bounded sphere of the eternally-revolving vault of heaven, and what agitation was excited by the keen current of air that burst in from infinity when Copernicus rent this curtain asunder!
But we are forgetting that we have not yet to set forth the importance of the Aristotelian system in medieval times. In Greece it was only very gradually that it acquired the predominance over all other systems, when, after the close of the classical period which precedes Aristotle, the rich blossoming of scientific activity which began after him, also declined, and the vacillating spirit grasped here also at the strongest prop that seemed to be offered. For a time the star of the Peripatetic School blazed brightly enough beside other stars, but the influence of Aristotle and his doctrine could not prevent the invasion of Materialistic views with exalted force soon after him, nor indeed prevent these from seeking to find points of connection even in his own peculiar system.
MATERIALISM IN GREECE AND ROME AFTER ARISTOTLE:
We have seen in the previous chapter how that progress by antitheses, which Hegel has made so important for the philosophical treatment of history, must always be based upon a general view of all the facts in the history of culture. A tendency, after spreading vigorously and completely permeating its whole epoch, begins to die out, and loses its hold upon new generations. Meanwhile fresh forces arise from other and hitherto invisibly-working currents of thought, and adapting themselves to the changed character of the nations and states, issue a new watchword. A generation exhausts itself in the production of ideas, like the soil which produces the same crop too long; and the richest harvest always springs from the fallow field.
Such an alternation of vigour and exhaustion meets us in the history of Greek Materialism. Materialistic modes of thought dominated the philosophy of the fifth century B.C., the age of Demokritos and Hippokrates. It was toward the end of this century that a spiritual movement was inaugurated by Sokrates, which, after undergoing various modifications in the systems of Plato and Aristotle, dominates the succeeding century.
But again from the school of Aristotle himself there proceeded men like Dikaearchos and Aristoxenos, who denied the substantiality of the soul. And finally there appeared the famous physicist Strato of Lampsakos, whose doctrine, so far as it can be made out from the scanty traditious, is scarcely distinguishable from purely Materialistic views.
The vous of Aristotle Strato regarded as consciousness based upon sensation.55 He supposed the activity of the soul to consist in actual motion. All existence and life he referred to the natural forces inherent in matter.
But although we find that the whole of the third certury is marked by a revival of Materialistic modes of thought, yet Strato's reform of the Peripatetic School does not on this head make good more than a position of compromise. The decisive impulse is given by the system and school of Epikuros; and even his great opponents, the Stoics, in the sphere of physics incline distinctly to Materialistic conceptions. The historical circumstances which prepared the way
for the new influence were the destruction of Greek freedom and the collapse of Hellenic life—that brief but unique flowering - time, at the conclusion of which arises the Athenian philosophy. Sokrates and Plato were Athenians, and men of that genuine Hellenic spirit which was beginning to disappear before their eyes. Aristotle, in point of time and character, stands on the threshold of the transition, but by his resting upon Plato and Sokrates he was closely connected with the preceding period. How intimate are the relations in Plato and Aristotle of ethic to the idea of the state! For the radical reforms of the Platonic state are, like the conservative discussions of the Aristotelian politic, devoted to an ideal which was to offer strong opposition to the rising flood of Individualism. But Individualism was of the essence of the time, and an entirely different stamp of men arises to take control of the thought of the age. Again, it is the outlying districts of the Greek world which produce most of the principal philosophers of the next epoch; but this time, it is true, not the old Hellenic colonies in Ionia and Magna Graecia, but chiefly districts where the Greek element had come in contact with the influences of foreign, and especially Oriental culture.56 The love of positive scientific research became more pronounced again in this era, but the various departments of inquiry began to diverge. Although we never find in antiquity that keen enmity between natural science and philosophy which is so common at present, yet the great names in the two spheres cease to be the same. The connection of men of science with a school of philosophers became much freer; while the chiefs of the schools were no longer inquirers, but were above all things advocates and teachers of their system.
55 As, generally speaking, the most the divine essence which influences familiar form of Materialism among and develops the natural and insethe Greeks was the anthropological, parable human soul, and by which, in so we observe that Aristotle's doc- consequence, the process of thinking trine of the separable, divine, and yet takes place. (Comp. Zeller, iii. 1, 2 individual, soul in man met with the Aufl. S. 712). Amongst the Arabian strongest opposition amongst his suc- interpreters, Averroes in particular cessors in antiquity. Aristoxenos, conceived the doctrine of the penetrathe musician, compared the relation tion of the divine soul into man quite of the soul to the body to that of paytheistically; while contrariwise the harmony to the strings by which it Christian philosophers of the Middle is produced. Dikaearchos, in place Ages carried further than Aristotle of the individual soul-substance, put the individuality and separability of a universal principle of life and sen- the reason, from which they got sation, which becomes only tempora. their immortal anima rationalis rily individualised in corporeal ob- (apart, that is, from the strictly orjects. (Ueberweg, Grund., i. 4 Aufl. thodox doctrine of the Church, which S. 198, E. T., Hist. of Phil., i. p. 183). requires that the immortal soul One of Aristotle's most important in- should include not the reason aloue, terpreters under the empire, Alex. but the lower faculties), so that in ander of Aphrodisias, conceived the this particular too the exact view of separable soul (the voûs TOLNTLKÓs) to Aristotle was scarcely anywhere acbe no portion of the man, but only as cepted.
The practical standpoint which Sokrates had asserted in philosophy allied itself now with Individualism, only to become the more one-sided in consequence. For the supports which religion and public life had previously offered to the consciousness of the individual now completely gave way, and the isolated soul sought its only support in philosophy. So it came about that even the Materialism of this epoch, closely as it also, in the contemplation of nature, leaned upon Demokritos, issued chiefly in an ethical aim-in the liberation of the spirit from doubt and anxiety, and the attaining of a calm and cheerful peacefulness of soul. Yet before we speak of Materialism in the narrower sense of the term (see Note 1), let us here interpose some observations on the Materialism of the Stoics.'
66 Comp. Zeller, iii, 1, 2 Aul., p. 26, E. T. (Reichel, Stoics, &c.), p. 36.
At the first glance we might suppose that there is no more consistent Materialism than that of the Stoics, who explain all reality to consist in bodies. God and the human soul, virtues and emotions, are bodies. There can be no flatter contradiction than that between Plato and the Stoics. He teaches that that man is just who participates in the idea of justice; while, according to the Stoics, he must have the substance of justice in his body.
This sounds Materialistic enough; and yet, at the same time, the distinctive feature of Materialism is here wanting —the purely material nature of matter; the origination of all phenomena, including those of adaptation and spirit, through movements of matter according to universal laws of motion.
The matter of the Stoics possesses the most various forces, and it is at bottom force that makes it what it is in each particular case. The force of all forces, however, is the deity which permeates and moves the whole universe with its influence. Thus deity and undetermined matter stand opposed to each other, as in the Aristotelian system the highest form, the highest energy, and the mere potentiality of becoming everything that form produces from it -that is, God and matter. The Stoics, indeed, have no transcendental God, and no soul absolutely independent of body; yet their matter is thoroughly pervaded, and not merely influenced by soul; their God is identical with the world, and yet he is more than mere self-moving matter; he is the ‘fiery reason of the world, and this reason works that which is reasonable and purposeful, like the reasonstuff' of Diogenes of Apollonia, according to laws which man gathers from his consciousness, and not from his observation of sensible objects. Anthropomorphism, there