A SHORT HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY
ARCH. B. D. ALEXANDER, M.A., D.D.
(Alexander, Archibald Browning Drysdale, 1855-1931)
AUTHOR OF «THE SHAPING FORCES OF MODERN RELIGIOUS THOUGHT», «THE ETHICS OF ST. PAUL», «CHRISTIANITY AND ETHICS,» ETC.
THIRD EDITION – REVISED AND ENLARGED
GLASGOW – MACLEHOSE, JACKSON AND CO.
PUBLISHERS TO THE UNIVERSITY – 1922
Increased attention has been devoted in recent years to historical studies. It will not be assumed that the history of action is worthier of consideration than the history of thought. While a number of books dealing with particular periods of philosophy have been written, it is somewhat remarkable that few, if any, English works have appeared treating of its general history. No subject is more frequently lectured upon in German Universities than the history of philosophy, and many of the larger treatises we possess are the products of such courses of lectures—some of the most notable of these have been made available through translation. But with the exception of Lewes’ Biographical History—a book which is now half a century old, and one written to discredit all philosophy—and a small handbook in the Bohn edition which only came into my hands when my own book was completed—I know of no purely British work which treats of the entire course of European speculation. Though I dare not flatter myself that I have succeeded in supplying the want, it seems to me that there is a need for such a volume. The true introduction to philosophy is its history. For students and those who are interested in the progress of thought it is desirable to have a book of orientation in which one may discover the standpoint and significance of a writer individually and in relation to his times. Such is the aim of this «Short history of philosophy.» I have called it a short history, because, though it seeks to furnish fuller information than may be derived from a mere outline or handbook, it does not profess to compete with larger works, such as those of Erdmann, Zeller or Kuno Fischer.
I have endeavoured to indicate the salient features rather than to give an exhaustive account of the successive systems of philosophy, and have attempted to show the place and influence of each in the evolution of thought.
I have included in the History an account of some German writers who, though not strictly regarded as philosophers, have exercised a powerful influence upon speculative thought as well as upon general culture. I have also devoted a larger space to English and Scottish thinkers than is usually assigned to them in German histories. Finally, I have sought to add to the value of the book by giving a resume of the progress of thought in our own country and on the Continent in the nineteenth century, and by bringing the history of philosophy down to our own day.
It would be impossible to enumerate all the authorities to which I am indebted. I have made use of most of the larger German and French histories, and have consulted many of the writers who treat of special periods. While acknowledging my obligations to Hegel, Erdmann, Windelband, Kuno Fischer, Falckenberg, Zeller, Ferrier, Seth, Adamson, Caird, Green, and others, I may say that in dealing with the more important writers and with many of the lessen I have studied their own works.
A list of the chief writings of each author has been given, but it has not been deemed necessary to cumber the text with a multitude of references.
For the aid of students a fairly full bibliography has been supplied, while an index of names and topics has been added.
But for the kindly interest and helpful suggestion of Professor Jones of Glasgow University, who read some parts of the MS., the book would have been more imperfect than it is. He will allow me the satisfaction, I trust, of recording my sincere thanks.
GLASGOW, May, 1907.
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION
That a second edition of this volume should be called for within little more than a year of its publication indicates that there was need for a book of the kind.
I am gratified with its reception both at home and abroad, and I have to thank private friends and others unknown to me who have made suggestions. In the present edition I have endeavoured to profit by these criticisms. The whole work has been revised and the sections on Greek Philosophy completely rewritten and enlarged, while the closing chapters on recent tendencies have been considerably amplified. I have made use of some additional authorities and consulted others which have appeared since my own volume was published. Of these I may mention in particular Diels’ Doxographi Graeci, Aristotle’s De Anima by Hicks, Burnet’s new edition of Early Greek Philosophy, Adam’s Gifford Lectures on Greek Thinkers, Vorlaender’s Geschichte der Philosophie, James’ Pragmatism, Watson’s Philosophical Basis of Religion, Höffding’s Moderne Philosophen and Siebert’s Geschichte der neueren Deutschen Philosophie. To these authors and to others too numerous to mention I acknowledge my indebtedness.
LANGBANK, October, 1908.
PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION
In responding to the call for a third edition of this volume I have taken the opportunity of bringing the history up to date by rewriting the last chapter under a new title, » Philosophy in the Victorian Era», presenting a fuller view of Mill and the Utilitarians, of Darwin and the Evolution Theory, of Spencer and the Synthetic Philosophy, and of the New Idealism of which Green, Caird, Bradley were the protagonists. I have also added a new chapter which discusses some recent tendencies of the Twentieth Century, such as Bergson’s Creative Evolution, Pragmatism and the Neo-realistic School. In other respects, with the exception of some slight changes in phraseology and a few supplementary paragraphs in different parts of the book in order to bring it into line with recent authorities, the work remains, in form and contents, substantially the same.
If, in the past, the volume has proved in any measure helpful to students of philosophy and others interested in the historical development of thought, I may venture to hope that, in spite of its shortcomings, this «Short History» in its amended form may help to fill the gap which has previously existed in this country between the «Mere outline» and the more elaborate and exhaustive treatises of Continental origin.
Part I. GREEK PHILOSOPHY
SECT. 1. PHYSICAL PERIOD
1. Milesian School
2. Pythagorean School
3. Eleatic School
SECT. 2. MORAL PERIOD
Chap. II. SOCRATES. Cynics and Cyrenaics
SECT. 3. SYSTEMATIC PERIOD
1. General Character and Logic
2. Theoretic Philosophy—Metaphysics and Physics
3. Practical Philosophy—Ethics and Politics
4. Productive Philosophy—Art and Poetry
Part II. PHILOSOPHY IN THE GRECO-ROMAN WORLD
1. Roman Moralists—Seneca, Epictetus, M. Aurelius
2. Alexandrian Mystics—Philo, Plotinus, Proclus
Part III. PHILOSOPHY OF MIDDLE AGES
Anselm, Abelard, Peter Lombard
1. Alexander of Hales, Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas
2. Duns Scotus, Francis of Assisi, William of Occam
Part IV. REVIVAL OF PHILOSOPHY
1. Revival of Learning
3. Rise of Sciences
Bruno, Böhme, Montaigne
Chap. II. REALISTIC TENDENCY
1. Descartes, Individualism
Chap. IV. PANTHEISTIC TENDENCY
Part V. PHILOSOPHY OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT
SECT. I. ENLIGHTENMENT IN BRITAIN
1. Source of Ideas
2. Classification of Ideas
3. Nature and Limits of Knowledge
1. Unreality of Material Things
2. Spiritual Beings alone Real
3. God the Author of Ideas
1. Impressions and Ideas
2. Causality and Association
3. Duty and Utility
Chap. IV. THEOLOGICAL AND ETHICAL QUESTIONS
SECT. 2. ENLIGHTENMENT IN FRANCE
1. Bossuet, Fontenelle, Bayle
2. Montesquieu, Condillac, Helvetius
1. Voltaire, Diderot, D’Alembert
2. La Mettrie, Holbach—’Systeme de la Nature
3. Revolt of Rousseau
SECT. 3. ENLIGHTENMENT IN GERMANY
1. Theory of Monads
2. Pre-established Harmony
3. Theory of Knowledge
4. God and the World
5. Freedom and Morality
Part VI. GERMAN IDEALISM
SECT. I. CRITICAL PHILOSOPHY—KANT
1. Transcendental Aesthetic
2. Transcendental Analytic
3. Transcendental Dialectic
1. Source and Contents of Moral Law
2. Kingdom of Ends and ‘Summum Bonum’
3. Theory of Rights and Duties
1. Aesthetic Judgment
2. Teleological Judgment
3. Views of Religion
SECT. 2. DEVELOPMENT OF IDEALISM
4. Schiller and Humboldt
1. Science of Knowledge
2. Its Theoretic Principles
3. Its Practical Sphere
1. Philosophy of Nature
2. Philosophy of Identity
3. Mythology and Revelation
1. Novalis and Schlegel
2. Baader and Krause
SECT. 3. ABSOLUTE IDEALISM—HEGELIANISM
1. Hegel’s Life and Works
2. Main Features of System
3. Dialectic Method
1. Logic or Science of the Idea
2. Philosophy of Nature
3. Philosophy of the Mind
A. Subjective Spirit
B. Objective Spirit:
a. Law and Morality
b. Social Ethics
c. Philosophy of History
C. Absolute Spirit:
Part VII. MOVEMENTS SINCE HEGEL TO THE PRESENT
1. Influence of Hegelianism
2. Materialistic Tendency—Haeckel
3. Idealistic Tendency
Fechner, Lotze, Hartmann, Wundt
4. Modern Psychology
Dühring, Schuppe, Ritschl
6. Eucken and Activist Tendency
1. Cousin and Eclecticism
2. Comte and Positivism
3. Religious Philosophy
4. Philosophy of Development—Taine, Renan, Fouillée
1. Utilitarianism—Bentham and Mill
2. Evolution—Darwin and Spencer
Maurice, Newman, Martineau
3. Influence of German Idealism
Caird, Green, Bradley, etc.
2. Pragmatism—Wm. James, etc.
Revival of Idealism in Italy
The Philosophy of the Gifford Lectures