« PreviousContinue »
have been translated by Professor A. E. Gough (Benares, 1873). For general accounts of the system, consult Colebrooke's 'Essays,' and Monier Williams's 'Indian Wisdom.'
The Sankhya system is atheistical, and approaches nearly to materialism, notwithstanding that it affirms the eternity of innumerable distinct souls. It assigns activity and self-consciousness not to soul but to nature. Its general doctrines may be thus summarised: 1°. Its aim is to make impossible human pain by arresting the course of transmigration. 2°. It professes to accomplish this by means of science. 3°. It represents science as consisting of a thorough knowledge of the developed principle or the world, of the undeveloped principle or nature, and of the soul. 4°. It also represents it as a knowledge of twenty-five elements of things and categories of intelligence, which may, however, be all reduced to nature and soul. 5°. It expresses the relations of the twenty-five principles to one another in the following formula : “Nature, root of all, is no product; seven principles are products, and productive; sixteen are products only; soul is neither a product nor productive."
The chief sources of information as to the Sankhya philosophy are accessible to students unacquainted with Sanscrit. Most of the Sutras of Kapila have been translated into French by B. St Hilaire, in the 'Mémoires de l'Institut' for 1852. There is an English translation of the first book, as also of a Hindu commentary on it, by Dr Ballantyne. Of the valuable production called the Karika, there are no less than five European translations
-Lassen's, Panthier's, Windischman's, Colebrooke's, and St Hilaire's. The volume which contains Colebrooke's translation comprises also two commentaries on the Karika,-one by Professor H. H. Wilson; and another, which he has rendered from the vernacular into English, and is, consequently, a book of the highest importance to a student of the Sankhya system. It was published in 1837, under the auspices of the Oriental Society.
There is an article by Dr Muir, on “Indian Materialists,” in the 'Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society,' vol. xix.
NOTE VIII., page 54.
Early GREEK MATERIALISM.
See Mullach's "Fragmenta Philosophorum Graecorum, pp. 340-377, for what remains of the writings of Democritus. The accounts of his system given by Hegel, Zeller, Lange, Grote, and Ferrier may be specified as of exceptional ability and interest.
Lange connects Empedocles with Democritus, on the ground that he was the first to put forth the idea of the gradual natural development of organised beings. Anaximander is better entitled to this distinction. His conception of development was also much more like Darwin's than was that of Empedocles, inasmuch as it supposed an advance from simple to complex forms, or a process of differentiation, whereas the Empedoclean view was that of a combination of heterogeneous organs. If the great merit of a biological hypothesis, however, be, as Lange fancies, the setting aside of the idea of final causes, the latter notion may claim a certain superiority; indeed, from this point of view, absurdity itselt is an advantage. A natural orderly development cannot possibly help to disprove the existence of a final cause or of a supreme reason.
I have elsewhere had occasion to make the following remarks regarding the two philosophers above mentioned : “Anaximander, one of the earliest of Greek philosophers, working out his idea of the Infinite or Unconditioned being the first principle of the universe, arrived both at a sort of rude nebular hypothesis and a sort of rude development hypothesis. From the atelpov, or primitive unconditioned matter, through an inherent and eternal energy and movement, the two original contraries of heat and cold separate : what is cold settles down to the centre, and so forms the earth; what is hot ascends to the circumference, and so originates the bright, shining, fiery bodies of heaven, which are but the fragments of what once existed as a complete shell or sphere, but in time burst and broke up, and so gave rise to the stars. The action of the sun's heat on the watery earth next generated films or bladders, out of which came different kinds of imperfectly organised beings, which were gradually developed into the animals which now live. Man's ancestors were fishlike creatures which dwelt in muddy waters, and only, as the sun slowly dried up the earth, became gradually fitted for life on dry land. A similar view was held by the poet, priest, prophet, and philosopher Empedocles. He taught that out of the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water, and under the moving power of Love resisting Hate, plants, animals, and man were in succession, and after many an effort, and many a futile conjunction of organs, generated and elaborated into their present shapes.”—“Historical Philosophy in France, p. 91, where the authorities for these statements are indicated.
NOTE IX., page 73.
For Epicurus and his doctrines our chief sources of information are the writings of Diogenes Laertius, Lucretius, and Cicero. In the general history of phil. osophy by Maurice, Lewes, Zeller, Ueberweg, &c., Epicureanism is well discussed; also in Lange's 'Geschichte des Materialismus,' and Carrau's 'La Morale Utilitaire' (1875). But probably the most important work on the subject is Guyau's ‘La Morale d'Epicure et ses rapports avec les doctrines contemporaines' (1878).
The study of Lucretius owes much in this country to Munro's masterly edition of the 'De rerum natura.' The literature regarding the greatest poet of materialism is extensive. I must be content to specify the magnificent essay on the genius of Lucretius in Professor Sellar's 'Roman Poets of the Republic;' the thoughtful and beautiful little treatise of Professor Veitch, entitled ‘Lucretius and the Atomic Theory;' and the interesting volume by Mr Mallock in Blackwood's “ Ancient Classics for English Readers."
Note X., page 75.
MATERIALISM IN THE MIDDLE AGES.
Lange devotes eighty pages of his ‘History of Materialism'to the middle ages. He presents to us in them, however, instead of a properly historical narrative and exposition, merely general dissertations on the relation of the monotheistic religions to materialism — on the Aristotelian doctrine of matter and form and its influence on scholasticism-and on the return of materialistic views with the revival of the sciences. It may be a matter of opinion whether these dissertations are profound or superficial, clear or confused; but no person who has made any study of medieval history is likely to regard them as learned. The author obviously knew nothing whatever at first hand, and little even at second hand, concerning medieval writers. Hence he substitutes for them Humboldt and Liebig, J. S. Mill, Sir W. Hamilton, Trendelenburg, Fortlage, &c.
A history of theoretical materialism in the middle ages could not be written, for the simple reason that there was none to write. A historical account might have been given, however, of the course of medieval thought respecting the nature of matter and the problem of its eternity or non-eternity; the materialistic views which were entertained as to the character and origin of life and soul might have been indicated; and the manifestations of ethical materialism during the period might have been described. A considerable amount of information as to the discussion of the problem of the eternity and non-eternity of matter will be found