« PreviousContinue »
he has found it necessary to leave these subjects undiscussed, at least for the present. Had the limits of this work allowed of their consideration, he would have endeavoured to show that the view of the character and conditions of theistic proof given in the third lecture of' Theism' affords the only foundation for a true and comprehensive theory of the natural development of religion. In the last volume of his ' Philosophy of History' he will have an opportunity of examining whether the hypotheses as to henotheism, animism, fetichism, spiritism, the succession of the simpler phases of religion, &c., as held by Max Miiller, Mr Spencer, Mr Tylor, Sir John Lubbock, and others, are psychologically well founded and historically justified or not.
Note XXXIII., page 333.
Mr Sully's 'Pessimism' (1877) is the ablest work— whether regarded as a history or a criticism—which has yet been written on the subject of which it treats. It is especially rich in excellent psychological observations and suggestions. In the lecture I have felt constrained strongly to express dissent from Mr Sully on one important point, but I cordially rejoice that there is in our language such a work to which the student of pessimism can be referred.
As to the history of pessimism, besides Mr Sully's first eight chapters, Huber's ' Pessimismus' and Gass's ' Optimismus und Pessimismus' may be consulted.
On Buddhism there are admirable works by Burnouf, Saint Hilaire, Stanislas Julien, Feer, Se"nart, Koppen, Wassiljew, Schiefner, Spence Hardy, Rhys Davids, &c.
The collected edition of Schopenhauer's works by Frauenstädt is in seven volumes. Some translations from them have appeared in the 'Journal of Speculative Philosophy,' edited by W. T. Harris. For biographical information respecting their author see Gwinner's 'Arthur Schopenhauer, aus persönlichen Umgange dargestellt,' Frauenstädt and Lindner's 'Arthur Schopenhauer, von ihm, iiber ihn,' and Miss Zimmern's 'Arthur Schopenhauer.' The German books, pamphlets, lectures, articles, &c., on Schopenhauer and his system are very numerous. Among English criticisms of his philosophy one of the best is Professor Adamson's in 'Mind,' No. 4. There is an excellent French work on 'La Philosophie de Schopenhauer,' by M. Ribot.
Von Hartmann has given us a brief autobiography which will be found in his 'Gesammelte Studien.' His 'Philosophie des Unbewussten' is stereotyped in its seventh edition. The ablest examinations of it known to me are O. Schmidt's ' Naturwissenschaftliche Grundlagen der Philosophie des Unbewussten,' Renouvier's articles in the 'Critique Philosophique,' Annee iii., and Bonatelli's in 'La Filosofia delle Scuole Italiane,' 1875-76. Hartmann published in 1872 an anonymous refutation of his own principles and hypotheses—' Das Unbewusste vom Standpunkt der Physiologie und Descendenztheorie.'
Frauenstädt is, among pessimists, the writer most distinguished by good sense. His 'Briefe uber die Schopenhauerische Philosophie' (1854) and his 'Neue Briefe' (1876) are valuable as expositions and apologies; while works like his 'Das Sittliche Leben,' 'Blicke in die intel. phy. und mor. Welt,' &c., have very considerable merits which are independent of their relation to a system. In the 'Revue Philosophique' for May and July, 1876, there is an essay by Hartmann on 'Schopenhauer et Frauenstadt.'
Bahnsen, to whom reference is made in the lecture, has stated his views in ' Zur Philosophic der Geschichte' (1872), 'Das Tragische als Weltgesetz' (1877), and other works. See regarding him Hartmann's 'Un nouveau disciple de Schopenhauer' in the Rev. Phil., Nos. 1 and 2 for 1876.
Mainlander in his 'Philosophic der Erlosung' (1876) rivals even Bahnsen as an apostle of despair. Says Wundt: "A gloomy melancholy pervades this work, which shows clearly how short a step it is from Schopenhauer's Will-manifestations to a system of mystical emanation. God, it is here set forth, was the original Unity of the world, but He is so no longer, since the world broke up into a multiplicity of particular things. God willed that nought should be, but His essence prevented the immediate coming to pass of nothingness; the world meanwhile behoved to fall asunder into a multiplicity, whose separate entities are all clashing with one another as they struggle to arrive at the state of nothingness. It is not, therefore, the Will-to-live, as Schopenhauer said, that maintains the change of phenomena, but the Will-to-die; and this is coming ever nearer to its fulfilment, since in the mutual struggle of all things the sum-total of force grows ever less. In the view of this author, the highest moral duty is that negation of existence which would cut short the unlimited continuance of individual life in the future by the cessation of all sexual connection."
Taubert, Du Prel, Venetianer, Volkelt, Noire, Von Hellwald, and various other writers in Germany, adhere by slighter or stronger ties to the pessimist philosophy.
The best French work on pessimism is Caro's ' Pessimisme au xixe. Siecle' (1878).
Pessimists dwell, of course, on the sad realities of suffering and death. As to these facts I may refer my readers to the ingenious considerations by which Dr Macvicar endeavours to show that they are not to be regarded as limitations of power, wisdom, or goodness in the Creator. See his 'Sketch of a Philosophy,' Pt. iv. ch. x. This remarkable and profound work has not obtained the attention which it merits.
Note XXXIV., page 341.
Histories Of Panthe1sm.
M. Emile Saisset's 'Essai de Philosophic Religieuse' is, on the whole, the ablest work on pantheism. A good English translation of it, under the title of 'Modern Pantheism,' was published by T. and T. Clark of Edinburgh, in 1863. It does not treat of oriental or classical pantheism. It consists of two parts. The first part contains seven historical studies or treatises with these titles : (1) Theism of Descartes; (2) God in the system of Malebranche; (3) Pantheism of Spinoza; (4) God in the system of Newton; (5) Theism of Leibnitz; (6) Scepticism of Kant; and (7) Pantheism of Hegel. A common
aim connects and unifies these treatises—namely, the endeavour to trace the development and to test the worth of the pantheistic notion of Deity. The second part is composed of nine meditations on the following topics: (1) Is there a God? (2) Is God accessible to reason? (3) Can there be anything but God? (4) God the Creator; (5) Is the world infinite? (6) Providence in the universe; (7) Providence in man; (8) The mystery of suffering; and (9) Religion. The fifth meditation is the most questionable in its reasoning. M. Saisset contends that the infinity of God implies the infinity of the created universe, but only a relative infinity; or, in other words, illimitable extension in time and space. His chief argument for the conclusion is that there is no proportion between a finite creation and an infinite Creator, and hence that the creation must be relatively infinite in order to be worthy of the Creator. Obviously, however, if the argument be good at all, it is good for more than this conclusion. There is no proportion between absolute and relative infinity. If a finite creation cannot be worthy of an absolutely infinite Creator, neither can a relatively infinite creation be worthy of Him; but creation must be an effect completely equal to and exhaustive of its cause; or, in other words, pantheism, against which M. Saisset has so ably contended, must be true. There is a criticism of M. Saisset's work in Dean Hansel's 'Letters, Lectures, and Reviews.'
The 'Essai sur le Panth&me' (1841), by the Abbe" Maret, is a work much inferior to M. Saisset's; but it contains a considerable amount of information, and its reasoning is often judicious and conclusive. It was very favourably received by the Roman Catholic clergy of France, one of its leading ideas being that a denial of