- Software name: appdown
- Software type: Microsoft Framwork
- size: 549MB
In saying that the post-Aristotelian philosophers were not original thinkers, we must guard against the supposition that they contributed nothing of value to thought. On the contrary, while not putting forward any new theories, they generalised some of the principles borrowed from their predecessors, worked out others in minute detail, and stated the arguments on both sides of every controverted point with superior dialectic precision. Thus, while materialism had been assumed as self-evidently true by the pre-Socratic schools, it was maintained by the Stoics and Epicureans on what seemed to be grounds of experience and reason. And, similarly, we find that Plotinus, having arrived at the consciousness that spiritualism is the common ground on which294 Plato and Aristotle stand, the connecting trait which most completely distinguishes them from their successors, proceeds in his second essay436 to argue the case against materialism more powerfully than it had ever been argued before, and with nearly as much effect as it has ever been argued since.We can be warming it up and watching! Larry urged.
Theres the amphibian, Dick muttered. Strandedcracked up, maybe. Butif we could get down and land, we could use her, two of us could, to go to the swamp and see whats therebefore anybody else gets to the life preserver the jewels must have been tied to.
Such, as it seems to us, is the proper spirit in which we should approach the great thinker whose works are to occupy us in this and the succeeding chapter. No philosopher has ever offered so extended and vulnerable a front to hostile criticism. None has so habitually provoked reprisals by his own incessant and searching attacks on all existing professions, customs, and beliefs. It might even be maintained that none has used the weapons of controversy with more unscrupulous zeal. And it might be added that he who dwells so much on the importance of consistency has occasionally denounced and ridiculed the very principles which he elsewhere upholds as demonstrated truths. It was an easy matter for others to complete the work of destruction which he had begun. His system seems at first sight to be made up of assertions, one more outrageous than another. The ascription of an objective concrete separate reality to verbal abstractions is assuredly the most astounding paradox ever173 maintained even by a metaphysician. Yet this is the central article of Platos creed. That body is essentially different from extension might, one would suppose, have been sufficiently clear to a mathematician who had the advantage of coming after Leucippus and Democritus. Their identity is implicitly affirmed in the Timaeus. That the soul cannot be both created and eternal; that the doctrine of metempsychosis is incompatible with the hereditary transmission of mental qualities; that a future immortality equivalent to, and proved by the same arguments as, our antenatal existence, would be neither a terror to the guilty nor a consolation to the righteous:are propositions implicitly denied by Platos psychology. Passing from theoretical to practical philosophy, it might be observed that respect for human life, respect for individual property, respect for marriage, and respect for truthfulness, are generally numbered among the strongest moral obligations, and those the observance of which most completely distinguishes civilised from savage man; while infanticide, communism, promiscuity, and the occasional employment of deliberate deceit, form part of Platos scheme for the redemption of mankind. We need not do more than allude to those Dialogues where the phases and symptoms of unnameable passion are delineated with matchless eloquence, and apparently with at least as much sympathy as censure. Finally, from the standpoint of modern science, it might be urged that Plato used all his powerful influence to throw back physical speculation into the theological stage; that he deliberately discredited the doctrine of mechanical causation which, for us, is the most important achievement of early Greek thought; that he expatiated on the criminal folly of those who held the heavenly bodies to be, what we now know them to be, masses of dead matter with no special divinity about them; and that he proposed to punish this and other heresies with a severity distinguishable from the fitful fanaticism of his native city only by its more disciplined and rigorous application.
No Sandy, said Dick, worried. Do you suppose they?Almost as though he had been able to hear, Sandy knew Jeffs idea.