Page:A Brief History of Modern Philosophy.djvu/18

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
15
RAMUS

of strife and evil. The origin of evil is explained by the fact that a single element of Deity strives to become the whole Deity. This accounts for the profound conflict and the intense suffering in the world through which man and nature are to fight their way through to peace. In this conflict God is not far off: it is indeed his own inner conflict. “Everyone whose heart is filled with love and who leads a compassionate and sweet tempered life, fighting against evil and pressing through the wrath of God into the light, lives with God and is of one mind with God. God requires no other service.”

4. The effort to attain a natural, purely humanistic conception likewise affected the logic of the Renaissance, as well as the psychology, ethics and philosophy of religion. The scholastic logic, by which is meant the logic of the middle ages, was primarily the servant of theology and of jurisprudence; it was adapted to the single purpose of drawing valid conclusions from the presuppositions established by authority. But an effort was now being made to discover the relation which exists between logical rules and natural, spontaneous, informal thought. It was with this end in view that Pierre de la Ramee (Petrus Ramus) attacked the Aristotelian logic (Institutiones Logiciæ, 1554, French Ed. 1555). He was the son of a charcoal burner (born in northern France 1515), and it was by sheer dint of his thirst for knowledge and his indefatigable energy that he forged to the front and enjoyed a most successful career as a teacher in the College of France. Being a Protestant, he fell a victim to the massacre of St. Bartholomew’s night (1572). Ramus called attention to the fact that the earliest philosophers had no formal logic, and that the spontaneous functions of thought are not confined to these men, but that they