Page:A Brief History of Modern Philosophy.djvu/19

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16
THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE RENAISSANCE

can be studied in the mathematicians, the statesmen, the orators, and the poets as well. These observations however still failed to lead Ramus to the founding of a psychology of thought. As a Humanist, he rejoices in the fact that the classical authors could be of service to logic. His own treatment however does not get much beyond the theory of inference, in which he differs but little from Aristotle. A controversy between the Ramists and the Scholastics arose at this time—enlisting France, England, Germany and the North—which contributed greatly to the development of freedom of thought.

Franz Sanchez (1562-1632), a Spaniard, professor of medicine and philosophy at Montpelier and Toulouse, felt the need of substituting a new method for the scholastic logic. He expresses his dissatisfaction with the existing state of knowledge in his book Quod nihil scitur (1581). The further he presses his investigations the greater are the number of difficulties which he finds. Owing to the mutual interdependence of all things, and the infinitude of the universe, he has but little hope of attaining certainty in knowledge. He insists on observation and experiment however, and takes as his motto; Go to the facts themselves. But the ultimate ground of certainty is nevertheless within the human mind itself: no external knowledge can equal the certainty which I have of my own states and actions. On the other hand however this immediate certainty of inner experience is far inferior to the knowledge of external objects in point of clearness and precision.

Bacon’s enthusiastic optimism concerning the future prospects of science presents a sharp contrast to the pessimism of Sanchez. He hoped for great things and devised magnificent plans. He anticipated great ad-