Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/124

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120
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY
PROFESSOR BROOKS'S PHILOSOPHY
By Dr. EDWARD GLEASON SPAULDING
PRINCETON UNIVERSITY

WHEN one examines the development of thought from the time of the early Greeks to the present, one finds that science and philosophy have in general ever kept pace in development and that their relation to each other has always been one of mutual and reciprocal suggestiveness. At certain times, of course, it has been the one, at other times, the other that has been dominant in its influence; but at the beginning, granting this to have occurred among the Greeks, neither was first, for both arose and for a considerable period developed together as an organic whole. The subsequent differentiation of problem and of method, although it can not be denied to have had its incipience in ancient thought, was in almost total abeyance up to the time of the Renascence, and is, of course, one of the distinguishing characteristics of modem thought. As a result of, or as identical with, this differentiation, we have to-day not only the great diversity of special sciences, but, as included in these, we have also bodies of systematic knowledge or "doctrines" which to many seem far removed from the practical and the factual. As good examples of such there may be cited the Hegelian philosophy, non-Euclidean geometry, the theory of assemblages, etc. However, not only do such bodies of knowledge or "doctrines" seem to be far removed from an empirical basis, but, more than this, they are often cited as standing in thorough-going opposition to the empirical sciences, and accordingly are frequently treated as pure speculations. To what extent this stigma is a merited one, I will not here discuss, but I shall be content to assert merely that an examination of their development shows clearly that these "doctrines," or whatever they may be called, have grown out of an earlier period of thought in which their progenitors were "near relatives" to the members of the distinctly empirical group. Accordingly, the influence of empiricism is not really lacking in them, but, rather, they are the products of the process of making explicit that which is at least held to be implied or involved in certain systems, philosophical and scientific, which are in direct contact with empirical problems and methods. Thus, as illustrating this and as forming a well-known and generally accepted instance of philosophical development, it may be said that Hegel goes back to Kant, Kant to Hume (in part), Hume to Berkeley, and Berkeley to Locke; and Locke worked out his philosophy, which concerned