The Philosophy of Schopenhauer
|The Philosophy Of Schopenhauer (1928)
by Arthur Schopenhauer, edited by Irwin Edman
THE popularity of Schopenhauer with a large unacademic public is easily explained. Part of the explanation is to be found in the extraordinarily vivacious and luxurious discourse that was his medium. He is one of the great German prose writers, and even in translation there is the tang of sense, the pungency of realistic observation in his pages. But there is something more. He seems to the reflective layman to have hit upon the inner essence and divined the essential tragedy of human existence. His philosophy is not the closet dialectic of the schools, though even in the dialectical branches of thought he is nobody's fool; it is philosophy in the old and appealing meaning of wisdom of life. The plain man here recognises something he has long felt and never articulated. This philosophy is the alert, half-sad, half-cynical harvest of a candid eye. That is why lawyers and men of the world, acquainted with the disillusioned realms of experience, why adolescents just waking up from their own dreams, have found in Schopenhauer a philosophy they could feel at home with. Schopenhauer's philosophy is the Pathetique Symphony of nineteenth-century thought. Like that popular piece of musical Weltschmerz, it has its limitations. These any technical student of philosophy is free to point out, as is also any classical critic of the romantic temperament. There is at once in these pages a high hand with the philosophical respectabilities and a soft luxuriance with grief that are the despair of the sober technician in philosophy and the reposeful classicists in literature. But below the carelessness of technique and the irony and pity there is a high, impeccable and irrefutable insight. The Western world has nowhere found a more complete exposition of the essence of things as it appears to those who live by impulse, and the tragedy of things for those who know that impulse must always be partially frustrated, and the life that generates impulse ultimately doomed. Instead of trying, as so many philosophers have tried, to resolve the discords of experience into a smooth and illusory coherence, Schopenhauer faced those discords and built his philosophy upon them. This disillusioning feat of picturesque honesty has impressed those who have found most other philosophies systems of obscure optimism.
The biography of a philosopher is, under the aspect of eternity, irrelevant to his life. What a man says and what that saying signifies is the sole just preoccupation of a philosophical critic. It is, in a profound sense, none of his business why a thinker came to say the things he did or why he chose to say them in the particular fashion for which he is famous. Yet in the case of Schopenhauer, if ever, the life illuminates the doctrine and the philosophy is an expression of the man. The pessimism, the ill-temper, the sallies of poetic insight and of realistic perception, the obsession with the obsession of sex, the fulminations against academic philosophers and the failure to exemplify their virtues, all seem to be functions of the life Schopenhauer led and the man he was. Born at Danzig, on February 22, 1788, he was brought up in the family of a wealthy merchant. A streak of insanity ran in the paternal side of the family, and the death of Schopenhauer's father in a canal at Hamburg seemed to be a suicide. In his life, Schopenhauer was moody, high strung, and so great a lover of liberty that when the free city of Danzig lost its independence to Poland, in 1793, he moved to Hamburg. Schopenhauer's mother, one of the popular novelists of her day, on her husband's death moved to Weimar, where her salon became the center of the intellectual and literary colony gathered there. Schopenhauer and his mother could not bear each other's company, and after a definite quarrel during which the mother pushed her son downstairs, he left Weimar, never to see his mother again.
Schopenhauer, on his father's death, took a course in the Gymnasium; later, on an allowance from his mother, a university course. During this intellectual education, he lived the life of a worldling and a man about town. He was almost influenced by Fichte to join a war of liberation against Napoleon, but he himself thought that "Napoleon only gave untrammelled and concentrated utterance to that self-assertion and lust for more life which weaker mortals feel, but most perforce disguise."
Schopenhauer won his doctor's degree by his dissertation on the fourfold root of sufficient reason, published in 1833, which turned out to be the cornerstone of his system. This book is the intellectual foundation of his major work, "The World as Will and Idea." It is a clear analysis of the principle of causation, in its physical, logical, and metaphysical senses. The first edition of Schopenhauer's masterpiece attracted comparatively no attention. In 1836 "The Will in Nature" was published, in 1844 the enlarged edition of "The World as Will and Idea." His final two works were the "Ground Problem of Ethics," published in 1841, and two substantial volumes of "Parerga et Paralipomena," translated into English as the "Essays."
Schopenhauer had a brief, inglorious adventure into academic life. In 1822 he was invited to lecture at the University of Berlin as Privat Docent. Choosing the same hours as Hegel, then the reigning lord in philosophy, he found his classrooms empty of students. He resigned in disgust, and, a little later, fleeing the cholera epidemic in Berlin, went to Frankfort, where he settled down for the remainder of his life. He died there at seventy-two. He lived modestly on an income from an interest in his father's firm, travelled a little in Italy, but for the most part lived out his life in a boarding house, having for his sole friend and companion a dog. Despite the fact that the universities ignored him, his philosophy gained fame, and what is more, an ardent personal following among men of affairs and men of the world. Praise came to him from Wagner for his philosophy of music and from Nietzsche for his philosophy of will. At seventy, he was a world figure. At seventy-two he died alone, on September 21, 1860.
There is little in his life to stir one to personal admiration. It is that of a rather sharp, vain recluse, haunted in his earlier years by sex, in his later ones by the lust for fame and an embittered contempt of his academic contemporaries. His fears of poison and of violence, his ungoverned fury about women, his cynical underscoring of all the seamy sides of human conduct, the absence in his life of every tie of affection, do not make an amiable figure. But on the credit side must be placed a genuine metaphysical zeal, a fanatic devotion to his conception of truth, and the passion of a romantic poet.
The philosophy of Schopenhauer takes its cue, almost borrows its technique, from Kant. The latter had instituted "A Copernican revolution" in philosophy by declaring that the apparent structure of nature was truly a structure of appearance: the forms of understanding constituted the apparent order of things. Schopenhauer agreed with Kant, on this general point, and gave the point his own formulation. "All the furniture of Heaven and earth was an appearance whose constitution was determined by the principle of sufficient reason, that fourfold form of those connections by which the understanding understood," and in understanding which it constituted the phenomenal world. The whole apparently so solid world of matter is simply the nexus of things in time and space, a nexus which is simply another name for the law of causation, itself an unescapable form of the understanding. It is unnecessary to follow Schopenhauer in his detailed analysis of the forms of the principle of sufficient reason, those orders of physical, logical, mathematical, and moral determinants which regulate our knowledge of, which constitute and guarantee the nature of, the world of phenomena. It is unnecessarily superfluous for the understanding of his position to trace his analysis of perception and conception and the relation between them. The whole of Book I, which is concerned with these, is done with engaging lucidity, though its analysis of mathematics is questionable. But the whole of it is aimed to make just one fundamental point. It is the logical prelude to a discussion of the realm of the real. It is an analysis of that intellectual schema of the mind which confines knowledge always to knowledge of appearances.
It is a critique of the world that knowledge reveals. The objective world which seems indeed so objective is indeed truly so. It is object for a subject, and the nature of its objectivity is determined by the nature of that knowledge which the subject may have. The whole of that cosmos which the materialist boasts to be matter, is matter surely enough. But matter is itself simply another name for causation; causation is the union of space and time; space and time are forms of understanding; save that they are the subject's avenues of knowledge, there would be no matter. The world, for each individual, is his "idea" of it. It is not in that "world as idea" that reality is to be found. Reality in the ordinary sense is unknowable, since what is knowable is only the order of appearances. This whole external world is simply a construction of the intellect, and the intellect is simply the instrument that arises in the service of that inner reality which each of us experiences as the desire which he is aware of in his own body, in his physical tensions, in his unconscious strivings, in his will. That Will, which alone is immediately known to us, is recognised, too, in Nature. From the gull of gravitation and the tendency of crystals to form a pattern, from the movements of the stars to the consciously directed volitions of man, the inner nature of things is not that world which the intellect knows, but that Will which the individual experiences in his own blind impulses and which he finds exemplified and repeated on a cosmic scale in the inner processes of Nature.
Kant had found the Reality in an Unknowable that was posited as an act of practical reason or Faith. For Schopenhauer, the Unknowable Reality is that Will in the interests of which Knowledge arises, that Will which is a blind striving, in whose service the slavish intellect constructs a practical and illusive world. It is a will toward no rational end. It is a blind will to live. In human beings it cloaks itself with sophistries of intellect and rational excuses. In brute and in unconscious nature, it operates with naked blindness.
"Spinoza says that if a stone which has been projected through the air, had consciousness, it would believe that it was moving of its own free will. I add this only, that the stone would be right. The impulse given it is for the stone what the motive is for me, and what in the case of the stone appears as cohesion, gravitation, rigidity, is in its inner nature the same as that which I recognise in myself as will, and what the stone also, if knowledge were given to it, would recognise as will."
Schopenhauer recognises several important facts as pointing toward the universal and unified reality that is the Will. One is inner teleology, the harmonious connivances of organs to the fulfillment of an end; another is the recognisable types and unities in all the multifarious variety of transient individuals that to knowledge constitute the picture of Nature. Individuals vary in time and space; they are variables and temporal instances of those invariant eternal grades of objectification in which the unitary and universal Will manifests itself.
"Schopenhauer finds two grounds for pessimism in the fact that the blind striving will is the inner reality of nature and the essence of life. Those two grounds for pessimism lie first in the fact that the will is doomed to privation. It is striving because it is unfulfilled. Secondly, where it does find fulfillment, that fulfillment turns out to be illusion. Schopenhauer sings a long dirge of sadness, a long lugubrious description of the way in which the human will oscillates between suffering and boredom. Half of life is the stinging pain of frustration, the other half the dull pain of boredom. Schopenhauer is the apotheosis of romantic irony expressing a romantic disgust over a world that does not meet the needs of the assertive will, and the irony of that will which finds the emptiness of what it thought it needed.
There is nothing for Schopenhauer, then, but to seek some method of salvation and escape. Happiness is impossible since where one thought one was going to obtain it, one finds nothing but unhappiness. The most that one can hope for is a Quietistic redemption. That is possible for brief moments in the world of Art, for the world of Art as Schopenhauer describes it in his Book III is the world as Platonic idea. In the quite momentary contemplation of Art and in the productions of genius the human will recognises those eternal grades of the will, its changeless essences which outlive the vicissitudes of change itself, and are shining and implacable archetypes in which the will may escape change and time, suffering and disillusion. In the rapt contemplation of the sculptured essence of man, men may escape the restless striving of their own souls and the restless and innumerable temporal vanities of individual men. In the experience of the eternal types and patterns of love in lyric poetry men may escape the pains and frustrations of their own transient loves and tragedies of life. And in the flow and movement of music the will recognises in the intimate and poignant stream of sound its own intimate and poignant life. If the plastic and the literary arts reveal the eternal forms of the world, it is in music that the will itself is immediately rendered. And so for Schopenhauer music is the most perfect and successful of the arts since it reveals the will with immediacy and urgency to itself.
But the arts provide only moments of escape. From the changing and distracting world of time they permit brief flights into the timeless and will-less perception of artistic contemplation. Scientific and practical knowledge are bounded by the provincial demands, personal cravings, the temporal distractions of the will. In the arts one escapes at once the world of illusion that is the world of knowledge, the world of pain and disillusion, that is the world as will. But one escapes for moments only, one returns with increased bitterness with the world of things in time and space to the rude pressure of desire. There must if one is to attain this, if not happiness, be a more radical way of escape. That is provided in Schopenhauer's analysis not by the momentary escape of the esthete, but by the eternal escape of the ascetic. Since the world out of which all pain and ennui flow is itself an objectification of the will, if one defies the will, one denies the world. To become profoundly and radically ascetic is the way to peace and to Nirvana. By a radical denial of the world, one escapes the world, for with the denial of the will the world is destroyed. That radical denial is possible through the discovery that Buddha, from whom Schopenhauer learned so much, made so long ago. When through the insight of sympathy it is recognised that one's own sufferings are part of that universal suffering which is the penalty of the assertion of a blind will doomed to frustration, then the futility of one's own will against that of others, then the misery involved in the assertion of will at all becomes evident. Insight produces sympathy and sympathy produces saintliness. The artist and the ascetic escape from the world into a momentary and paradisaical vision of the eternal quietudes of the arts. A saint escapes by reducing the world to nothingness, the denial of his own imperious and blind and indubitably frustrative will. To become a saint by abnegation is to be at peace. Suicide which might seem a more easy and immediate escape is for Schopenhauer no escape at all, for suicide is simply a more emphatic and petulant assertion of the will. It is a distraction of the body which is simply one instance of the will; it is not the denial of that universal blind striving will which is the source of all suffering. Schopenhauer offers us the choice of two ways out of the sufferings and disillusions of life. One, the amiable transient way of the fine arts; two, the sanctified and eternal way of the saint.
"The World as Will and Idea" is of course Schopenhauer's masterpiece, but his "Essays," too, have had a singular power of suasion, illumination and charm to innumerable readers whom the ordinary academic philosopher can neither persuade, illuminate nor charm. Some of his essays are famous for a kind of obstreperous cynicism such as his essay on women; some are notable for their sudden incisive light on intellectual method or conception as in his essay on history, But it is his major work that will always remain of the chiefest interest. For all of its extravagance or perhaps because of it he will remain the urbane spokesman of all those who remain throughout life at once wistful and disillusioned, and recognise the facts of experience and wish that they were not so. His rank as a metaphysician has never been very high, his idealism is both second hand and largely borrowed from Kant, and for all its parade of logical apparatus, it is none too consistent or convincing. His delineation of the characteristic dilemma of the romantic will which can never get what it wants and can never love what it gets is unsurpassed in the history of thought. His pages on the insight of genius and the quality of aesthetic perception, his luminous suggestions on the art of music, his dramatic and vivid rendering of that pity and that negation which constitute the life of saintliness will give him a permanent place.
He was the first one, too, in the history of thought emphatically to insist on the primacy of will over intellect, on the instrumental character of mind in life and in philosophy. He started a movement to which James, Bergson, and Dewey owe not a little. And he combines in his writings the elements of three usually distinct and disparate personalities, a man of the world, a man of thought, and a man of letters. The net result in his case was one of the unparalleled works of art in the history of philosophy; "The World as Will and Idea" remains a piece of speculative literature by a writer with the imagination of a poet and the precision of an observing realist. It was his imagination that, borrowing its materials from Kantian idealism, constructed a highly romantic metaphysical world; it was his realism that gave him a sense of the suffering, injustices, and disillusions of life. It is this combination that has made him appeal at once to the perpetual adolescence of life and to hard-headed middle-aged realists. He remains one of the very great second-raters in the history of European thought, and a permanent exposition of that mood which beginning with the self frets at an unsatisfactory cosmos, and in the midst of which it does not seek what seems impossible happiness, but from which it tries to escape to a heaven of quietude and peace. It is a quaint irony that Schopenhauer, at heart a cynical epicurean, should have become the vade mecum of the aesthete and the spiritual ascetic. In whatever quarrels one may find with his philosophy, his prose will always remain immitigably convincing. NEW YORK, IRWIN EDMAN, May, 1928.
THE WORLD AS IDEA
THE IDEA SUBORDINATED TO THE PRINCIPLE OF SUFFICIENT REASON: THE OBJECT OF EXPERIENCE AND SCIENCE
Sors de l'enfance, ami reveille toi! - Jean Jacques Rousseau.
"THE world is my idea": -this is a truth which holds good for everything that lives and knows, though man alone can bring it into reflective and abstract consciousness. If he really does this, he has attained to philosophical wisdom. It then becomes clear and certain to him that what he knows is not a sun and an earth, but only an eye that sees a sun, a hand that feels an earth; that the world which surrounds him is there only as idea, i.e., only in relation to something else, the consciousness, which is himself. If any truth can be asserted a priori, it is this: for it is the expression of the most general form of all possible and thinkable experience: a form which is more general than time, or space, or causality, for they all presuppose it; and each of these, which we have seen to be just so many modes of the principle of sufficient reason, is valid only for a particular class of ideas; whereas the antithesis of object and subject is the common form of all these classes, is that form under which alone any idea of whatever kind it may be, abstract or intuitive, pure or empirical, is possible and thinkable. No truth therefore is more certain, more independent of all others, and less in need of proof than this, that all that exists for knowledge, and therefore this whole world, is only object in relation to subject/perception of a perceiver, in a word, idea. This is obviously true of the past and the future, as well as of the present, of what is farthest off, as of what is near; for it is true of time and space themselves, in which alone these distinctions arise. All that in any way belongs or can belong to the world is inevitably thus conditioned through the subject, and exists only for the subject. The world is idea.
This truth is by no means new. It was implicitly involved in the sceptical reflections from which Descartes started. Berkeley, however, was the first who distinctly enunciated it, and by this he has rendered a permanent service to philosophy, even though the rest of his teaching should not endure. Kant's primary mistake was the neglect of this principle, as is shown in the appendix. How early again this truth was recognised by the wise men of India, appearing indeed as the fundamental tenet of the Vedanta philosophy ascribed to Vyasa, is pointed out by Sir William Jones in the last of his essays: "On the philosophy of the Asiatics" (Asiatic Researches, vol. iv., p. 164), where he says, "The fundamental tenet of the Vedanta school consisted not in denying the existence of matter, that is, of solidity, impenetrability, and extended figure (to deny which would be lunacy), but in correcting the popular notion of it, and in contending that it has no essence independent of mental perception; that existence and perceptibility are convertible terms." These words adequately express the compatibility of empirical reality and transcendental ideality.
In this first book, then, we consider the world only from this side, only so far as it is idea. The inward reluctance with which any one accepts the world as merely his idea, warns him that this view of it, however true it may be, is nevertheless one-sided, adopted in consequence of some arbitrary abstraction. And yet it is a conception from which he can never free himself. The defectiveness of this view will be corrected in the next book by means of a truth which is not so immediately certain as that from which we start here; a truth at which we can arrive only by deeper research and more severe abstraction, by the separation of what is different and the union of what is identical. This truth, which must be very serious and impressive if not awful to every one, is that a man can also say and must say, "the world is my will."
In this book, however, we must consider separately that aspect of the world from which we start, its aspect as knowable, and therefore, in the meantime, we must, without reserve, regard all presented objects, even our own bodies (as we shall presently show more fully), merely as ideas, and call them merely ideas. By so doing we always abstract from will (as we hope to make clear to every one further on), which by itself constitutes the other aspect of the world. For as the world is in one aspect entirely idea, so in another it is entirely will. A reality which is neither of these two, but an object in itself (into which the thing in itself has unfortunately dwindled in the hands of Kant), is the phantom of a dream, and its acceptance is an ignis fatuus in philosophy.
That which knows all things and is known by none is the subject. Thus it is the supporter of the world, that condition of all phenomena, of all objects which is always presupposed throughout experience; for all that exists, exists only for the subject. Every one finds himself to be subject, yet only in so far as he knows, not in so far as he is an object of knowledge. But his body is object, and therefore from this point of view we call it idea. For the body is an object among objects, and is conditioned by the laws of objects, although it is an immediate object. Like all objects of perception, it lies within the universal forms of knowledge, time and space, which are the conditions of multiplicity. The subject, on the contrary, which is always the knower, never the known, does not come under these, forms, but is presupposed by them; it has therefore neither multiplicity nor its opposite unity. We never know it, but it is always the knower wherever there is knowledge.
So then the world as idea, the only aspect in which we consider it at present, has two fundamental, necessary, and inseparable halves. The one half is tile object, the forms of which are space and time, and through these multiplicity. The other half is the subject, which is not in space and time, for it is present, entire and undivided, in every percipient being. So that any one percipient being, with the object, constitutes the whole world as idea just as fully as the existing millions could do; but if this one were to disappear, then the whole world as idea would cease to be. These halves are therefore inseparable even for thought, for each of the two has meaning and existence only through and for the other, each appears with the other and vanishes with it. They limit each other immediately; where the object begins the subject ends. The universality of this limitation is shown by the fact that the essential and hence universal forms of all objects, space, time, and causality, may, without knowledge of the object, be discovered and fully known from a consideration of the subject, i.e. in Kantian language, they lie a priori in our consciousness. That he discovered this is one of Kant's principal merits, and it is a great one. I however go beyond this, and maintain that the principle of sufficient reason is the general expression for all these forms of the object of which we are a priori conscious; and that therefore all that we know purely a priori is merely the content of that principle and what follows from it; in it all our certain a priori knowledge is expressed. In my essay on the principle of sufficient reason I have shown in detail how every possible object comes under it; that is, stands in a necessary relation to other objects, on the one side as determined, on the other side as determining: this is of such wide application, that the whole existence of all objects, so far as they are objects, ideas and nothing more, may be entirely traced to this their necessary relation to each other, rests only in it, is in fact merely relative; but of this more presently. I have further shown, that the necessary relation which the principle oi sufficient reason expresses generally, appears in other forms corresponding to the classes into which objects are divided, according to their possibility; and again that by these forms the proper division of the classes is tested. I take it for granted that what I said in this earlier essay is known and present to the reader, for if it had not been already said it would necessarily find its place here.
The chief distinction among our ideas is that between ideas of perception and abstract ideas. The latter form just one class of ideas, namely concepts, and these are the possession of man alone of all creatures upon earth. The capacity for these, which distinguishes him from all the lower animals, has always been called reason. We shall consider these abstract ideas by themselves later, but, in the first place, we shall speak exclusively of the ideas of perception. These comprehend the whole visible world, or the sum total of experience, with the conditions of its possibility. We have already observed that it is a highly important discovery of Kant's, that these very conditions, these forms of the visible world, i.e., the absolutely universal element in its perception, the common property of all its phenomena, space and time, even when taken by themselves and apart from their content, can, not only be thought in the abstract, but also be directly perceived; and that this perception or intuition is not some kind of phantasm arising from constant recurrence in experience, but is so entirely independent of experience that we must rather regard the latter as dependent on it, inasmuch as the qualities of space and time, as they are known in a priori perception or intuition, are valid for all possible experience, as rules to which it must invariably conform. Accordingly, in my essay on the principle of sufficient reason, I have treated space and time, because they are perceived as pure and empty of content, as a special and independent class of ideas. This quality of the universal forms of intuition, which was discovered by Kant, that they may be perceived in themselves and apart from experience, and that they may be known as exhibiting those laws on which is founded the infallible science of mathematics, is certainly very important. Not less worthy of remark, however, is this other quality of time and space, that the principle of sufficient reason, which conditions experience as the law of causation and of motive, and thought as the law of the basis of judgment, appears here in quite a special form, to which I have given the name of the ground of being. In time, this is the succession of its moments, and in space the position of its parts, which reciprocally determine each other ad infinitum.
Any one who has fully understood from the introductory essay the complete identity of the content of the principle of sufficient reason in all its different forms, must also be convinced of the importance of the knowledge of the simplest of these forms, as affording him insight into his own inmost nature. This simplest form of the principle we have found to be time. In it each instant is, only in so far as it has effaced the preceding one, its generator, to be itself in turn as quickly effaced. The past and the future (considered apart from the consequences of their content) are empty as a dream, and the present is only the indivisible and unenduring boundary between them. And in all the other forms of the principle of sufficient reason, we shall find the same emptiness, and shall see that not time only but also space, and the whole content of both of them, i.e., all that proceeds from causes and motives, has a merely relative existence, is only through and for another like to itself, i.e., not more enduring. The substance of this doctrine is old: it appears in Heraclitus when he laments the eternal flux of things; in Plato when he degrades the object to that which is ever becoming, but never being; in Spinoza as the doctrine of the mere accidents of the one substance which is and endures. Kant opposes what is thus known as the mere phenomenon to the thing in itself. Lastly, the ancient wisdom of the Indian philosophers declares, "It is Maya, the veil of deception, which blinds the eyes of mortals, and makes them behold a world of which they cannot say either that it is or that it is not: for it is like a dream; it is like the sunshine on the sand which the traveller takes from afar for water, or the stray piece of rope he mistakes for a snake." (These similes are repeated in innumerable passages of the Vedas and the Puranas.) But what all these mean, and that of which they all speak, is nothing more than what we have just considered the world as idea subject to the principle of sufficient reason.
Whoever has recognised the form of the principle of sufficient reason, which appears in pure time as such, and on which all counting and arithmetical calculation rests, has completely mastered the nature of time. Time is nothing more than that form of the principle of sufficient reason, and has no further significance. Succession is the form of the principle of sufficient reason in time, and succession is the whole nature of time. Further, whoever has recognised the principle of sufficient reason as it appears in the presentation of pure space, has exhausted the whole nature of space, which is absolutely nothing more than that possibility of the reciprocal determination of its parts by each other, which is called position. The detailed treatment of this, and the formulation in abstract conceptions of the results which flow from it, so that they may be more conveniently used, is the subject of the science of geometry. Thus also, whoever has recognised the law of causation, the aspect of the principle of sufficient reason which appears in what fills these forms (space and time) as objects of perception, that is to say, matter, has completely mastered the nature of matter -as such, for matter is nothing more than causation, as any one will see at once if he reflects. Its true being is its action, nor can we possibly conceive it as having any other meaning. Only as action does it fill space and time; its action upon the immediate objects (which is itself matter) determines that perception in which alone it exists. The consequence of the action of any material object upon any other, is known only in so far as the latter acts upon the immediate object in a different way from that in which it acted before; it consists only of this. Cause and effect thus constitute the whole nature of matter; its true being is its action. (A fuller treatment of this will be found in the essay on the Principle of Sufficient Reason, 21, p. 77.) The nature of all material things is therefore very appropriately called in German Wirklichkeit a word which is far more expressive than Realitat. Again, that which is acted upon is always matter, and thus the whole being and essence of matter consists in the orderly change, which one part of it brings about in another part. The existence of matter is therefore entirely relative, according to a relation which is valid only within its limits, as in the case of time and space.
But time and space, each for itself, can be mentally presented apart from matter, whereas matter cannot be so presented apart from time and space. The form which is inseparable from it presupposes space, and the action in which its very existence consists, always imports some change, in other words a determination in time. But space and time are not only, each for itself, presupposed by matter, but a union of the two constitutes its essence, for this, as we have seen, consists in action, i.e., in causation. All the innumerable conceivable phenomena and conditions of things, might be co-existent in boundless space, without limiting each other, or might be successive in endless time without interfering with each other: thus a necessary relation of these phenomena to each other, and a law which should regulate them according to such a relation, is by no means needful, would not, indeed, be applicable: it therefore follows that in the case of all co-existence in space and change in time, so long as each of these forms preserves for itself its condition and its course without any connection with the other, there can be no causation, and since causation constitutes the essential nature of matter, there can be no matter. But the law of causation receives its meaning and necessity only from this, that the essence of change does not consist simply in the mere variation of things, but rather in the fact that at the same part of space there is now one thing and then another, and at one and the same point of time there is here one thing and there another: only this reciprocal limitation of space and time by each other gives meaning, and at the same time necessity, to a law, according to which change must take place. What is determined by the law of causality is therefore not merely a succession of things in time, but this succession with reference to a definite space, and not merely existence of things in a particular place, but in this place at a different point of time. Change, i.e., variation which takes place according to the law of causality, implies always a determined part of space and a determined part of time together and in union. Thus causality unites space with time. But we found that the whole essence of matter consisted in action, i.e., in causation, consequently space and time must also be united in matter, that is to say, matter must take to itself at once the distinguishing qualities both of space and time, however much these may be opposed to each other, and must unite in itself what is impossible for each of these independently, that is, the fleeting course of time, with the rigid unchangeable perduration of space: infinite divisibility it receives from both. It is for this reason that we find that co-existence, which could neither be in time alone, for time has no contiguity, nor in space alone, for space has no before, after, or now, is first established through matter. But the co-existence of many things constitutes, in fact, the essence of reality, for through it permanence first becomes possible; for permanence is only knowable in the change of something which is present along with what is permanent, while on the other hand it is only because something permanent is present along with what changes, that the latter gains the special character of change, i.e., the mutation of quality and form in the permanence of substance, that is to say, in matter. If the world were in space alone, it would be rigid and immovable, without succession, without change, without action; but we know that with action, the idea of matter first appears. Again, if the world were in time alone, all would be fleeting, without persistence, without contiguity, hence without co-existence, and consequently without permanence; so that in this case also there would be no matter. Only through the union of space and time do we reach matter, and matter is the possibility of co-existence, and, through that, of permanence; through permanence again matter is the possibility of the persistence of substance in the change of its states. As matter consists in the union of space and time, it bears throughout the stamp of both. It manifests its origin in space, partly through the form which is inseparable from it, but especially through its persistence (substance), the a priori certainty of which is therefore wholly deducible from that of space (for variation belongs to time alone, but in it alone and for itself nothing is persistent). Matter shows that it springs from time by quality (accidents), without which it never exists, and which is plainly always causality, action upon other matter, and therefore change (a time concept). The law of this action, however, always depends upon space and time together, and only thus obtains meaning. The regulative function of causality is confined entirely to the determination of what must occupy this time and this space. The fact that we know a priori the unalterable characteristics of matter, depends upon this derivation of its essential nature from the forms of our knowledge of which we are conscious a priori.
But as the object in general is only for the subject, as its idea, so every special class of ideas is only for an equally special quality in the subject, which is called a faculty of perception. This subjective correlative of time and space, in themselves as empty forms, has been named by Kant pure sensibility; and we may retain this expression, as Kant was the first to treat of the subject, though it is not exact, for sensibility presupposes matter. The subjective correlative of matter or of causation, for these two are the same, is understanding, which is nothing more than this. To know causality is its one function, its only power; and it is a great one, embracing much, of manifold application, yet of unmistakable identity in all its manifestations. Conversely all causation, that is to say, all matter, or the whole of reality, is only for the understanding, through the understanding, and in the understanding. The first, simplest, and ever-present example of understanding is the perception of the actual world. This is throughout knowledge of the cause from the effect, and therefore all perception is intellectual. The understanding could never arrive at this perception, however, if some effect did not become known immediately, and thus serve as a starting-point. But this is the affection of the animal body. So far, then, the animal body is the immediate object of the subject; the perception of all other objects becomes possible through it. The changes which every animal body experiences, are immediately known, that is, felt; and as these effects are at once referred to their causes, the perception of the latter as objects arises. This relation is no conclusion in abstract conceptions; it does not arise from reflection, nor is it arbitrary, but immediate, necessary, and certain. It is the method of knowing of the pure understanding,' without which there could be no perception; there would only remain a dull plant-like consciousness of the changes of the immediate object, which would succeed each other in an utterly unmeaning way, except in so far as they might have a meaning for the will either as pain or pleasure. But as with the rising of the sun the visible world appears, so at one stroke, the understanding, by means of its one simple function, changes the dull, meaningless sensation into perception. What the eye, the ear, or the hand feels, is not perception; it is merely its data. By the understanding passing from the effect to the cause, the world first appears as perception extended in space, varying in respect of form, persistent through all time in respect of matter; for the understanding unites space and time in the idea of matter, that is, causal action. As the world as idea exists only through the understanding, so also it exists only for the understanding.
It is needful to guard against the grave error of supposing that because perception arises through the knowledge of causality, the relation of subject and object is that of cause and effect. For this relation subsists only between the immediate object and objects known indirectly, thus always between objects alone. It is this false supposition that has given rise to the foolish controversy about the reality of the outer world; a controversy in which dogmatism and scepticism oppose each other, and the former appears, now as realism, now as idealism. Realism treats the object as cause, and the subject as its effect. The idealism, of Fichte reduces the object to the effect of the subject. Since however, and this cannot be too much emphasised, there is absolutely no relation according to the principle of sufficient reason between subject and object, neither of these views could be proved, and therefore scepticism attacked them both with success. Now, just as the law of causality precedes perception and experience as their condition, and therefore cannot (as Hume thought) be derived from them, so object and subject precede all knowledge, and hence the principle of sufficient reason in general, as its first condition; for this principle is merely the form of all objects, the whole nature and possibility of their existence as phenomena: but the object always presupposes the subject; and therefore between these two there can be no relation of reason and consequent. My essay on the principle of sufficient reason accomplishes just this: it explains the content of that principle as the essential form of every object that is to say, as the universal nature of all objective existence, as something which pertains to the object as such; but the object as such always presupposes the subject as its necessary correlative; and therefore the subject remains always outside the province in which the principle of sufficient reason is valid. The controversy as to the reality of the outer world rests upon this false extension of the validity of the principle of sufficient reason to the subject also, and starting with this mistake it can never understand itself. On the one side realistic dogmatism, looking upon the idea as the effect of the object, desires to separate these two, idea and object, which are really one, and to assume a cause quite different from the idea, an object in itself, independent of the subject, a thing which is quite inconceivable; for even as object it presupposes subject, and so remains its idea. Opposed to this doctrine is scepticism, which makes the same false presupposition that in the idea we have only the effect, never the cause, therefore never real being; that we always know merely the action of the object. But this object, it supposes, may perhaps have no resemblance whatever to its effect, may indeed have been quite erroneously received as the cause, for the law of causality is first to be gathered from experience, and the reality of experience is then made to rest upon it. Thus both of these views are open to the correction, firstly, that object and idea are the same; secondly, that the true being of the object of perception is its action, that the reality of the thing consists in this, and the demand for an existence of the object outside the idea of the subject, and also for an essence of the actual thing different from its action, has absolutely no meaning, and is a contradiction: and that the knowledge of the nature of the effect of any perceived object, exhausts such an object itself, so far as it is object, i.e., idea, for beyond this there is nothing more to be known. So far then, the perceived world in space and time, which makes itself known as causation alone, is entirely real, and is throughout simply what it appears to be, and it appears wholly and without reserve as idea, bound together according to the law of causality. This is its empirical reality. On the other hand, all causality is in the understanding alone, and for the understanding. The whole actual, that is, active world is determined as such through the understanding, and apart from it is nothing. This, however, is not the only reason for altogether denying such a reality of the outer world as is taught by the dogmatist, who explains its reality as its independence of the subject. We also deny it, because no object apart from a subject can be conceived without contradiction. The whole world of objects is and remains idea, and therefore wholly and for ever determined by the subject; that is to say, it has transcendental ideality. But it is not therefore illusion or mere appearance; it presents itself as that which it is, idea, and indeed as a series of ideas of which the common bond is the principle of sufficient reason. It is according to its inmost meaning quite comprehensible to the healthy understanding, and speaks a language quite intelligible to it. To dispute about its reality can only occur to a mind perverted by over-subtilty, and such discussion always arises from a false application of the principle of sufficient reason, which binds all ideas together of whatever kind they may be, but by no means connects them with the subject, nor yet with a something which is neither subject nor object, but only the ground of the object; an absurdity, for only objects can be and always are the ground of objects. If we examine more closely the source of this question as to the reality of the outer world, we find that besides the false application of the principle of sufficient reason generally to what lies beyond its province, a special confusion of its forms is also involved; for that form which it has only in reference to concepts or abstract ideas, is applied to perceived ideas, real objects; and a ground of knowing is demanded of objects, whereas they can -have nothing but a ground of being. Among the abstract ideas, the concepts united in the judgment, the principle of sufficient reason appears in such a way that each of these has its worth, its validity, and its whole existence, here called truth simply and solely through the relation of the judgment to something outside of it, its ground of knowledge, to which there must consequently always be a return. Among real objects, ideas of perception, on the other hand, the principle of sufficient reason appears not at the principle of the ground of knowing, but of being, as the law of causality: every real object has paid its debt to it, inasmuch as it has come to be, i.e., has appeared as the effect of a cause. The demand for a ground of knowing has therefore here no application and no meaning, but belongs to quite another class of things. Thus the world of perception raises in the observer no question or doubt so long as he remains in contact with it: there is here neither error nor truth, for these are confined to the province of the abstract the province of reflection. But here the world lies open for sense and understanding; presents itself with naive truth as that which it really is ideas of perception which develop themselves according to the law of causality.
For the present, however, in this first book we consider everything merely as idea, as object for the subject. And our own body, which is the starting-point for each of us in our perception of the world, we consider, like all other real objects, from the side of its knowableness, and in this regard it is simply an idea. Now the consciousness of every one is in general opposed to the explanation of objects as mere ideas, and more especially to the explanation of our bodies as such; for the thing in itself is known to each of us immediately in so far as it appears as our own body; but in so far as it objectifies itself in the other objects of perception, it is known only indirectly. But this abstraction, this one-sided treatment, this forcible separation of what is essentially and necessarily united, is only adopted to meet the demands of our argument; and therefore the disinclination to it must, in the meantime, be suppressed and silenced by the expectation that the subsequent treatment will correct the one-sidedness of the present one, and complete our knowledge of the nature of the world.
At present therefore the body is for us immediate object; that is to say, that idea which forms the starting-point of the subject's knowledge; because the body, with its immediately known changes, precedes the application of the law of causality, and thus supplies it with its first data. The whole nature of matter consists, as we have seen, in its causal action. But cause and effect exist only for the understanding, which is nothing but their subjective correlative. The understanding, however, could never come into operation if there were not something else from which it starts. This is simple sensation the immediate consciousness of the changes of the body, by virtue of which it is immediate object. Thus the possibility of knowing the world of perception depends upon two conditions; the first, objectively expressed is the power of material things to act upon each other, to produce changes in each other, without which common quality of all bodies no perception would be possible, even by means of the sensibility of the animal body. And if we wish to express this condition subjectively we say: The understanding first makes perception possible; for the law of causality, the possibility of effect and cause, springs only from the understanding, and is valid only for it, and therefore the world of perception exists only through and for it. The second condition is the sensibility of animal bodies, or the quality of being immediate objects of the subject which certain bodies possess. The mere modification which the organs of sense sustain from without through their specific affections, may here be called ideas, so far as these affections produce neither pain nor pleasure, that is, have no immediate significance for the will, and are yet perceived, exist therefore only for knowledge. Thus far, then, I say that the body is immediately known, is immediate object. But the conception of object is not to be taken here in its fullest sense, for through this immediate knowledge of the body, which precedes the operation of the understanding, and is mere sensation, our own body does not exist specifically as object, but first the material things which affect it: for all knowledge of an object proper, of an idea perceived in space, exists only through and for the understanding; therefore not before, but only subsequently to its operation. Therefore the body as object proper, that is, an idea perceived in space, is first known indirectly, like all other objects, through the application of the law of causality to the action of one of its parts upon another, as, for example, when the eye sees the body or the hand touches it. Consequently the form of our body does not become known to us through mere feeling, but only through knowledge, only in idea; that is to say, only in the brain does our own body first come to appear as extended, articulate, organic. A man born blind receives this idea only little by little from the data afforded by touch. A blind man without hands could never come to know his own form; or at the most could infer and construct it little by little from the effects of other bodies upon him. If, then, we call the body an immediate object, we are to be understood with these reservations.
In other respects, then, according to what has been said, all animal bodies are immediate objects; that is, startingpoints for the subject which always knows and therefore is never known in its perception of the world. Thus the distinctive characteristic of animal life is knowledge, with movement following on motives, which are determined by knowledge, just as movement following on stimuli is the distinctive characteristic of plant-life. Unorganised matter, however, has no movement except such as is produced by causes properly so called, using the term in its narrowest sense. All this I have thoroughly discussed in my essay on the principle of sufficient reason, §20, in the "Ethics," first essay, iii., and in my work on Sight and Colour, §I, to which I therefore refer.
It follows from what has been said, that all animals, even the least developed, have understanding; for they all know objects, and this knowledge determines their movements as motive. Understanding is the same in all animals and in all men; it has everywhere the same simple form; knowledge of causality, transition from effect to cause, and from cause to effect, nothing more; but the degree of its acuteness, and the extension of the sphere of its knowledge varies enormously, with innumerable gradations from the lowest form, which is only conscious of the causal connection between the immediate object and objects affecting it that is to say, perceives a cause as an object in space by passing to it from the affection which the body feels, to the higher grades of knowledge of the causal connection among objects known indirectly, which extends to the understanding of the most complicated system of cause and effect in nature. For even this high degree of knowledge is still the work of the understanding, not of the reason. The abstract concepts of the reason can only serve to take up the objective connections which are immediately known by the understanding, to make them permanent for thought, and to relate them to each other; but reason never gives us immediate knowledge. Every force and law of nature, every example of such forces and laws, must first be immediately known by the understanding, must be apprehended through perception before it can pass into abstract consciousness for reason. Hooke's discovery of the law of gravitation, and the reference of so many important phenomena to this one law, was the work of immediate apprehension by the understanding; and such also was the proof of Newton's calculations, and Lavoisier's discovery of acids and their important function in nature, and also Goethe's discovery of the origin of physical colours. All these discoveries are nothing more than a correct immediate passage from the effect to the cause, which is at once followed by the recognition of the ideality of the force of nature which expresses itself in all causes of the same kind; and. this complete insight is just an example of that single function of the understanding, by which an animal perceives as an object in space the cause which affects its body, and differs from such a perception only in degree. Every one of these great discoveries is therefore, just like perception, an operation of the understanding, an immediate intuition, and as such the work of an instant, an appercu, a flash of insight.
With reference to our exposition up to this point, it must be observed that we did not start either from the object or the subject, but from the idea, which contains and presupposes them both ; for the antithesis of object and subject is its primary, universal and essential form. We have therefore first considered this form as such; then (though in this respect reference has for the most part been made to the introductory essay) the subordinate forms of time, space and causality. The latter belong exclusively to the object and yet, as they are essential to the object as such, and as the object again is essential to the subject as such, they may be discovered from the subject, i.e. they may be known a priori and so far they are to be regarded as the common limits of both. But all these forms may be referred to one general expression, the principle of sufficient reason, as we have explained in the introductory essay.
This procedure distinguishes our philosophical method from that of all former systems. For they all start either from the object or from the subject, and therefore seek to explain the one from the other, and this according to the principle of sufficient reason. We, on the contrary, deny the validity of this principle with reference to the relation of subject and object, and confine it to the object. It may be thought that the philosophy of identity, which has appeared and become generally known in our own day, does not come under either of the alternatives we have named, for it does not start either from the subject or from the object, but from the absolute, known through "intellectual intuition," which is neither object nor subject, but the identity of the two. I will not venture to speak of this revered identity, and this absolute, for I find myself entirely devoid of all "intellectual intuition." But as I take my stand merely on those manifestoes of the "intellectual intuiter" which are open to all, even to profane persons like myself, I must yet observe that this philosophy is not to be excepted from the alternative errors mentioned above. For it does not escape these two opposite errors in spite of its identity of subject and object, which is not thinkable, but only "intellectually intuitable," or to be experienced by a losing of oneself in it. On the contrary, it combines them both in itself; for it is divided into two parts, firstly, transcendental idealism, which is just Fichte's doctrine of the ego, and therefore teaches that the object is produced by the subject, or evolved out of it in accordance with the principle of sufficient reason; secondly, the philosophy of nature, which teaches that the subject is produced little by little from the object, by means of a method called construction, about which I understand very little, yet enough to know that it is a process according to various forms of the principle of sufficient reason. The deep wisdom itself which that construction contains, I renounce; for as I entirely lack "intellectual intuition," all those expositions which presuppose it must for me remain as a book sealed with seven seals. This is so truly the case that, strange to say, I have always been unable to find anything at all in this doctrine of profound wisdom but atrocious and wearisome bombast.
The systems starting from the object had always the whole world of perception and its constitution as their problem; yet the object which they take as their starting-point is not always this whole world of perception, nor its fundamental element, matter. On the contrary, a division of these systems may be made, based on the four classes of possible objects set forth in the introductory essay,. Thus Thales and the Ionic school, Democritus, Epicurus, Giordano Bruno, and the French materialists, may be said to have started from the first class of objects, the real world: Spinoza (on account of his concept! n of substance, which is purely abstract, and exists only in his definition) and, earlier, the Eleatics, from the second clans, the abstract conception: the Pythagoreans and Chinese philosophy in Y-King;, from the third class, time, and consequently number: and, lastly, the schoolmen, who teach a creation out of nothing by the act of will of an extra-mundane personal being, started from the fourth class of objects, the act of will directed by knowledge.
Of all systems of philosophy which start from the object, the most consistent, and that which may be carried furthest, is simple materialism. It regards matter, and with it time and space, as existing absolutely, and ignores the relation to the subject in which alone all this really exists. It then lays hold of the law of causality as a guiding principle or clue, regarding it as a self-existent order (or arrangement) of things, veritas aeterna and so fails to take account of the understanding, in which and for which alone causality is. It seeks the primary and most simple state of matter, and then tries to develop all the others from it; ascending from mere mechanism, to chemism, to polarity, to the vegetable and to the animal kingdom. And if we suppose this to have been done, the last link in the chain would be animal sensibility -that is, knowledge-which would consequently now appear as a mere modification or state of matter produced by causality. Now if we had followed materialism thus far with clear ideas, when we reached its highest point we would suddenly be seized with a fit of the inextinguishable laughter of the Olympians. As if waking from a dream, we would all at once become aware that its final result knowledge, which it reached so laboriously, was presupposed as the indispensable condition of its very starting-point, mere matter; and when we imagined that we thought matter, we really thought only the subject that perceives matter; the eye that sees it, the hand that feels it, the understanding that knows it. Thus the tremendous petitio principii reveals itself unexpectedly; for suddenly the last link is seen to be the starting-point, the chain a circle, and the materialist is like Baron Munchausen who, when swimming in water on horseback, drew the horse into the air with his legs, and himself also by his cue. The fundamental absurdity of materialism is that it starts from the objective, and takes as the ultimate ground of explanation something objective, whether it be matter in the abstract, simply as it is thought, or after it has taken form, is empirically given that is to say, is substance, the chemical element with its primary relations. Some such thing it takes, as existing absolutely and in itself, in order that it may evolve organic nature and finally the knowing subject from it, and explain them adequately by means of it; whereas in truth all that is objective is already determined as such in manifold ways by the knowing subject through its forms of knowing, and presupposes them; and consequently it entirely disappears if we think the subject away. Thus materialism is the attempt to explain what is immediately given us by what is given us indirectly. All that is objective, extended, active that is to say, all that is material is regarded by materialism as affording so solid a basis for its explanation, that a reduction of everything to this can leave nothing to be desired (especially if in ultimate analysis this reduction should resolve itself into action and reaction). But we have shown that all this is given indirectly and in the highest degree determined, and is therefore merely a relatively present object, for it has passed through the machinery and manufactory of the brain, and has thus come under the forms of space, time and causality, by means of which it is first presented to us as extended in space and ever active in time. From such an indirectly given object, materialism seeks to explain what is immediately given, the idea (in which alone the object that materialism starts with exists), and finally even the will from which all those fundamental forces, that manifest themselves, under the guidance of causes, and therefore according to law, are in truth to be explained. To the assertion that thought is a modification of matter we may always, with equal right, oppose the contrary assertion that all matter is merely the modification of the knowing subject, as its idea. Yet the aim and ideal of all natural science is at bottom a consistent materialism. The recognition here of the obvious impossibility of such a system establishes another truth which will appear in the course of our exposition, the truth that all science properly so called, by which I understand systematic knowledge under the guidance of the principle of sufficient reason, can never reach its final goal, nor give a complete and adequate explanation: for it is not concerned with the inmost nature of the world, it cannot get beyond the idea; indeed, it really teaches nothing more than the relation of one idea to another.
"No object without a subject," is the principle which renders all materialism for ever impossible. Suns and planets without an eye that sees them, and an understanding that knows them, may indeed be spoken of in words, but for the idea, these words are absolutely meaningless. On the other hand, the law of causality and the treatment and investigation of nature which is based upon it, lead us necessarily to the conclusion that, in time, each more highly organised state of matter has succeeded a cruder state: so that the lower animals existed before men, fishes before land animals, plants before fishes, and the unorganised before all that is organised; that, consequently, the original mass had to pass through a long series of changes before the first eye could be opened. And yet, the existence of this whole world remains ever dependent upon the first eye that opened, even if it were that of an insect. For such an eye is a necessary (condition of the possibility of knowledge, and the whole world exists only in and for knowledge, and without it is not even thinkable. The world is entirely idea, and as such demands the knowing subject as the supporter of its existence. This long- course of time itself, filled with innumerable changes, through which matter rose from form to form till at last the first percipient creature appeared, -this whole time itself is only thinkable in the identity of a consciousness whose succession of ideas, whose form of knowing it is, and apart from which, it loses all meaning and is nothing at all. Thus we see, on the one hand, the existence of the whole world necessarily dependent upon the first conscious being, however undeveloped it may be; on the other hand, this conscious being just as necessarily entirely dependent upon a long chain of causes and effects which have preceded it, and in which it itself appears as a small link. These two contradictory points of view, to each of which we are led with the same necessity, we might again call an antinomy in our faculty of knowledge, and set it up as the counterpart of that which we found in the first extreme of natural science. The objective world, the world as idea, is not the only side of the world, but merely its outward side; and it has an entirely different side the side of its inmost nature its kernel the thing-in-itself. This we shall consider in the second book, calling it after the most immediate of its objective manifestations -will. But the world as idea, with which alone we are here concerned, only appears with the opening of the first eye. Without this medium of knowledge it cannot be, and therefore it was not before it. But without that eye, that is to say, outside of knowledge, there was also no before, no time. Thus time has no beginning, but all beginning is in time. Since, however, it is the most universal form of the knowable, in which all phenomena are united together through causality, time, with its infinity off past and future, is present in the beginning of knowledge. The. phenomenon which fills the first present must at once be known as causally bound up with and dependent upon a sequence of phenomena which stretches infinitely into the past, and this past itself is just as truly conditioned by this first present, as conversely the present is by the past. Accordingly the past out of which the first present arises, is, like it, dependent upon the knowing subject, without which it is nothing. It necessarily happens, however, that this first present does not manifest itself as the first, that is, as having no past for its parent, but as being the beginning of time. It manifests itself rather as the consequence of the past, according to the principle of existence in time. In the same way, the phenomena which fill this first present appear as the effects of earlier phenomena which filled the past, in accordance with the law of causality. Those who like mythological interpretations may take the birth of Kronos (Χϱovos), the youngest of the Titans, as a symbol of the moment here referred to at which time appears, though indeed it has no beginning; for with him, since he ate his father, the crude productions of heaven and earth cease, and the races of gods and men appear upon the scene.
This explanation at which we have arrived by following the most consistent of the philosophical systems which start from the object, materialism, has brought out clearly the inseparable and reciprocal dependence of subject and object, and at the same time the inevitable antithesis between them. And this knowledge leads us to seek for the inner nature of the world, the thing-in-itself, not in either of the two elements of the idea, but in something quite distinct from it, and which is not encumbered with such a fundamental and insoluble antithesis.
Opposed to the system we have explained, which starts from the object in order to derive the subject from it, is the system which starts from the subject and tries to derive the object from it. The first of these has been of frequent and common occurrence throughout the history of philosophy, but of the second we find only one example, and that a very recent one; the "philosophy of appearance" of J. G. Fichte. In this respect, therefore, it must be considered; little real worth or inner meaning as the doctrine itself had. It was indeed for the most part merely a delusion, but it was delivered with an air of the deepest earnestness, with sustained loftiness of tone and zealous ardour, and was defended with eloquent polemic against weak opponents, so that it was able to present a brilliant exterior and seemed to be something. But the genuine earnestness which keeps truth always steadfastly before it as its goal, and is unaffected by any external influences, was entirely wanting to Fichte, as it is to all philosophers who, like him, concern themselves with questions of the day. In his case, indeed, it could not have been otherwise. A man becomes a philosopher by reason of a certain perplexity, from which he seeks to free himself. This is Plato's ftavnaeiv, which he calls a fia^a <&dooo<Pixor na6o$. But what distinguishes the false philosopher from the true is this: the perplexity of the latter arises from the contemplation of the world itself, while that of the former results from some book, some system of philosophy which is before him. Now Fichte belongs to the class of the false philosophers. He was made a philosopher by Kant's doctrine of the thing-fa-itself, and if it had not been for this he would probably have pursued entirely different ends, with far better results, for he certainly possessed remarkable rhetorical talent. If he had only penetrated somewhat deeply into the meaning of the book that made him a philosopher, "The Critique of Pure Reason," he would have understood that its principal teaching about mind is this. The principle of sufficient reason is not, as all scholastic philosophy maintains, a veritas aeterna that is to say, it does not possess an unconditioned validity before, outside of, and above the world. It is relative and conditioned, and valid only in the sphere of phenomena, and thus it may appear as the necessary nexus of space and time, or as the law of causality, or as the law of the ground of knowledge. The inner nature of the world, the thing-in-itself can never be found by the guidance of this principle, for all that it leads to will be found to be dependent and relative and merely phenomenal, not the thing-in-itself. Further, it does not concern the subject, but is only the form of objects, which are therefore not things-in-themselves. The subject must exist along with the object, and the object along with the subject, so that it is impossible that subject and object can stand to each other in a relation of reason and consequent. But Fichte did not take up the smallest fragment of all this. All that interested him about the matter was that the system started from the subject. Now Kant had chosen this procedure in order to show the fallacy of the prevalent systems, which started from the object, and through which the object had come to be regarded as a thing-in-itself. Fichte, however, took this departure from the subject for the really important matter, and like all imitators, he imagined that in going! further than Kant he was surpassing him. This philosophy of Fichte, otherwise not worth mentioning, is interesting to us only as the tardy expression of the converse of the old^ materialism. For materialism was the most consistent system starting from the object, as this is the most consistent system starting from the subject. Materialism overlooked the fact that, with the simplest object, it assumed the subject also; and Fichte overlooked the fact that with the subject (whatever he may call it) he assumed the object also, for no subject is thinkable without an object. Besides this he forgot that all a priori deduction, indeed all demonstration in general, must rest upon some necessity, and that all necessity is based on the principle of sufficient reason, because to be necessary, and to follow from given grounds are convertible conceptions. But the principle of sufficient reason is just the universal form of the object as such. Thus it is in the object, but is not valid before and outside of it; it first produces the object and makes it appear in conformity with its regulative principle. We see then that the system which starts from the subject contains the same fallacy as the system, explained above, which starts from the object; it begins by assuming what it proposes to deduce, the necessary correlative of its starting-point.
The method of our own system is toto genere distinct from these two opposite misconceptions, for we start neither from the object nor from the subject, but from the idea, as the first fact of consciousness. Its first essential, fundamental form, is the antithesis of subject and object. The form of the object again is the principle of sufficient reason in its various forms. Each of these reigns so absolutely in its own class of ideas that, as we have seen, when the special form of the principle of sufficient reason which governs any class of ideas is known, the nature of the whole class is known also: for the whole class, as idea, is no more than this form of the principle of sufficient reason itself; so that time itself is nothing but the principle of existence in it, i.e., succession; space is nothing but the principle of existence in it, i.e., position; matter is nothing but causality; the concept (as will appear immediately) is nothing but relation to a ground of knowledge. This thorough and consistent relativity of the world as idea, both according to its universal form (subject and object) and according to the form which is subordinate to this (the principle of sufficient reason) warns us, as we said before, to seek the inner nature of the world in an aspect of it which is quite different and quite distinct from the idea; and in the next book we shall find this in a fact which is just as immediate to every living being as the idea.
But we must first consider that class of ideas which belongs to man alone. The matter of these is the concept, and the subjective correlative is reason, just as the subjective correlative of the ideas we have already considered was understanding and sensibility, which are also to be attributed to all the lower animals.
As from the direct light of the sun to the borrowed light of the moon, we pass from the immediate idea of perception, which stands by itself and is its own warrant, to reflection, to the abstract, discursive concepts of the reason, which obtain their whole content from knowledge of perception, and in relation to it. As long as we continue simply to perceive, all is clear, firm, and certain. There are neither questions nor doubts nor errors; we desire to go no further, can go no further; we find rest in perceiving, and satisfaction in the present. Perception suffices for itself, and therefore what springs purely from it, and remains true to it, for example, a genuine work of art, can never be false, nor can it be discredited through the lapse of time, for it does not present an opinion but the thing itself. But with abstract knowledge, with reason, doubt and error appear in the theoretical, care and sorrow in the practical. In the idea of perception, illusion may at moments take the place of the real; but in the sphere of abstract thought, error may reign for a thousand years, impose its yoke upon whole nations, extend to the noblest impulses of humanity, and, by the help of its slaves and its dupes, may chain and fetter those whom it cannot deceive. It is the enemy against which the honest men of all times have waged unequal war, and only what they have won from it has become the possession of mankind. Therefore it is well to draw attention to it at once, as we already tread the ground to which its province belongs. It has often been said that we ought to follow truth even although no utility can be seen in it, because it may have indirect' utility which may appear when it is least expected; and I would add to this, that we ought to be just as anxious to discover and to root out all error even when no harm is anticipated from it, because its mischief may be very indirect, and may suddenly appear when we do not expect it, for all error has poison at its heart. -If it is mind, if it is knowledge, that makes man the lord of creation, there can be no such thing as harmless error, still less venerable and holy error. And for the consolation of those who in any way and at any time may have devoted strength and life to the noble and hard battle against error, I cannot refrain from adding that, so long as truth is absent, error will have free play, as owls and bats in the night ; but sooner would we expect to see the owls and the bats drive back the sun in the eastern heavens, than that any truth which has once been known and distinctly and fully expressed, can ever again be so utterly vanquished and overcome that the old error shall once more reign undisturbed over its wide kingdom. This is the power of truth; its conquest is slow and laborious, but if once the victory be gained it can never be wrested back again.
Besides the ideas we have as yet considered", which, according to their construction, could be referred to time, space, and matter, if we consider them with reference to the object, or to pure sensibility and understanding (i.e., knowledge of causality), if we consider them with reference to the subject, another faculty of knowledge has appeared in man alone of all earthly creatures, an entirely new consciousness, which, with very appropriate and significant exactness, is called reflection. For it is in fact derived from the knowledge of perception, and is a reflected appearance of it. But it has assumed a nature fundamentally different. The forms of perception do not affect it, and even the principle of sufficient reason which reigns over all objects has an entirely different aspect with regard to it. It is just this new, more highly endowed, consciousness, this abstract reflex of all that belongs to perception in that conception of the reason which has nothing to do with perception, that gives to man that thoughtfulness which distinguishes his consciousness so entirely from that of the lower animals, and through which his whole behaviour upon earth is so different from that of his irrational fellow-creatures. He far surpasses them in power and also in suffering. They live in the present alone, he lives also in the future and the past. They satisfy the needs of the moment, he provides by the most ingenious preparations for the future, yea for days that he shall never see. They are entirely dependent on the impression of the moment, on the effect of the perceptible motive; he is determined by abstract conceptions independent of the present. Therefore he follows predetermined plans, he acts from maxims, without reference to his surroundings or the accidental impression of the moment. Thus, for example, he can make with composure deliberate preparations for his own death, he can dissemble past finding out, and can carry his secret with him to the grave; lastly, he has an actual choice between several motives; for only in the abstract can such motives, present together in consciousness, afford the knowledge with regard to themselves, that the one excludes the other, and can thus measure themselves against each other with reference to their power over the will. The motive that overcomes, in that it decides the question at issue, is the deliberate determinant of the will, and is a sure indication of its character. The brute, on the other hand, is determined by the present impression; only the fear of present compulsion can constrain its desires, until at last this fear has become custom, and as such continues to determine it; this is called training. The brute feels and perceives; man, in addition to this, thinks and knows: both will. The brute expresses its feelings and dispositions by gestures and sounds; man communicates his thought to others, or, if he wishes^ he conceals it, by means of speech. Speech is the first production, and also the necessary organ of his reason. Therefore in Greek and Italian, speech and reason are expressed by the same word; o Aoyog, il discorso. Vernunft is derived from vernehmen, which not a synonym for the verb to hear, but signifies the consciousness of the meaning of thoughts communicated in words. It is by the help of language alone that reason accomplishes its most important achievements, the united action of several individuals, the planned co-operation of many thousands, civilisation, the state; also science, the storing up of experience, the uniting of common properties in one concept, the communication of truth, the spread of error, thoughts and poems, dogmas and superstitions. The brute first knows death when it dies, but man draws consciously nearer to it every hour that he lives} and this makes life at times a questionable good even to him who has not recognised this character of constant annihilation in the whole of life. Principally on this account man has philosophies and religions, though it is uncertain whether the qualities we admire most in his conduct, voluntary rectitude and nobility of feeling, were ever the fruit of either of them. As results which certainly belong only to them, and as productions of reason in this sphere, we may refer to the marvellous and monstrous opinions of philosophers of various schools, and the extraordinary and sometimes cruel customs of the priests of different religions.
It is the universal opinion of all times and of all nations that these manifold and far-reaching achievements spring from a common principle, from that peculiar intellectual power which belongs distinctively to man and which has been called reason, d Aoyo, TO AoyiotiKOv, TO hoyipov, ratio. Besides this, no one finds any difficulty in recognising the manifestations of this faculty, and in saying what is rational and what is irrational, where reason appears as distinguished from the other faculties and qualities of man, or lastly, in pointing out what, on account of the want of reason, we must never expect even from the most sensible brute. The philosophers of all ages may be said to be on the whole at one about this general knowledge of reason, and they have also given prominence to several very important manifestations of it; such as, the control of the emotions and passions, the capacity for drawing conclusions and formulating general principles, even such as are true prior to all experience, and so forth.
The understanding has only one function immediate knowledge of the relation of cause and effect. Yet the perception of the real world, and all common sense, sagacity, and inventiveness, however multifarious their applications may be, are quite clearly seen to be nothing more than manifestations of that one function. So also the reason has one function; and from it all the manifestations of reason we have mentioned, which distinguish the life of man from that of the brutes, may easily be explained. The application or the non-application of this function is all that is meant by what men have everywhere and always called rational and irrational.
Although concepts are fundamentally different from ideas of perception, they stand in a necessary relation to <hem, without which they would be nothing. This relation therefore constitutes the whole nature and existence of concepts. Reflection is the necessary copy or repetition of the originally presented world of perception, but it is a special kind of copy in an entirely different material. Thus concepts may quite properly be called ideas of ideas. The principle of sufficient reason has here also a special form. Now we have seen that the form under which the principle of sufficient reason appears in a class of ideas always constitutes and exhausts the whole nature of the class, so far as it consists of ideas, so that time is throughout succession, and nothing more; space is throughout position, and nothing more; matter is throughout causation, and nothing more. In the same way the whole nature of concepts, or the class of abstract ideas, consists simply in the relation which the principle of sufficient reason expresses in them; and as this is the relation to the ground of knowledge, the whole nature of the abstract idea is simply and solely its relation to another idea, which is its ground of knowledge. This, indeed, may, in the first instance, be a concept, an abstract idea, and this again may have only a similar abstract ground of knowledge; but the chain of grounds of knowledge does not extend ad infinitum; it must end at last in a concept which has its ground in knowledge of perception; for the whole world of reflection rests on the world of perception as its ground of knowledge. Hence the class of abstract ideas is in this respect distinguished from other classes; in the latter the principle of sufficient reason always demands merely a relation to another idea of the same class, but in the case of abstract ideas, it at last demands a relation to an idea of another class.
Those concepts which, as has just been pointed out, are not immediately related to the world of perception, but only through the medium of one, or it may be several other concepts, have been called by preference abstracta and those which have their ground immediately in the world of perception have been called concreta. But this last name is only loosely applicable to the concepts denoted by it, for they are always merely abstracta, and not ideas of perception. These names, which have originated in a very dim consciousness of' the distinctions they imply, may yet, with this explanation, be retained. As examples of the first kind of concepts, i.e., abstracta in the fullest sense, we may take "relation," "virtue," "investigation," "beginning," and so on. As examples of the second kind, loosely called concreta we may take such concepts as "man," "stone," "horse," &c. If it were not a somewhat too pictorial and therefore absurd simile, we might very appropriately call the latter the ground floor, and the former the upper stories of the building of reflection. 
Reason is feminine in nature; it can only give after it has received. Of itself it has nothing but the empty forms of its operation. There is no absolutely pure rational knowledge except the four principles to which I have attributed metalogical truth; the principles of identity, contradiction, excluded middle, and sufficient reason of knowledge. For even the rest of logic is not absolutely pure rational knowledge. It presupposes the relations and the combinations of the spheres of concepts. But concepts in general only exist after experience of ideas of perception, and as their whole nature consists in their relation to these, it is clear that they presuppose them. No special content, however, is presupposed, but merely the existence of a content generally, and so logic as a whole may fairly pass for pure rational science. In all other sciences reason has received its content from ideas of perception; in mathematics from the relations of space and time, presented in intuition or perception prior to all experience; in pure natural science, that is, in what we know of the course of nature prior to any experience, the content of the science proceeds from the pure understanding, i.e., from the a priori knowledge of the law of causality and its connection with those pure intuitions or perceptions of space and time. In all other sciences everything that is not derived from the sources we have just referred to belongs to experience. Speaking generally, to know rationally (wissen) means to have in the power of the mind, and capable of being reproduced at will, such judgments as have their sufficient ground of knowledge in something outside themselves, i.e., are true. Thus only abstract cognition is rational knowledge (wissen), which is therefore the result of reason, so that we cannot accurately say of the lower animals that they rationally know (wissen) anything, although they have apprehension of what is presented in perception, and memory of this, and consequently imagination, which is further proved by the circumstance that they dream. We attribute consciousness to them, and therefore although the word (bewusstsein) is derived from the verb to know rationally (wissen), the conception of consciousness corresponds generally with that of idea of whatever kind it may be. Thus we attribute life to plants, but not consciousness. Rational knowledge (wissen) is therefore abstract consciousness, the permanent possession in concepts of the reason, of what has become known in another way.
Rational knowledge (wissen) is then all abstract knowledge, that is, the knowledge which is peculiar to the reason as distinguished from the understanding. Now, as reason only reproduces, /or knowledge, what has been received in another way, it does not actually extend our knowledge, but only gives it another form. It enables us to know in the abstract and generally, what first became known in sense-perception, in the concrete. But this is much more important than it appears at first sight when so expressed. For it depends entirely upon the fact that knowledge has become rational or abstract knowledge (wissen), that it can be safely preserved, that it is communicable and susceptible of certain and wide-reaching application to practice. Knowledge in the form of sense-perception is valid only of the particular case, extends only to what is nearest, and ends with it, for sensibility and understanding can only comprehend one object at a time. Every enduring, arranged, and planned activity must therefore proceed from principles, that is, from abstract knowledge, and it must be conducted in accordance with them. Thus, for example, the knowledge of the relation of cause and effect arrived at by the understanding, is in itself far completer, deeper and more exhaustive than anything that can be thought about it in the abstract; the understanding alone knows in perception directly and completely the nature of the effect i&f a lever, of a pulley, or a cog-wheel, the stability of an arch, and so forth. But on account of the peculiarity of the knowledge of perception just referred to, that it only extends to what is immediately present, the mere understanding can never enable us to construct machines and buildings. Here reason must come in; it must substitute Abstract concepts for ideas of perception, and take them as the guide of action; and if they are right, the anticipated result will happen. In the same way we have perfect knowledge in pure perception of the nature and constitution of the parabola, hyperbola, and spiral; but if we are to make trustworthy application of this knowledge to the real, it must first become abstract knowledge, and by this it certainly loses its character of intuition or perception, but on the other hand it gains the certainty and preciseness of abstract knowledge. The differential calculus does not really extend our knowledge of the curve, it contains nothing that was not already in the mere pure perception of the curve; but it alters the kind of knowledge, it changes the intuitive into an abstract knowledge, which is so valuable for application.
This quality of concepts by which they resemble the stones of a mosaic, and on account of which perception always remains their asymptote, is the reason why nothing good is produced in art by their means. If the singer or the virtuoso attempts to guide his execution by reflection he remains silent. And this is equally true of the composer, the painter, and the poet. The concept always remains unfruitful in art; it can only direct the technical part of it, its sphere is science. We shall consider more fully in the third book, why all true art proceeds from sensuous knowledge, never from the concept. Indeed, with regard to behaviour also, and personal agreeableness in society, the concept has only a negative value in restraining the grosser manifestations of egotism and brutality; so that a polished manner is its commendable production. But all that is attractive, gracious, charming in behaviour, all affectionateness and friendliness, must not proceed from the concepts, for if it does, "we feel intention, and are put out of tune." All dissimulation is the work of reflection; but it cannot be maintained constantly and without interruption: "nemo potest personum diu ferre fictum" says Seneca in his book de elementia and so it is generally found out and loses its effect. Reason is needed in the full stress of life, where quick conclusions, bold action, rapid and sure comprehension are required, but it may easily spoil all if it gains the upper hand, and by perplexing hinders the intuitive, direct discovery, and grasp of the right by simple understanding, and thus induces irresolution.
Lastly, virtue and holiness do not proceed from reflection, but from the inner depths of the will, and its relation to knowledge. The exposition of this belongs to another part of our work; this, however, I may remark here, that the dogmas relating to ethics may be the same in the reason of whole nations, but the action of every individual different; and the converse also holds good; action, we say, is guided by feelings -that is, simply not by concepts, but as a matter of fact by the ethical character. Dogmas occupy the idle reason; but action in the end pursues its own course independently of them, generally not according to abstract rules, but according to unspoken maxims, the expression of which is the whole man himself. Therefore, however different the religious dogmas of nations may be, yet in the case of all of them, a good action is accompanied by unspeakable satisfaction, and a bad action by endless remorse. No mockery can shake the former; no priest's absolution can deliver from the latter. Notwithstanding this, we must allow, that for the pursuit of a virtuous life, the application of reason is needful; only it is not its source, but has the subordinate function of preserving resolutions which have been made, of providing maxims to withstand the weakness of the moment, and give consistency to action. It plays the same part ultimately in art also, where it has just as little to do with the essential matter, but assists in carrying it out, for genius is not always at call, and yet the work must be completed in all its parts and rounded off to a whole. 
As regards the content of the sciences generally, it is, in fact, always the relation of the phenomena of the world to each other, according to the principle of sufficient reason, under the guidance of the why, which has validity and meaning only through this principle. Explanation is the establishment of this relation. Therefore explanation can never go further than to show two ideas standing to each other in the relation peculiar to that form of the principle of sufficient reason which reigns in the class to which they belong. If this is done we cannot further be asked the question, why: for the relation proved is that one which absolutely cannot be imagined as other than it is, i.e., it is the form of all knowledge. Therefore we do not ask why 2 + 2 - 4; or why the equality of the angles of a triangle determines the equality of the sides; or why its effect follows any given cause; or why the truth of the conclusion is evident from the truth of the premises. Every explanation which does not ultimately lead to a relation of which no "why" can further be demanded, stops at an accepted qualitas occulta; but this is the character of every original force of nature. Every explanation in natural science must ultimately end with such a qualitas occulta, and thus with complete obscurity. It must leave the inner nature of a stone just as much unexplained as that of a human being; it can give as little account of the weight, the cohesion, the chemical qualities, &c., of the former, as of the knowing and acting of the latter. Thus, for example, weight is a qualitas occulta for it can be thought away, and does not proceed as a necessity from the form of knowledge; which, on the contrary, is not the case with the law of inertia, for it follows from the law of causality, and is therefore sufficiently explained if it is referred to that law'. There are two things which are altogether inexplicable, that is to say, do not ultimately lead to the relation which the principle of sufficient reason expresses. These are, first, the principle of sufficient reason itself in all its four forms, because it is the principle of all explanation, which has meaning only in relation to it; secondly, that to which this principle does not extend, but which is the original source of all phenomena; the thing-in-itself, the knowledge of which is not subject to the principle of sufficient reason. We must be content for the present not to understand this thing-in-itself, for it can only be made intelligible by means of the following book, in which we shall resume this consideration of the possible achievements of the sciences. But at the point at which natural science, and indeed every science, leaves things, because not only its explanation of them, but even the principle of this explanation, the principle of sufficient reason, does not extend beyond this point; there philosophy takes them up and treats them after its own method, which is quite distinct from the method of science. In my essay on the principle of sufficient reason, 51, I have shown how in the different sciences the chief guiding clue is one or other form of that principle; and, in fact, perhaps the most appropriate classification of the sciences might be based upon this circumstance. Every explanation arrived at by the help of this clue is, as we have said, merely relative; it explains things in relation to each other, but something which indeed is presupposed is always left unexplained. In mathematics, for example, this is space and time; in mechanics, physics, and chemistry it is matter, qualities, original forces and laws of nature; in botany and zoology it is the difference of species, and life itself; in history it is the human race with all its properties of thought and will: in all it is that form of the principle of sufficient reason which is respectively applicable. It is peculiar to philosophy that it presupposes nothing as known, but treats everything as equally external and a problem; not merely the relations of phenomena, but also the phenomena themselves, and even the principle of sufficient reason to which the other sciences are content to refer everything. In philosophy nothing would be gained by such a reference, as one member of the series is just as external to it as another; and, moreover, that kind of connection is just as much a problem for philosophy as what is joined together by it, and the latter again is just as much a problem after its combination has been explained as before it. For, as we have said, just what the sciences presuppose and lay down as the basis and the limits of their explanation, is precisely and peculiarly the problem of philosophy, which may therefore be said to begin where science ends. It cannot be founded upon demonstrations, for they lead from known principles to unknown, but everything is equally unknown and external to philosophy. There can be no principle in consequence of which the world with all its phenomena first came into existence, and therefore it is not possible to construct, as Spinoza wished, a philosophy which demonstrates ex firmis principiis. Philosophy is the most general rational knowledge, the first principles of which cannot therefore be derived from another principle still more general. The principle of contradiction establishes merely the agreement of concepts, but does not itself produce concepts. The principle of sufficient reason explains the connections of phenomena, but not the phenomena themselves; therefore philosophy cannot proceed upon these principles to seek a causa efficiens or a causa finalis of the whole world. My philosophy, at least, does not by any means seek to know whence or wherefore the world exists, but merely what the world is. But the why is here subordinated to the what, for it already belongs to the world, as it arises and has meaning and validity only through the form of its phenomena, the principle of sufficient reason. We might indeed say that every one knows what the world is without help, for he is himself that subject of knowledge of which the world is the idea; and so far this would be true. But that knowledge is empirical, is in the concrete; the task of philosophy is to reproduce this in the abstract, to raise to permanent rational knowledge the successive changing perceptions, and in general, all that is contained under the wide concept of feeling and merely negatively defined as not abstract, distinct, rational knowledge. It must therefore consist of a statement in the abstract, of the nature of the whole world, of the whole, and of all the parts. In order then that it may not lose itself in the endless multitude of particular judgments, it must make use of abstraction and think everything individual in the universal, and its differences also in the universal. It must therefore partly separate and partly unite, in order to present to rational knowledge the whole manifold of the world generally, according to its nature, comprehended in a few abstract concepts. Through these concepts, in which it fixes the nature of, the world, the whole individual must be known as well as the universal, the knowledge of both therefore must be bound together to the minutest point. Therefore the capacity for philosophy consists just in that in which Plato placed it, the knowledge of the one in the many, and the many in the one. Philosophy will therefore be a sum total of general judgments, whose ground of knowledge is immediately the world itself in its entirety, without excepting anything; thus all that is to be found in human consciousness; it will be a complete recapitulation, as it were, a reflection, of the world in abstract concepts, which is only possible by the union of the essentially identical in one concept and the relegation of the different to another.
The agreement which all the sides and parts of the world have with each other, just because they belong to a whole, must also be found in this abstract copy of it. Therefore the judgments in this sum-total could to a certain extent be deduced from each other, and indeed always reciprocally so deduced. Yet to make the first judgment possible, they must all be present, and thus implied as prior to it in the knowledge of the world in the concrete, especially as all direct proof is more certain than indirect proof; cheir harmony with each other by virtue of which they come together into the unity of one thought, and which arises from the harmony and unity of the world of perception itself, which is their common ground of knowledge, is not therefore to be made use of to establish them, as that which is prior to them, but is only added as a confirmation of their truth. This problem itself can only become quite clear in being solved.
The many-sided view' of life as a whole which man, as distinguished from the lower animals, possesses through reason, may be compared to a geometrical, colourless, abstract, reduced plan of his actual life. He, therefore, stands to the lower animals as the navigator who, by means of chart, compass, and quadrant, knows accurately his course and his position at any time upon the sea, stands to the uneducated sailors who see only the waves and the heavens. Thus it is worth noticing, and indeed wonderful, how, besides his life in the concrete, man always lives another life in the abstract. In the former he is given as a prey to all the storms of actual life, and to the influence of the present; he must struggle, suffer, and die like the brute. But his life in the abstract, as it lies before his rational consciousness, is the still reflection of the former, and of the world in which he lives; it is just that reduced chart or plan to which we have referred. Here in the sphere of quiet deliberation, what completely possessed him and moved him intensely before, appears to him cold, colourless, and for the moment external to him; he is merely the spectator, the observer. In respect of this withdrawal into reflection he may be compared to an actor who has played his part in one scene, and who takes his place among the audience till it is time for him to go upon the stage again, and quietly looks on at whatever may happen, even though it be the preparation for his own death (in the piece), but afterwards he again goes on the stage and acts and suffers as he must. From this double life proceeds that quietness peculiar to human beings, so very different from the thoughtlessness of the brutes, and with which, in accordance with previous reflection, or a formed determination, or a recognised necessity, a man suffers or accomplishes in cold blood, what is of the utmost and often terrible importance to him; suicide, execution, the duel, enterprises of every kind fraught with danger to life, and, in general, things against which his whole animal nature rebels. Under such circumstances we see to what an extent reason has mastered the animal nature, and we say to the strong: oidrjQeiov w 101 fi*OQ\ (ferreum certe tibi cor), Il. 24, 521.  Here we can say truly that reason manifests itself practically, and thus wherever action is guided by reason, where the motives are abstract concepts, wherever we are not determined by particular ideas of perception, nor by the impression of the moment which guides the brutes, there practical reason shows itself.
The ideal explained in the Stoical philosophy is the most complete development of practical reason in the true and genuine sense of the word; it is the highest summit to which man can attain by the mere use of his reason, and in it his difference from the brutes shows itself most distinctly. For the ethics of Stoicism are, originally and essentially, not a doctrine of virtue, but merely a guide to a rational life, the end and aim of which is happiness through peace of mind. Virtuous conduct appears in it as it were merely by accident, as the means, not as the end. Therefore the ethical theory of Stoicism is in its whole nature and point of view fundamentally different from the ethical systems which lay stress directly upon virtue, such as the doctrines of the Vedas, of Plato, of Christianity, and of Kant. Yet the ethics of Stoicism teach that happiness can only be attained with certainty through inward peace and quietness of spirit (aragaCia), and that this again can only be reached through virtue; this is the whole meaning of the saying that virtue is the highest good. But if indeed by degrees the end is lost sight of in the means, and virtue is inculcated in a way which discloses an interest entirely different from that of one's own happiness, for it contradicts this too distinctly; this is just one of those inconsistencies by means of which, in every system, the immediately known, or, as it is called, felt truth, leads us back to the right way in defiance of syllogistic reasoning; as, for example, we see clearly in the ethical teaching of Spinoza, which deduces a pure doctrine of virtue from the egoistical suum utile quaerere by means of palpable sophisms. According to this, as I conceive the spirit of the Stoical ethics, their source lies in the question whether the great prerogative of man, reason, which, by means of planned action and its results, relieves life and its burdens so much, might not also be capable of freeing him at once, directly, i.e., through mere knowledge, completely, or nearly so, of the sorrows and miseries of every kind pf which his life is full. They held that it was not in keeping with the prerogative of reason that the nature given with it, which by means of it comprehends and contemplates an infinity of things and circumstances, should yet, through the present, and the accidents that can be contained in the few years of a life that is short, fleeting, and uncertain, be exposed to such intense pain, to such great anxiety and suffering, as arise from the tempestuous strain of the desires and the antipathies; and they believed that the due application of reason must raise men above them, and can make them invulnerable. Therefore Antisthenes says: Aei xiaoQai vow, rj PQO%OV (aut mentem parandam, aut laqueum, i.e., life is so full of troubles and vexations, that one must either rise above it by means of corrected thoughts, or leave it. It was seen that want and suffering did not directly and of necessity spring from not having, but from desiring to have and not having; that therefore this desire to have is the necessary condition under which alone it becomes a privation not to have and begets pain. Men learned also from experience that it is only the hope of what is claimed that begets and nourishes the wish; therefore neither the many unavoidable evils which are common to all, nor unattainable blessings, disquiet or trouble us, but only the trifling more or less of those things which we can avoid or attain; indeed, not only what is absolutely unavoidable or unattainable, but also what is merely relatively so, leaves us quite undisturbed; therefore the ills that have once become joined to our individuality, or the good things that must of necessity always be denied us, are treated with indifference, in accordance with the peculiarity of human nature that every wish soon dies and can no more beget pain if it is not nourished by hope. It followed from all this that happiness always depends upon the proportion between our claims and what we receive. It is all one whether the quantities thus related be great or small, and the proportion can be established just as well by diminishing the amount of the first as by increasing the amount of the second; and in the same way it also follows that all suffering proceeds from the want of proportion between what we demand and expect and what we get. Now this want of proportion obviously lies only in knowledge, and it could be entirely abolished through fuller insight. Therefore Chrysippus says: one ought to live with a due knowledge of the transitory nature of the things of the world. For as often as a man loses self-command, or is struck down by a misfortune, or grows angry, or becomes faint-hearted, he shows that he finds things different from what he expected, consequently that he was caught in error, and did not know the world and life, did not know that the will of the individual is crossed at every step by the chance of inanimate nature and the antagonism of aims and the wickedness of other individuals: he has therefore either not made use of his reason in order to arrive at a general knowledge of this characteristic of life, or he lacks judgment, in that he does not recognise in the particular what he knows in general, and is therefore surprised by it and loses his self-command.  Thus also every keen pleasure is an error and an illusion, for no attained wish can give lasting satisfaction; and, moreover, every possession and every happiness is but lent by chance for an uncertain time, and may therefore be demanded back the next hour. All pain rests on the passing away of such an illusion; thus both arise from defective knowledge; the wise man therefore holds himself equally aloof from joy and sorrow, and no event disturbs his ataqa^ia.
The ethical system of Stoicism, regarded as a whole, is in fact a very valuable and estimable attempt to use the great prerogative of man, reason, for an important and salutary end; to raise him above the suffering and pain to which all life is exposed, by means of a maxim-
- "Qua ratione queas traducere leniter aevum:
- Ne te semper inops agitet vexetque cupido,
- Ne pavor et rerum mediocriter utilium spes,"
and thus to make him partake, in the highest degree, of the dignity which belongs to him as a rational being, as distinguished from the brutes; a dignity of which, in this sense at any rate, we can speak, though not in any other. It is a consequence of my view of the ethical system of Stoicism that it must be explained at the part of my work at which I consider what reason is and what it can do. But although it may to a certain extent be possible to attain that end through the application of reason, and through a purely rational system of ethics, and although experience shows that the happiest men are those purely rational characters commonly called practical philosophers, -and rightly so, because just as the true, that is, the theoretical philosopher carries life into the concept, they carry the concept into life, -yet it is far from the case that perfection can be attained in this way, and that the reason, rightly used, can really free us from the burden and sorrow of life, and lead us to happiness. Rather, there lies an absolute contradiction in wishing to live without suffering, and this contradiction is also implied in the commonly used expression, "blessed life." This will become perfectly clear to whoever comprehends the whole of the following exposition. In this purely rational system of ethics the contradiction reveals itself thus, the Stoic is obliged in his doctrine of the way to the blessed life (for that is what his ethical system always, remains) to insert a recommendation of suicide (as among the magnificent ornaments and apparel of Eastern despots there is always a costly vial of poison) for the case in which the sufferings of the body, which cannot be philosophised away by any principles or syllogistic reasonings, are paramount and incurable; thus its one aim, blessedness, is rendered vain, and nothing remains as a mode of escape from suffering except death; in such a case then death must be voluntarily accepted, just as we would take any other medicine. Here then a marked antagonism is brought out between the ethical system of Stoicism and all those systems referred to above which make virtue in itself directly, and accompanied by the most grievous sorrows, their aim, and will not allow a man to end his life in order to escape from suffering. Not one of them, however, was able to give the true reason for the rejection of suicide, but they laboriously collected illusory explanations from all sides: the true reason will appear in the Fourth Book in the course of the development of our system. But the antagonism referred to reveals and establishes the essential difference in fundamental principle between Stoicism, which is just a special form of endsemonism, and those doctrines we have mentioned, although both are often at one in their results, and are apparently related. And the inner contradiction referred to above, with which the ethical system of Stoicism is affected even in its fundamental thought, shows itself further in the circumstance that its ideal, the Stoic philosopher, as the system itself represents him, could never obtain life or inner poetic truth, but remains a wooden, stiff lay-figure of which nothing can be made. He cannot himself make use of his wisdom, and his perfect peace. contentment, and blessedness directly contradict the nature of man, and preclude us from forming any concrete idea of him. When compared with him, how entirely different appear the overcomers of the world, and voluntary hermits that Indian philosophy presents to us, and has actually produced; or indeed, the holy man of Christianity, that excellent form full of deep life, of the greatest poetic truth, and the highest significance, which stands before us in perfect virtue, holiness, and sublimity, yet in a state of supreme suffering.
THE WORLD AS WILL
THE OBJECTIFICATION OF THE WILL
Nos habitat, non tartara, sed nee sidera coeli: Spiritus, in nobis qui viget, ilia facit.
- Kant is the only writer who has confused this idea of reason, and in this connection I refer the reader to the Appendix, and also to my "Grundprobleme der Ethik": Grundl.,dd. Moral. 6, pp. 148- 154, first and second editions.
- Mira in quibusdam rebus verborum proprietas est, et consuetude sermonis antiqui quaedam efficacissimis notis signal. Seneca, epist. 81.
- It is shown in the Appendix that matter and substance are one.
- This shows the ground of the Kantian explanation of matter, that it is "that which is movable in space," for motion consists simply in the union of space and time.
- Not, as Kant holds, from the knowledge of time, as will be explained in the Appendix.
- On this see "The Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason," 49.
- The first four chapters of the first of the supplementary books belong to these seven paragraphs.
- Compare with this paragraph 26 and 27 of the third edition of the essay on the principle of sufficient reason.
- Cf. Ch. 5 and 6 of the Supplement
- Cf Ch. 7 of the Supplement.
- Cf. Ch. 7 of Supplement.
- Surely your heart is of iron.
- Either a prepared mind, or death.
- Omnes perturbationes judicio censent fieri et opinione. Cic. Tusc., 4, 6. Tapaaaci rovs avOpuirovs ov TO. irpayfiara, a\Xa ra wept raw irpayfiarwv doypara (Perturbant homines non res ipsae, sed de rebus opiniones). Epictet., c. v.
- Tovro yap effTi TO atnpv TOLS avffpuirois iravrwv TUV Ka/cwp, ro rat irpo\Tj^iS ray Koivas (irj duvaffffai e<papnoetv rais tin ftepovs (Haec est causa mortalibus omnium malorum, non posse communes notione* aptare singularibus) . Epict. dissert., ii., 26.
- Would you learn how to pass your years tranquilly; do not let greedy desire always vex and agitate you, nor fear nor hope of mediocre wealth.
- Cf. Ch. 16 of Supplement.