Page:Imperialdictiona02eadi Brandeis.pdf/900

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
HEG
HEI
852

illustration, this remark may be subjoined. Again consider these five sensations. Each of them is a peculiar sensation; but at the same time each of them is. In so far as each of them is, a truth for pure intellect, an absolute and universal truth, emerges. In so far as each of them is peculiar, a. relative and particular truth is presented. Here then we have "number " and "being," two important categories, set forth as specimens of the "absolute."

The analysis thus briefly illustrated is the main principle of the German philosophy in general, and of the system of Hegel in particular. It is true that he nowhere expressly supplies this analysis, but it is implied in the whole tenor of his speculations. He rather proceeds prematurely to build up into a synthesis the elements of pure thought, which are the result of the analysis. Hence arises, in a great measure, his obscurity, which seems, in many places, to be absolutely impenetrable. Nevertheless, in spite of all its defects, his exposition of the dialectual movement by which the categories of reason evolve themselves, from lowest to highest, through a self-conversion into their opposites, is a work replete at once with the profoundest truth, and the most marvellous speculative sagacity. Retrospectively it affords a solution of the antinomies by which Kant succeeded in bewildering the reason of his contemporaries, and it extinguishes, by anticipation, the resurrection of these same sceptical perplexities which certain philosophers in this country have of late endeavoured to bring about.

But it is in the analysis referred to that the philosophy of Hegel, and of Germany in general, finds its most signal contrast in the philosophy of Great Britain. Of the analysis in question our philosophers have formed no just or adequate conception. Hence they have misconceived the nature of "the absolute," and have failed altogether in their attempts to refute the philosophy which expounds it. They have supposed that the question concerning "the absolute" was a question which referred to the quantity or amount, and not one which referred merely to the quality or nature of knowledge and truth. They have thought that unless all knowledge was ours, a knowledge of "the absolute" could not be ours; in short, that a claim to a knowledge of "the absolute" was a claim to the possession of omniscience. This is a great misapprehension. "The absolute" has nothing to do with the extent, but only with the constitution of cognition. Wherever knowledge or thought is, even in its narrowest manifestation, there "the absolute" is known; because there something is apprehended by intellect simply, something which is intelligible, not merely to this or to that particular mind, but to reason universally. In any review of the question of "the absolute," our philosophers would do well to bear in mind, that not the range or compass, but only the nature or character of our thought has to be taken into account. That there are very serious difficulties to be contended with in establishing "a philosophy of the absolute" is not to be doubted, and it must also be admitted that the tendency of such a philosophy is towards the conclusion (whether satisfactory or not) that rational self-consciousness is the only ultimate and all-comprehensive reality—is the truth above all truth—is the primary groundwork as well as the crowning perfection of the universe. But this conclusion can neither be established nor gainsaid by any inquiry into the limitations of the human faculties. It can only be disposed of (whether pro or con) by a thorough-going analysis, of which a faint indication has been given, which shall distinguish between the absolute and the relative elements in our cognitions. This Kant attempted, but this Kant did not achieve; because in his system the absolute elements are given out as merely relative, which is equivalent to the assertion that there is no common nature in all intelligence; which again is equivalent to the paradoxical averment that intelligence has no nature or essence whatsoever. Hegel made the attempt in a far better and truer spirit. In his conception he is unquestionably right; but in its execution he has involved himself in labyrinthine mazes, to many of which no reader has ever found, or ever will find the clue. The life of Hegel has been written at large by his disciple Rosenkranz of Königsberg. He and Erdmann of Halle are, in the opinion of the present writer, the most intelligent expositors of Hegelianism. Of the heterodox deductions which some philosophers and theologians have perversely sought to deduce from the Hegelian doctrines, it is unnecessary to speak. For these neither the system itself nor its author are in any way responsible.—J. F. F.

HEGESIPPUS, a Greek, a contemporary of Demosthenes, and of the same political opinions. Two of the orations which bear the name of Demosthenes have been ascribed to him. Others of the same name are Hegesippus the historian, who wrote an account of the peninsula of Pallene; Hegesippus, who wrote an account of the Jewish war, and the fall of Jerusalem; and Hegesippus, a church historian of the second century, whose work, except some fragments, is lost.—B. H. C.

HEGIUS, Alexander, one of the restorers of ancient learning in Germany, was born in Westphalia, in 1433. He received his first lessons in classical learning from Thomas à Kempis, and was early associated with Rudolph Agricola. For thirty years he was rector of the school of Deventer in Holland, where he was the first to introduce into that country the study of Greek. Erasmus and many other eminent men were educated under him. He died in 1498. He published nothing, though he wrote much but several of his pieces were brought out after his death, including "De Utilitate Linguæ Græcæ;" "De Aurea Mediocritate;" "Elegia;" "Hymni;" "Carmina;" and "Dialogi."—P. L.

HEIBERG, Johan Ludwig, one of the most celebrated of modern Danish authors, was born at Copenhagen on the 14th December, 1791. He was the son of Peter Andreas Heiberg by his wife, Thomasine Christine Buntsen—herself distinguished in literature as the writer of "a series of novels which are justly considered the most graphic portraiture of Danish society that has ever appeared. When Johan Ludwig was only eight years old, his father's banishment deprived him of paternal care. His mother, who remained in Denmark, after being formally separated from her expatriated husband, contracted a second marriage with a Swedish exile. Baron Ehrenswärd, who was living in Copenhagen under the assumed name of Gyllenborg. At the age of thirteen young Heiberg went to reside with his mother, now Fru Gyllenborg; whose house was the centre of the best literary society then to be found in the Danish capital. In 1809 he took his university degree, and in 1811 published his first drama, "Tycho Brahe's Prophecy." At the age of twenty-seven he obtained a travelling pension from the Danish government, which enabled him to visit Paris, where he resided with his father, and entered the most intellectual circles. On his return home in 1822 he was appointed to the professorship of the Danish language and literature in the university of Kiel; but resigned the chair, after having held it for only three years. Meanwhile, he had studied with ardour the philosophy of Hegel, and was the first to infuse Hegelian ideas into the literature of Denmark. But the turning point in his career was the attempt he made in 1825, to introduce an imitation of the French vaudevilles upon the Danish stage. This attempt was crowned with complete and brilliant success; and in 1829 he was appointed royal dramatic poet and translator, an important office connected with the theatre. In 1830 he was also appointed preceptor of logic, æsthetics, and Danish literature at the royal military academy. From that time until the period of his decease he occupied a very high position in the ranks of Danish authorship. He died on the 31st August, 1860. After Oehlenschläger and Grundtvig, no modern author has exercised such a marked influence on the intellectual development of Denmark. His works are in themselves a literature.—J. J.

HEIBERG, Peter Andreas, a Danish dramatic and miscellaneous writer of note, was born at Vordingborg in Sjælland on the 16th November, 1758. He resided as an official translator at Copenhagen from 1788 to 1799, when the freedom with which he expressed his political opinions rendered him amenable to the Danish tribunals. A judicial sentence banished him from his native country; and he went to France, where his knowledge of languages procured him a post in the department of foreign affairs under Napoleon. His acquaintance with all northern matters was of special use to Talleyrand, whom he frequently accompanied in his negotiations in Germany. When Napoleon fell, Heiberg lost his situation; but he continued to receive a pension until his decease, which occurred at Paris in 1841. Heiberg was a man of firm character and clear understanding, and amply endowed with trenchant satire; but he was too liable to the influence of one-sided views and peculiar prejudices. He was a prolific and able dramatist. A complete edition of his dramatic works was edited by Rahbek in 1806-19.—J. J.

HEIDANUS, Abraham, a distinguished Cartesian divine, a native of the Palatinate, born in 1597, but educated in Amsterdam; to which his father had been called as a preacher in 1608.