anatomy and medicine. Still, when all is said and done, Hegel shone the bright particular star of the constellation. Indeed, so far as our perplexing proximity permits fair judgment, we must rank him foremost among the systematic thinkers of the nineteenth century. The ceaseless praises and recriminations that have encompassed his memory ever since his death, in 1831, prove no less. Present signs of his returning influence among the Teutonic peoples indicate much the same thing. But, some one will inquire, what has all this to do with Darwin's hold upon the general imagination? I answer, everything! For while, schooled by long neglect, even contumely, we philosophers have learned to consume our own smoke in comparative silence, you, my scientific colleagues, may be prepared to take the word of one who, perhaps more than any of your coadjutors, possesses the right to speak with authority on the occasion of the Darwin Centennial. Professor H. F. Osborn writes:
Many proofs might be adduced readily. Two mere indications must suffice here. Hegel, for instance, insists, and rightly, that the botanists of his day, obsessed by classification, did not realize the force of Goethe's position, "eben well ein Ganzes darin dargestellt wurde." Again, Goethe himself formulated Spencer's famous principle about the passage from indefinite, incoherent homogeneity to definite, coherent heterogeneity. Goethe points out:
But, like other incalculable human forces, the idealists bore their manifest limitations. And Hegel may be taken as their consecrated representative. Perhaps we may understand this matter best by saying that, after a fashion, he came too soon. His central thesis embodied a theory of universal development, a theory that has had no parallel for boldness and penetration since Plato and his unique pupil, Aristotle. Now, a huge framework of this sort needs multifarious filling in. And one may well admire the temerity of the philosopher when he recalls the condition of knowledge between 1813 and 1816, the years that wit-
- "From the Greeks to Darwin," p. 87.
- "Naturphil.," p. 489.
- "Life of Goethe," G. H. Lewes, p. 358.