The World as Will and Representation/Second Book

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Nos habitat, non tartara, sed nec sidera coeli:
Spiritus, in nobis qui viget, ilia facit.

§ 17[edit]

In the first book we considered the idea merely as such, that is, only according to its general form. It is true that as far as the abstract idea, the concept, is concerned, we obtained a knowledge of it in respect of its content also, because it has content and meaning only in relation to the idea of perception, with out which it would be worthless and empty. Accordingly, directing our attention exclusively to the idea of perception, we shall now endeavour to arrive at a knowledge of its content, its more exact definition, and the forms which it presents to us. And it will specially interest us to find an explanation of its peculiar significance, that significance which is otherwise merely felt, but on account of which it is that these pictures do not pass by us entirely strange and meaningless, as they must other wise do, but speak to us directly, are understood, and obtain an interest which concerns our whole nature.

We direct our attention to mathematics, natural science, and philosophy, for each of these holds out the hope that it will afford us a part of the explanation we desire. Now, taking philosophy first, we find that it is like a monster with many heads, each of which speaks a different language. They are not, indeed, all at variance on the point we are here considering, the significance of the idea of perception. For, with the exception of the Sceptics and the Idealists, the others, for the most part, speak very much in the same way of an object which constitutes the basis of the idea, and which is indeed different in its whole being and nature from the idea, but yet is in all points as like it as one egg is to another. But this does not help us, for we are quite unable to distinguish such an object from the idea; we find that they are one and the same; for every object always and for ever presupposes a subject, and therefore remains idea, so that we recognised objectivity as belonging to the most universal form of the idea, which is the division into subject and object. Further, the principle of sufficient reason, which is referred to in support of this doctrine, is for us merely the form of the idea, the orderly combination of one idea with another, but not the combination of the whole finite or infinite series of ideas with something which is not idea at all, and which cannot therefore be presented in perception. Of the Sceptics and Idealists we spoke above, in examining the controversy about the reality of the outer world.

If we turn to mathematics to look for the fuller knowledge we desire of the idea of perception, which we have, as yet, only understood generally, merely in its form, we find that mathematics only treats of these ideas so far as they fill time and space, that is, so far as they are quantities. It will tell us with the greatest accuracy the how-many and the how-much; but as this is always merely relative, that is to say, merely a comparison of one idea with others, and a comparison only in the one respect of quantity, this also is not the information we are principally in search of.

Lastly, if we turn to the wide province of natural science, which is divided into many fields, we may, in the first place, make a general division of it into two parts. It is either the description of forms, which I call Morphology, or the explanation of changes, which I call Etiology. The first treats of the permanent forms, the second of the changing matter, according to the laws of its transition from one form to another. The first is the whole extent of what is generally called natural history. It teaches us, especially in the sciences of botany and zoology, the various permanent, organised, and therefore definitely determined forms in the constant change of individuals; and these forms constitute a great part of the content of the idea of perception. In natural history they are classified, separated, united, arranged according to natural and artificial systems, and brought under concepts which make a general view and knowledge of the whole of them possible. Further, an infinitely fine analogy both in the whole and in the parts of these forms, and running through them all (unité de plan), is established, and thus they may be com pared to innumerable variations on a theme which is not given. The passage of matter into these forms, that is to say, the origin of individuals, is not a special part of natural science, for every individual springs from its like by generation, which is everywhere equally mysterious, and has as yet evaded definite knowledge. The little that is known on the subject finds its place in physiology, which belongs to that part of natural science I have called etiology. Mineralogy also, especially where it becomes geology, inclines towards etiology, though it principally belongs to morphology. Etiology proper comprehends all those branches of natural science in which the chief concern is the knowledge of cause and effect. The sciences teach how, according to an invariable rule, one condition of matter is necessarily followed by a certain other condition; how one change necessarily conditions and brings about a certain other change; this sort of teaching is called explanation. The principal sciences in this department are mechanics, physics, chemistry, and physiology.

If, however, we surrender ourselves to its teaching, we soon become convinced that etiology cannot afford us the information we chiefly desire, any more than morphology. The latter presents to us innumerable and in finitely varied forms, which are yet related by an unmistakable family likeness. These are for us ideas, and when only treated in this way, they remain always strange to us, and stand before us like hieroglyphics which we do not understand. Etiology, on the other hand, teaches us that, according to the law of cause and effect, this particular condition of matter brings about that other particular condition, and thus it has explained it and performed its part. However, it really does nothing more than indicate the orderly arrangement according to which the states of matter appear in space and time, and teach in all cases what phenomenon must necessarily appear at a particular time in a particular place. It thus determines the position of phenomena in time and space, according to a law whose special content is derived from experience, but whose universal form and necessity is yet known to us independently of experience. But it affords us absolutely no information about the inner nature of any one of these phenomena: this is called a force of nature, and it lies outside the province of causal explanation, which calls the constant uniformity with which manifestations of such a force appear whenever their known conditions are present, a law of nature. But this law of nature, these conditions, and this appearance in a particular place at a particular time, are all that it knows or ever can know. The force itself which manifests itself, the inner nature of the phenomena which appear in accordance with these laws, remains always a secret to it, something entirely strange and unknown in the case of the simplest as well as of the most complex phenomena. For although as yet etiology has most completely achieved its aim in mechanics, and least completely in physiology, still the force on account of which a stone falls to the ground or one body repels another is, in its inner nature, not less strange and mysterious than that which produces the movements and the growth of an animal. The science of mechanics presupposes matter, weight, impenetrability, the possibility of communicating motion by impact, inertia and so forth as ultimate facts, calls them forces of nature, and their necessary and orderly appearance under certain conditions a law of nature. Only after this does its explanation begin, and it consists in indicating truly and with mathematical exactness, how, where and when each force manifests itself, and in referring every phenomenon which presents itself to the operation of one of these forces. Physics, chemistry, and physiology proceed in the same way in their province, only they presuppose more and accomplish less. Consequently the most complete etiological explanation of the whole of nature can never be more than an enumeration of forces which cannot be explained, and a reliable statement of the rule according to which phenomena appear in time and space, succeed, and make way for each other. But the inner nature of the forces which thus appear remains unexplained by such an explanation, which must confine itself to phenomena and their arrangement, because the law which it follows does not extend further. In this respect it may be compared to a section of a piece of marble which shows many veins beside each other, but does not allow us to trace the course of the veins from the interior of the marble to its surface. Or, if I may use an absurd but more striking comparison, the philosophical investigator must always have the same feeling towards the complete etiology of the whole of nature, as a man who, without knowing how, has been brought into a company quite unknown to him, each member of which in turn presents another to him as his friend and cousin, and therefore as quite well known, and yet the man himself, while at each introduction he expresses himself gratified, has always the question on his lips: "But how the deuce do I stand to the whole company?"

Thus we see that, with regard to those phenomena which we know only as our ideas, etiology can never give us the desired information that shall carry us beyond this point. For, after all its explanations, they still remain quite strange to us, as mere ideas whose significance we do not understand. The causal connection merely gives us the rule and the relative order of their appearance in space and time, but affords us no further knowledge of that which so appears. Moreover, the law of causality itself has only validity for ideas, for objects of a definite class, and it has meaning only in so far as it presupposes them. Thus, like these objects themselves, it always exists only in relation to a subject, that is, conditionally; and so it is known just as well if we start from the subject, i.e., a priori, as if we start from the object, i.e., a posteriori. Kant indeed has taught us this.

But what now impels us to inquiry is just that we are not satisfied with knowing that we have ideas, that they are such and such, and that they are connected according to certain laws, the general expression of which is the principle of sufficient reason. We wish to know the significance of these ideas; we ask whether this world is merely idea; in which case it would pass by us like an empty dream or a baseless vision, not worth our notice; or whether it is also something else, something more than idea, and if so, what. Thus much is certain, that this something we seek for must be completely and in its whole nature different from the idea; that the forms and laws of the idea must therefore be completely foreign to it; further, that we cannot arrive at it from the idea under the guidance of the laws which merely combine objects, ideas, among themselves, and which are the forms of the principle of sufficient reason.

Thus we see already that we can never arrive at the real nature of things from without. However much we investigate, we can never reach anything but images and names. We are like a man who goes round a castle seeking in vain for an entrance, and sometimes sketching the façades. And yet this is the method that has been followed by all philosophers before me.

§ 18[edit]

In fact, the meaning for which we seek of that world which is present to us only as our idea, or the transition from the world as mere idea of the knowing subject to whatever it may be besides this, would never be found if the investigator himself were nothing more than the pure knowing subject (a winged cherub without a body). But he is himself rooted in that world; he finds himself in it as an individual, that is to say, his knowledge, which is the necessary supporter of the whole world as idea, is yet always given through the medium of a body, whose affections are, as we have shown, the starting-point for the understanding in the perception of that world. His body is, for the pure knowing subject, an idea like every other idea, an object among objects. Its movements and actions are so far known to him in precisely the same way as the changes of all other perceived objects, and would be just as strange and incomprehensible to him if their meaning were not explained for him in an entirely different way. Otherwise he would see his actions follow upon given motives with the constancy of a law of nature, just as the changes of other objects follow upon causes, stimuli, or motives. But he would not understand the influence of the motives any more than the connection between every other effect which he sees and its cause. He would then call the inner nature of these manifestations and actions of his body which he did not understand a force, a quality, or a character, as he pleased, but he would have no further insight into it. But all this is not the case; indeed, the answer to the riddle is given to the subject of knowledge who appears as an individual, and the answer is will. This and this alone gives him the key to his own existence, reveals to him the significance, shows him the inner mechanism of his being, of his action, of his movements. The body is given in two entirely different ways to the subject of knowledge, who becomes an individual only through his identity with it. It is given as an idea in intelligent perception, as an object among objects and subject to the laws of objects. And it is also given in quite a different way as that which is immediately known to every one, and is signified by the word will. Every true act of his will is also at once and without exception a movement of his body. The act of will and the movement of the body are not two different things objectively known, which the bond of causality unites; they do not stand in the relation of cause and effect; they are one and the same, but they are given in entirely different ways, — immediately, and again in perception for the understanding. The action of the body is nothing but the act of the will objectified, i.e., passed into perception. It will appear later that this is true of every movement of the body, not merely those which follow upon motives, but also involuntary movements which follow upon mere stimuli, and, indeed, that the whole body is nothing but objectified will, i.e., will become idea. All this will be proved and made quite clear in the course of this work. In one respect, therefore, I shall call the body the objectivity of will; as in the previous book, and in the essay on the principle of sufficient reason, in accordance with the one-sided point of view intentionally adopted there (that of the idea), I called it the immediate object. Thus in a certain sense we may also say that will is the knowledge a priori of the body, and the body is the knowledge a posteriori of the will. Resolutions of the will which relate to the future are merely deliberations of the reason about what we shall will at a particular time, not real acts of will. Only the carrying out of the resolve stamps it as will, for till then it is never more than an intention that may be changed, and that exists only in the reason in abstracto. It is only in reflection that to will and to act are different; in reality they are one. Every true, genuine, immediate act of will is also, at once and immediately, a visible act of the body. And, corresponding to this, every impression upon the body is also, on the other hand, at once and immediately an impression upon the will. As such it is called pain when it is opposed to the will; gratification or pleasure when it is in accordance with it. The degrees of both are widely different. It is quite wrong, however, to call pain and pleasure ideas, for they are by no means ideas, but immediate affections of the will in its manifestation, the body; compulsory, instantaneous willing or not-willing of the impression which the body sustains. There are only a few impressions of the body, which do not touch the will, and it is through these alone that the body is an immediate object of knowledge, for, as perceived by the understanding, it is already an indirect object like all others. These impressions are, therefore, to be treated directly as mere ideas, and excepted from what has been said. The impressions we refer to are the affections of the purely objective senses of sight, hearing, and touch, though only so far as these organs are affected in the way which is specially peculiar to their specific nature. This affection of them is so excessively weak an excitement of the heightened and specifically modified sensibility of these parts that it does not affect the will, but only furnishes the understanding with the data out of which the perception arises, undisturbed by any excitement of the will. But every stronger or different kind of affection of these organs of sense is painful, that is to say, against the will, and thus they also belong to its objectivity. Weakness of the nerves shows itself in this, that the impressions which have only such a degree of strength as would usually be sufficient to make them data for the understanding reach the higher degree at which they influence the will, that is to say, give pain or pleasure, though more often pain, which is, however, to some extent deadened and inarticulate, so that not only particular tones and strong light are painful to us, but there ensues a generally unhealthy and hypochondriacal disposition which is not distinctly understood. The identity of the bodv and the will shows itself further, among other ways, in the circumstance that every vehement and excessive movement of the will, i.e., every emotion, agitates the body and its inner constitution directly, and disturbs the course of its vital functions. This is shown in detail in “Will in Nature” p. 27 of the second edition and p. 28 of the third.

Lastly, the knowledge which I have of my will, though it is immediate, cannot be separated from that which I have of my body. I know my will, not as a whole, not as a unity, not completely, according to its nature, but know it only in its particular acts, and therefore in time, which is the form of the phenomenal aspect of my body, as of every object. Therefore the body is a condition of the knowledge of my will. Thus, I cannot really imagine this will apart from my body. In the essay on the principle of sufficient reason, the will, or rather the subject of willing is treated as a special class of ideas or objects. But even there we saw this object become one with the subject; that is, we saw it cease to be an object. We there called this union the miracle κατ' εξοχήν and the whole of the present work is to a certain extent an explanation of this. So far as I know my will specially as object, I know it as body. But then I am again at the first class of ideas laid down in that essay i.e., real objects. As we proceed we shall see always more clearly that these ideas of the first class obtain their explanation and solution from those of the fourth class given in the essay, which could no longer be properly opposed to the subject as object, and that, there fore we must learn to understand the inner nature of the law of causality which is valid in the first class, and of all that happens in accordance with it from the law of motivation which governs the fourth class.

The identity of the will and the body, of which we have now given a cursory explanation, can only be proved in the manner we have adopted here. We have proved this identity for the first time, and shall do so more and more fully in the course of this work. By "proved" we mean raised from the immediate consciousness, from knowledge in the concrete to abstract knowledge of the reason, or carried over into abstract knowledge. On the other hand, from its very nature it can never be demonstrated, that is, deduced as indirect knowledge from some other more direct knowledge, just because it is itself the most direct knowledge; and if we do not apprehend it and stick to it as such, we shall expect in vain to receive it again in some indirect way as derivative knowledge. It is knowledge of quite a special kind, whose truth cannot therefore properly be brought under any of the four rubrics under which I have classified all truth in the essay on the principle of sufficient reason, § 29, the logical, the empirical, the metaphysical, and the metalogical, for it is not, like all these, the relation of an abstract idea to another idea, or to the necessary form of perceptive or of abstract ideation, but it is the relation, of a judgment to the connection which an idea of perception, the body, has to that which is not an idea at all, but something toto genere different, will. I should like therefore to distinguish this from all other truth, and call it κατ' εξοχήν philosophical truth. We can turn the expression of this truth in different ways and say: My body and my will are one; — or, What as an idea of perception I call my body, I call my will, so far as I am conscious of it in an entirely different way which cannot be compared to any other; or, My body is the objectivity of my will; — or, My body considered apart from the fact that it is my idea is still my will, and so forth.[1]

§ 19[edit]

In the first book we were reluctantly driven to explain the human body as merely idea of the subject which knows it, like all the other objects of this world of perception. But it has now become clear that what enables us consciously to distinguish our own body from all other objects which in other respects are precisely the same, is that our body appears in consciousness in quite another way toto genere different from idea, and this we denote by the word will; and that it is just this double knowledge which we have of our own body that affords us information about it, about its action and movement following on motives, and also about what it experiences by means of external impressions; in a word, about what it is, not as idea, but as more than idea; that is to say, what it is in itself. None of this information have we got directly with regard to the nature, action, and experience of other real objects.

It is just because of this special relation to one body that the knowing subject is an individual. For regarded apart from this relation, his body is for him only an idea like all other ideas. But the relation through which the knowing subject is an individual, is just on that account a relation which subsists only between him and one particular idea of all those which he has. Therefore he is conscious of this one idea, not merely as an idea, but in quite a different way as a will. If, however, he abstracts from that special relation, from that twofold and completely heterogeneous knowledge of what is one and the same, then that one, the body, is an idea like all other ideas. Therefore, in order to understand the matter, the individual who knows must either assume that what distinguishes that one idea from others is merely the fact that his knowledge stands in this double relation to it alone; that insight in two ways at the same time is open to him only in the case of this one object of perception, and that this is to be explained not by the difference of this object from all others, but only by the difference between the relation of his knowledge to this one object, and its relation to all other objects. Or else he must assume that this object is essentially different from all others; that it alone of all objects is at once both will and idea, while the rest are only ideas, i.e., only phantoms. Thus he must assume that his body is the only real individual in the world, i.e., the only phenomenon of will and the only immediate object of the subject. That other objects, considered merely as ideas, are like his body, that is, like it, fill space (which itself can only be present as idea), and also, like it, are causally active in space, is indeed demonstrably certain from the law of causality which is a priori valid for ideas, and which admits of no effect without a cause; but apart from the fact that we can only reason from an effect to a cause generally, and not to a similar cause, we are still in the sphere of mere ideas, in which alone the law of causality is valid, and beyond which it can never take us. But whether the objects known to the individual only as ideas are yet, like his own body, manifestations of a will, is, as way said in the First Book, the proper meaning of the question as to the reality of the external world. To deny this is theoretical egoism, which on that account regards all phenomena that are outside its own will as phantoms, just as in a practical reference exactly the same thing is done by practical egoism. For in it a man regards and treats himself alone as a person, and all other persons as mere phantoms. Theoretical egoism can never be demonstrably refuted, yet in philosophy it has never been used otherwise than as a sceptical sophism, i.e., a pretence. As a serious conviction, on the other hand, it could only be found in a madhouse, and as such it stands in need of a cure rather than a refutation. We do not therefore combat it any further in this regard, but treat it as merely the last stronghold of scepticism, which is always polemical. Thus our knowledge, which is always bound to individuality and is limited by this circumstance, brings with it the necessity that each of us can only be one, while, on the other hand, each of us can know all; and it is this limitation that creates the need for philosophy. We therefore who, for this very reason, are striving to extend the limits of our knowledge through philosophy, will treat this sceptical argument of theoretical egoism which meets us, as an army would treat a small frontier fortress. The fortress cannot indeed be taken, but the garrison can never sally forth from it, and therefore we pass it by without danger, and are not afraid to have it in our rear.

The double knowledge which each of us has of the nature and activity of his own body, and which is given in two completely different ways, has now been clearly brought out. We shall accordingly make further use of it as a key to the nature of every phenomenon in nature, and shall judge of all objects which are not our own bodies, and are consequently not given to our consciousness in a double way but only as ideas, according to the analogy of our own bodies, and shall therefore assume that as in one aspect they are idea, just like our bodies, and in this respect are analogous to them, so in another aspect, what remains of objects when we set aside their existence as idea of the subject, must in its inner nature be the same as that in us which we call will. For what other kind of existence or reality should we attribute to the rest of the material world? Whence should we take the elements out of which we construct such a world? Besides will and idea nothing is known to us or thinkable. If we wish to attribute the greatest known reality to the material world which exists immediately only in our idea, we give it the reality which our own body has for each of us; for that is the most real thing for every one. But if we now analyse the reality of this body and its actions, beyond the fact that it is idea, we find nothing in it except the will; with this its reality is exhausted. Therefore we can nowhere find another kind of reality which we can attribute to the material world. Thus if we hold that the material world is something more than merely our idea, we must say that besides being idea, that is, in itself and according to its inmost nature, it is that which we find immediately in ourselves as will. I say according to its inmost nature; but we must first come to know more accurately this real nature of the will, in order that we may be able to distinguish from it what does not belong to itself, but to its manifestation, which has many grades. Such, for example, is the circumstance of its being accompanied by knowledge, and the determination by motives which is conditioned by this knowledge. As we shall see farther on, this does not belong to the real nature of will, but merely to its distinct manifestation as an animal or a human being. If, therefore, I say, — the force which attracts a stone to the earth is according to its nature, in itself, and apart from all idea, will, I shall not be supposed to express in this proposition the insane opinion that the stone moves itself in accordance with a known motive, merely because this is the way in which will appears in man.[2] We shall now proceed more clearly and in detail to prove, establish, and develop to its full extent what as yet has only been provisionally and generally explained.[3]

§ 20[edit]

As we have said, the will proclaims itself primarily in the voluntary movements of our own body, as the inmost nature of this body, as that which it is besides being object of perception, idea. For these voluntary movements are nothing else than the visible aspect of the individual acts of will, with which they are directly coincident and identical, and only distinguished through the form of knowledge into which they have passed, and in which alone they can be known, the form of idea.

But these acts of will have always a ground or reason outside themselves in motives. Yet these motives never determine more than what I will at this time, in this place, and under these circumstances, not that I will in general, or what I will in general, that is, the maxims which characterise my volition generally. Therefore the inner nature of my volition cannot be explained from these motives; but they merely determine its manifestation at a given point of time: they are merely the occasion of my will showing itself; but the will itself lies outside the province of the law of motivation, which determines nothing but its appearance at each point of time. It is only under the presupposition of my empirical character that the motive is a sufficient ground of explanation of my action. But if I abstract from my character, and then ask, why, in general, I will this and not that, no answer is possible, because it is only the manifestation of the will that is subject to the principle of sufficient, reason, and not the will itself, which in this respect is to be called groundless. At this point I presuppose Kant's doctrine of the empirical and intelligible character, and also my own treatment of the subject in "The Fundamental Problems of Ethics" pp. 48, 58, and 178, et seq., of first edition (p. 174, et seq., of second edition). I shall also have to speak more fully on the question in the Fourth Book. For the present, I have only to draw attention to this, that the fact of one manifestation being established through another, as here the deed through the motive, does not at all conflict with the fact that its real nature is will, which itself has no ground; for as the principle of sufficient reason in all its aspects is only the form of knowledge, its validity extends only to the idea, to the phenomena, to the visibility of the will, but not to the will itself, which becomes visible.

If now every action of my body is the manifestation of an act of will in which my will itself in general, and as a whole, thus my character, expresses itself under given motives, manifestation of the will must be the inevitable condition and presupposition of every action. For the fact of its manifestation cannot depend upon something which does not exist directly and only through it, which consequently is for it merely accidental, and through which its manifestation itself would be merely accidental. Now that condition is just the whole body itself. Thus the body itself must be manifestation of the will, and it must be related to my will as a whole, that is, to my intelligible character, whose phenomenal appearance in time is my empirical character, as the particular action of the body is related to the particular act of the will. The whole body, then, must be simply my will become visible, must be my will itself, so far as this is object of perception, an idea of the first class. It has already been advanced in confirmation of this that every impression upon my body also affects my will at once and immediately, and in this respect is called pain or pleasure, or, in its lower degrees, agreeable or disagreeable sensation; and also, conversely, that every violent movement of the will, every emotion or passion, convulses the body and disturbs the course of its functions. Indeed we can also give an etiological account, though a very incomplete one, of the origin of my body, and a some what better account of its development and conservation, and this is the substance of physiology. But physiology merely explains its theme in precisely the same way as motives explain action. Thus the physiological explanation of the functions of the body detracts just as little from the philosophical truth that the whole existence of this body and the sum total of its functions are merely the objectification of that will which appears in its outward actions in accordance with a motive, as the establishment of the individual action through the motive and the necessary sequence of the action from the motive conflicts with the fact that action in general, and according to its nature, is only the manifestation of a will which itself has no ground. If, however, physiology tries to refer even these outward actions, the immediate voluntary movements, to causes in the organism, — for example, if it explains the movement of the muscles as resulting from the presence of fluids ("like the contraction of a cord when it is wet", says Keil in his "Archiv für Physiologic," vol. vi. p. 153), even supposing it really could give a thorough explanation of this kind, yet this would never invalidate the immediately certain truth that every voluntary motion (functiones animales), is the manifestation of an act of will. Now, just as little can the physiological explanation of vegetative life (functiones naturales vitales), however far it may advance, ever invalidate the truth that the whole animal life which thus develops itself is the manifestation of will. In general, then, as we have shown above, no etiological explanation can ever give us more than the necessarily determined position in time and space of a particular manifestation, its necessary appearance there, according to a fixed law; but the inner nature of everything that appears in this way remains wholly inexplicable, and is presupposed by every etiological explanation, and merely indicated by the names, force, or law of nature, or, if we are speaking of action, character or will. Thus, although every particular action, under the presupposition of the definite character, necessarily follows from the given motive, and although growth, the process of nourishment, and all the changes of the animal body take place according to necessarily acting causes (stimuli), yet the whole series of actions, and consequently every individual act, and also its condition, the whole body itself which accomplishes it, and therefore also the process through which and in which it exists, are nothing but the manifestation of the will, the becoming visible, the objectification of the will. Upon this rests the perfect suitableness of the human and animal body to the human and animal will in general, resembling, though far surpassing, the correspondence between an instrument made for a purpose and the will of the maker, and on this account appearing as design, i.e., the teleologicul explanation of the body. The parts of the body must, therefore, completely correspond to the principal desires through which the will manifests itself; they must be the visible expression of these desires. Teeth, throat, and bowels objectified hunger; the organs of generation are objectified sexual desire; the grasping hand, the hurrying feet, correspond to the more indirect desires of the will which they express. As the human form generally corresponds to the human will generally, so the individual bodily structure corresponds to the individually modified will, the character of the individual, and therefore it is through out and in all its parts characteristic and full of expression. It is very remarkable that Parmenides already gave expression to this in the following verses, quoted by Aristotle (Metaph. iii. 5): —

Ὡς γὰρ ἕκαστος ἔχει κρᾶσιν μελέων πολυπλάγκτων,
Τὼς νόος ἀνθρώποισι παρίσταται· τὸ γὰρ αὐτό
Ἒστιν, ὅπερ φρονέει, μελέων φύσις ἀνθρώποισιν
Καὶ πᾶσιν καὶ παντί· τὸ γὰρ πλέον ἐστὶ νόημα.

(Ut enim cuique complexio membrorum flexibilium se habet, ita mens hominibus adest: idem namque est, quod sapit, membrorum natura hominibus, et omnibus et omni; quod enim plus est, intelligentia est.)[4]

§ 21[edit]

Whoever has now gained from all these expositions a knowledge in abstracto, and therefore clear and certain, of what every one knows directly in concreto, i.e., as feeling, a knowledge that his will is the real inner nature of his phenomenal being, which manifests itself to him as idea, both in his actions and in their permanent substratum, his body, and that his will is that which is most immediate in his consciousness, though it has not as such completely passed into the form of idea in which object and subject stand over against each other, but makes itself known to him in a direct manner, in which he does not quite clearly distinguish subject and object, yet is not known as a whole to the individual himself, but only in its particular acts, — whoever, I say, has with me gained this conviction will find that of itself it affords him the key to the knowledge of the inmost being of the whole of nature; for he now transfers it to all those phenomena which are not given to him, like his own phenomenal existence, both in direct and indirect knowledge, but only in the latter, thus merely one-sidedly as idea alone. He will recognise this will of which we are speaking not only in those phenomenal existences which exactly resemble his own, in men and animals as their inmost nature, but the course of reflection will lead him to recognise the force which germinates arid vegetates in the plant, and indeed the force through which the crystal is formed, that by which the magnet turns to the north pole, the force whose shock he experiences from the contact of two different kinds of metals, the force which appears in the elective affinities of matter as repulsion and attraction, decomposition and combination, and, lastly, even gravitation, which acts so powerfully throughout matter, draws the stone to the earth and the earth to the sun, — all these, I say, he will recognise as different only in their phenomenal existence, but in their inner nature as identical, as that which is directly known to him so intimately and so much better than anything else, and which in its most distinct manifestation is called will. It is this application of reflection alone that prevents us from remaining any longer at the phenomenon, and leads us to the thing in itself. Phenomenal existence is idea and nothing more. All idea, of whatever kind it may be, all object, is phenomenal existence, but the will alone is a thing in itself. As such, it is throughout not idea, but toto genere different from it; it is that of which all idea, all object, is the phenomenal appearance, the visibility, the objectification. It is the inmost nature, the kernel, of every particular thing, and also of the whole. It appears in every blind force of nature and also in the preconsidered action of man; and the great difference between these two is merely in the degree of the manifestation, not in the nature of what manifests itself.

§ 22[edit]

Now, we are to think as an object this thing-in-itself (we wish to retain the Kantian expression as a standing formula), which, as such, is never object, because all object is its mere manifestation, and therefore cannot be it itself, we must borrow for it the name and concept of an object, of something in some way objectively given, consequently of one of its own manifestations. But in order to serve as a clue for the understanding, this can be no other than the most complete of all its manifestations, i.e., the most distinct, the most developed, and directly enlightened by knowledge. Now this is the human will. It is, however, well to observe that here, at any rate, we only make use of a denominatio a potiori, through which, therefore, the concept of will receives a greater extension than it has hitherto had. Knowledge of the identical in different phenomena, and of difference in similar phenomena, is, as Plato so often remarks, a sine qua non of philosophy. But hitherto it was not recognised that every kind of active and operating force in nature is essentially identical with will, and therefore the multifarious kinds of phenomena were not seen to be merely different species of the same genus, but were treated as heterogeneous. Consequently there could be no word to denote the concept of this genus. I therefore name the genus after its most important species, the direct know ledge of which lies nearer to us and guides us to the in direct knowledge of all other species. But whoever is incapable of carrying out the required extension of the concept will remain involved in a permanent misunderstanding. For by the word will he understands only that species of it which has hitherto been exclusively denoted by it, the will which is guided by knowledge, and whose manifestation follows only upon motives, and indeed merely abstract motives, and thus takes place under the guidance of the reason. This, we have said, is only the most prominent example of the manifestation of will. We must now distinctly separate in thought the inmost essence of this manifestation which is known to us directly, and then transfer it to all the weaker, less distinct manifestations of the same nature, and thus we shall accomplish the desired extension of the concept of will. From another point of view I should be equally misunderstood by any one who should think that it is all the same in the end whether we denote this inner nature of all phenomena by the word will or by any other. This would be the case if the thing-in-itself were something whose existence we merely inferred, and thus knew indirectly and only in the abstract. Then, indeed, we might call it what we pleased; the name would stand merely as the symbol of an unknown quantity. But the word will, which, like a magic spell, discloses to us the inmost being of everything in nature, is by no means an unknown quantity, something arrived at only by inference, but is fully and immediately comprehended, and is so familiar to us that we know and understand what will is far better than anything else whatever. The concept of will has hitherto commonly been subordinated to that of force, but I reverse the matter entirely, and desire that every force in nature should be thought as will. It must not be supposed that this is mere verbal quibbling or of no consequence; rather, it is of the greatest significance and importance. For at the foundation of the concept of force, as of all other concepts, there ultimately lies the knowledge in sense-perception of the objective world, that is to say, the phenomenon, the idea; and the concept is constructed out of this. It is an abstraction from the province in which cause and effect reign, i.e., from ideas of perception, and means just the causal nature of causes at the point at which this causal nature is no further etiologically explicable, but is the necessary presupposition of all etiological explanation. The concept will, on the other hand, is of all possible concepts the only one which has its source not in the phenomenal, not in the mere idea of perception, but comes from within, and proceeds from the most immediate consciousness of each of us, in which each of us knows his own individuality, according to its nature, immediately, apart from all form even that of subject and object, and which at the same time is this individuality, for here the subject and the object of knowledge are one. If, therefore, we refer the concept of force to that of will, we have in fact referred the less known to what is infinitely better known; indeed, to the one thing that is really immediately and fully known to us, and have very greatly extended our knowledge. If, on the contrary, we subsume the concept of will under that of force, as has hitherto always been done, we renounce the only immediate knowledge which we have of the inner nature of the world, for we allow it to disappear in a concept which is abstracted from the phenomenal, and with which we can therefore never go beyond the phenomenal.

§ 23[edit]

The will as a thing in itself is quite different from its phenomenal appearance, and entirely free from all the forms of the phenomenal, into which it first passes when it manifests itself, and which therefore only concern its objectivity, and are foreign to the will itself. Even the most universal form of all idea, that of being object for a subject, does not concern it; still less the forms which are subordinate to this and which collectively have their common expression in the principle of sufficient reason, to which we know that time and space belong, and consequently multiplicity also, which exists and is possible only through these. In this last regard I shall call time and space the principium individuationis, borrowing an expression from the old schoolmen, and I beg to draw attention to this, once for all. For it is only through the medium of time and space that what is one and the same, both according to its nature and to its concept, yet appears as different, as a multiplicity of co-existent and successive phenomena. Thus time and space are the principium individuationis, the subject of so many subtle ties and disputes among the schoolmen, which may be found collected in Suarez (Disp. 5, Sect. 3). According to what has been said, the will as a thing-in-itself lies outside the province of the principle of sufficient reason in all its forms, and is consequently completely groundless, although all its manifestations are entirely subordinated to the principle of sufficient reason. Further, it is free from all multiplicity, although its manifestations in time and space are innumerable. It is itself one, though not in the sense in which an object is one, for the unity of an object can only be known in opposition to a possible multiplicity; nor yet in the sense in which a concept is one, for the unity of a concept originates only in abstraction from a multiplicity; but it is one as that which lies outside time and space, the principium individuationis, i.e., the possibility of multiplicity. Only when all this has became quite clear to us through the subsequent examination of the phenomena and different manifestations of the will, shall we fully understand the meaning of the Kantian doctrine that time, space and causality do not belong to the thing-in-itself, but are only forms of knowing.

The uncaused nature of will has been actually recognised, where it manifests itself most distinctly, as the will of man, and this has been called free, independent. But on account of the uncaused nature of the will itself, the necessity to which its manifestation is everywhere subjected has been overlooked, and actions are treated as free, which they are not. For every individual action follows with strict necessity from the effect of the motive upon the character. All necessity is, as we have already said, the relation of the consequent to the reason, and nothing more. The principle of sufficient reason is the universal form of all phenomena, and man in his action must be subordinated to it like every other phenomenon. But because in self-consciousness the will is known directly and in itself, in this consciousness lies also the consciousness of freedom. The fact is, however, overlooked that the individual, the person, is not will as a thing-in-itself, but is a phenomenon of will, is already determined as such, and has come under the form of the phenomenal, the principle of sufficient reason. Hence arises the strange fact that every one believes himself a priori to be perfectly free, even in his individual actions, and thinks that at every moment he can commence another manner of life, which just means that he can become another person. But a posteriori, through experience, he finds to his astonishment that he is not free, but subjected to necessity; that in spite of all his resolutions and reflections he does not change his conduct, and that from the beginning of his life to the end of it, he must carry out the very character which he himself condemns, and as it were play the part he has under taken to the end. I cannot pursue this subject further at present, for it belongs, as ethical, to another part of this work. In the meantime, I only wish to point out here that the phenomenon of the will which in itself is uncaused, is yet as such subordinated to the law of necessity, that is, the principle of sufficient reason, so that in the necessity with which the phenomena of nature follow each other, we may find nothing to hinder us from recognising in them the manifestations of will.

Only those changes which have no other ground than a motive, i.e., an idea, have hitherto been regarded as manifestations of will. Therefore in nature a will has only been attributed to man, or at the most to animals; for knowledge, the idea, is of course, as I have said elsewhere, the true and exclusive characteristic of animal life. But that the will is also active whore no knowledge guides it, we see at once in the instinct and the mechanical skill of animals.[5] That they have ideas and knowledge is here not to the point, for the end towards which they strive as definitely as if it were a known motive, is yet entirely unknown to them. Therefore in such cases their action takes place without motive, is not guided by the idea, and shows us first and most distinctly how the will may be active entirely without knowledge. The bird of a year old has no idea of the eirgs for which it builds a nest; the young spider has no idea of the prey for which it spins a web; nor has the ant-lion any idea of the ants for which he digs a trench for the first time. The larva of the stag-beetle makes the hole in the wood, in which it is to await its metamorphosis, twice as big if it is going to be a male beetle as if it is going to be a female, so that if it is a male there may be room for the horns, of which, however, it has no idea. In such actions of these creatures the will is clearly operative as in their other actions, but it is in blind activity, which is indeed accompanied by knowledge but not guided by it. If now we have once gained insight into the fact, that idea as motive is not a necessary and essential condition of the activity of the will, we shall more easily recognise the activity of will where it is less apparent. For example, we shall see that the house of the snail is no more made by a will which is foreign to the snail itself, than the house which we build is produced through another will than our own; but we shall recognise in both houses the work of a will which objectifies itself in both the phenomena — a will which works in us according to motives, but in the snail still blindly as formative impulse directed outwards. In us also the same will is in many ways only blindly active: in all the functions of our body which are not guided by knowledge, in all its vital and vegetative processes, digestion, circulation, secretion, growth, reproduction. Not only the actions of the body, but the whole body itself is, as we have shown above, phenomenon of the will, objectified will, concrete will. All that goes on in it must therefore proceed through will, although here this will is not guided by knowledge, but acts blindly according to causes, which in this case are called stimuli.

I call a cause, in the narrowest sense of the word, that state of matter, which, while it introduces another state with necessity, yet suffers just as great a change itself as that which it causes; which is expressed in the rule, "action and reaction are equal". Further, in the case of what is properly speaking a cause, the effect increases directly in proportion to the cause, and therefore also the reaction. So that, if once the mode of operation be known, the degree of the effect may be measured arid calculated from the degree of the intensity of the cause; and conversely the degree of the intensity of the cause may be calculated from the degree of the effect. Such causes, properly so called, operate in all the phenomena of mechanics, chemistry, and so forth; in short, in all the changes of unorganised bodies. On the other hand, I call a stimulus, such a cause as sustains no reaction proportional to its effect, and the intensity of which does not vary directly in proportion to the intensity of its effect, so that the effect cannot be measured by it. On the contrary, a small increase of the stimulus may cause a very great increase of the effect, or conversely, it may eliminate the previous effect altogether, and so forth. All effects upon organised bodies as such are of this kind. All properly organic and vegetative changes of the animal body must there fore be referred to stimuli, not to mere causes. But the stimulus, like every cause and motive generally, never determines more than the point of time and space at which the manifestation of every force is to take place, and does not determine the inner nature of the force itself which is manifested. This inner nature we know, from our previous investigation, is will, to which there fore we ascribe both the unconscious and the conscious changes of the body. The stimulus holds the mean, forms the transition between the motive, which is causality accompanied throughout by knowledge, and the cause in the narrowest sense. In particular cases it is sometimes nearer a motive, sometimes nearer a cause, but yet it can always be distinguished from both. Thus, for example, the rising of the sap in a plant follows upon stimuli, and cannot be explained from mere causes, according to the laws of hydraulics or capillary attraction; yet it is certainly assisted by these, and altogether approaches very near to a purely causal change. On the other hand, the movements of the Hedysarum gyrans and the Mimosa pudica, although still following upon mere stimuli, are yet very like movements which follow upon motives, and seem almost to wish to make the transition. The contraction of the pupils of the eyes as the light is increased is due to stimuli, but it passes into movement which is due to motive; for it takes place, because too strong lights would affect the retina painfully, and to avoid this we contract the pupils. The occasion of an erection is a motive, because it is an idea, yet it operates with the necessity of a stimulus, i.e., it cannot be resisted, but we must put the idea away in order to make it cease to affect us. This is also the case with disgusting things, which excite the desire to vomit. Thus we have treated the instinct of animals as an actual link, of quite a distinct kind, between movement follow ing upon stimuli, and action following upon a known motive. Now we might be asked to regard breathing as another link of this kind. It has been disputed whether it belongs to the voluntary or the involuntary movements, that is to say, whether it follows upon motive or stimulus, and perhaps it may be explained as something which is between the two. Marshall Hall ("On the Diseases of the Nervous System", § 293 sq.) explains it as a mixed function, for it is partly under the influence of the cerebral (voluntary), and partly under that of the spinal (non-voluntary) nerves. However, we are finally obliged to number it with the expressions of will which result from motives. For other motives, i.e., mere ideas, can determine the will to check it or accelerate it, and, as is the case with every other voluntary action, it seems to us that we could give up breathing altogether and voluntarily suffocate. And in fact we could do so if any other motive influenced the will sufficiently strongly to overcome the pressing desire for air. According to some accounts Diogenes actually put an end to his life in this way (Diog. Laert. VI. 76). Certain negroes also are said to have done this (F. B. Osiander "On Suicide" [1813] pp. 1 70-1 80). If this be true, it affords us a good example of the influence of abstract motives, i.e., of the victory of distinctively rational over merely animal will. For, that breathing is at least partially conditioned by cerebral activity is shown by the fact that the primary cause of death from prussic acid is that it paralyses the brain, and so, indirectly, restricts the breathing; but if the breathing be artificially maintained till the stupefaction of the brain has passed away, death will not ensue. We may also observe in passing that breathing affords us the most obvious example of the fact that motives act with just as much necessity as stimuli, or as causes in the narrowest sense of the word, and their operation can only be neutralised by antagonistic motives, as action is neutralised by re-action. For, in the case of breathing, the illusion that we can stop when we like is much weaker than in the case of other movements which follow upon motives; because in breathing the motive is very powerful, very near to us, and its satisfaction is very easy, for the muscles which accomplish it are never tired, nothing, as a rule, obstructs it, and the whole process is supported by the most inveterate habit of the individual. And yet all motives act with the same necessity. The knowledge that necessity is common to movements following upon motives, and those following upon stimuli, makes it easier for us to understand that that also which takes place in our bodily organism in accordance with stimuli and in obedience to law, is yet, according to its inner nature — will, which in all its manifestations, though never in itself, is subordinated to the principle of sufficient reason, that is, to necessity.[6] Accordingly, we shall not rest contented with recognising that animals, both in their actions and also in their whole existence, bodily structure and organisation, are manifestations of will; but we shall extend to plants also this immediate knowledge of the essential nature of things which is given to us alone. Now all the movements of plants follow upon stimuli; for the absence of knowledge, and the movement following upon motives which is conditioned by knowledge, constitutes the only essential difference be tween animals and plants. Therefore, what appears for the idea as plant life, as mere vegetation, as blindly impelling force, we shall claim, according to its inner nature, for will, and recognise it as just that which constitutes the basis of our own phenomenal being, as it expresses itself in our actions, and also in the whole existence of our body itself.

It only remains for us to take the final step, the extension of our way of looking at things to all those forces which act in nature in accordance with universal, unchangeable laws, in conformity with which the movements of all those bodies take place, which are wholly without organs, and have therefore no susceptibility for stimuli, and have no knowledge, which is the necessary condition of motives. Thus we must also apply the key to the understanding of the inner nature of things, which the immediate knowledge of our own existence alone car, give us, to those phenomena of the unorganised world which are most remote from us. And if we consider them attentively, if we observe the strong and unceasing impulse with which, the waters hurry to the ocean, the persistency with which the magnet turns ever to the north pole, the readiness with which iron flies to the magnet, the eagerness with which the electric poles seek to be re-united, and which, just like human desire, is increased by obstacles; if we see the crystal quickly and suddenly take form with such wonderful regularity of construction, which is clearly only a perfectly definite and accurately determined impulse in different directions, seized and retained by crystallisation; if we observe the choice with which bodies repel and attract each other, combine and separate, when they are set free in a fluid state, and emancipated from the bonds of rigidness; lastly, if we feel directly how a burden which hampers our body by its gravitation towards the earth, unceasingly presses and strains upon it in pursuit of its one tendency; if we observe all this, I say, it will require no great effort of the imagination to recognise, even at so great a distance, our own nature. That which in us pursues its ends by the light of knowledge; but here, in the weakest of its manifestations, only strives blindly and dumbly in a one-sided and unchangeable manner, must yet in both cases come under the name of will, as it is everywhere one and the same — just as the first dim light of dawn must share the name of sunlight with the rays of the full mid-day. For the name will denotes that which is the inner nature of everything in the world, and the one kernel of every phenomenon.

Yet the remoteness, and indeed the appearance of absolute difference between the phenomena of unorganised nature and the will which we know as the inner reality of our own being, arises chiefly from the contrast between the completely determined conformity to law of the one species of phenomena, and the apparently unfettered freedom of the other. For in man, individuality makes itself powerfully felt. Every one has a character of his own; and therefore the same motive has not the same influence over all, and a thousand circumstances which exist in the wide sphere of the knowledge of the individual, but are unknown to others, modify its effect. Therefore action cannot be predetermined from the motive alone, for the other factor is wanting, the accurate acquaintance with the individual character, and with the knowledge which accompanies it. On the other hand, the phenomena of the forces of nature illustrate the opposite extreme. They act according to universal laws, without variation, without individuality in accordance with openly manifest circumstances, subject to the most exact predetermination; and the same force of nature appears in its million phenomena in precisely the same way. In order to explain this point and prove the identity of the one indivisible will in all its different phenomena, in the weakest as in the strongest, we must first of all consider the relation of the will as thing-in-itself to its phenomena, that is, the relation of the world as will to the world as idea; for this will open to us the best way to a more thorough investigation of the whole subject we are considering in this second book.[7]

§ 24[edit]

We have learnt from the great Kant that time, space, and causality, with their entire constitution, and the possibility of all their forms, are present in our consciousness quite independently of the objects which appear in them, and which constitute their content; or, in other words, they can be arrived at just as well if we start from the subject as if we start from the object. Therefore, with equal accuracy, we may call them either forms of intuition or perception of the subject, or qualities of the object as object (with Kant, phenomenon), i.e., idea. We may also regard these forms as the irreducible boundary between object and subject. All objects must therefore exist in them, yet the subject, independently of the phenomenal object, possesses and surveys them completely. But if the objects appearing in these forms are not to be empty phantoms, but are to have a meaning, they must refer to something, must be the expression of something which is not, like themselves, object, idea, a merely relative existence for a subject, but which exists without such dependence upon something which stands over against it as a condition of its being, and independent of the forms of such a thing, i.e., is not idea, but a thing-in-itself. Consequently it may at least be asked: Are these ideas, these objects, something more than or apart from the fact that they are ideas, objects of the subject? And what would they be in this sense? What is that other side of them which is toto genere different from idea? What is the thing-in-itself? The will, we have answered, but for the present I set that answer aside.

Whatever the thing-in-itself may be, Kant is right in his conclusion that time, space, and causality (which we afterwards found to be forms of the principle of sufficient reason, the general expression of the forms of the phenomenon) are not its properties, but come to it only after, and so far as, it has become idea. That is, they belong only to its phenomenal existence, not to itself. For since the subject fully understands and constructs them out of itself, independently of all object, they must be dependent upon existence as idea as such, not upon that which becomes idea. They must be the form of the idea as such; but not qualities of that which has assumed this form. They must be already given with the mere antithesis of subject and object (not as concepts but as facts), and consequently they must be only the more exact determination of the form of knowledge in general, whose most universal determination is that antithesis itself. Now, that in the phenomenon, in the object, which is in its turn conditioned by time, space and causality, inasmuch as it can only become idea by means of them, namely multiplicity, through co-existence and succession, change and permanence through the law of causality, matter which can only become idea under the presupposition of causality, and lastly, all that becomes idea only by means of these, — all this, I say, as a whole, does not in reality be long to that which appears, to that which has passed into the form of idea, but belongs merely to this form itself. And conversely, that in the phenomenon which is not conditioned through time, space and causality, and which cannot be referred to them, nor explained in accordance with them, is precisely that in which the thing manifested, the thing-in-itself, directly reveals itself. It follows from this that the most complete capacity for being known, that is to say, the greatest clearness, distinctness, and susceptibility of exhaustive explanation, will necessarily belong to that which pertains to knowledge as such, and thus to the form of knowledge; but not to that which in itself is not idea, not object, but which has become knowledge only through entering these forms; in other words, has become idea, object. Thus only that which depends entirely upon being an object of knowledge, upon existing as idea in general and as such (not upon that which becomes known, and has only become idea), which therefore belongs without distinction to everything that is known, and which, on that account, is found just as well if we start from the subject as it we start from the object, — this alone can afford us without reserve a sufficient, exhaustive knowledge, a knowledge which is clear to the very foundation. But this consists of nothing but those forms of all phenomena of which we are conscious a priori, and which may he generally expressed as the principle of sufficient reason. Now, the forms of this principle which occur in knowledge of perception (with which alone we are here concerned) are time, space, and casuality. The whole of pure mathematics and pure natural science a priori is based entirely upon these. Therefore it is in these sciences that knowledge finds no obscurity, not rest upon what is incomprehensible (groundless, i.e., will), upon what cannot be further deduced. It is on this account that Kant wanted, as we have said, to apply the name science specially and even exclusively to these branches of knowledge together with logic. But, on the other hand, these branches of knowledge show us nothing more than mere connections, relations of one idea to another, form devoid of all content. All content which they receive, every phenomenon which fills these forms, contains something which is no longer completely knowable in its whole nature, something which can no longer be entirely explained through something else, something then which is groundless, through which consequently the knowledge loses its evidence and ceases to be completely lucid. This that withholds itself from investigation, however, is the thing-in-itself, is that which is essentially not idea, not object of know ledge, but has only become knowable by entering that form. The form is originally foreign to it, and the thing-in-itself can never become entirely one with it, can never be referred to mere form, and, since this form is the principle of sufficient reason, can never be completely explained. If therefore all mathematics affords us an exhaustive knowledge of that which in the phenomena is quantity, position, number, in a word, spatial and temporal relations; if all etiology gives us a complete account of the regular conditions under which phenomena, with all their determinations, appear in time and space, but, with it all, teaches us nothing more than why in each case this particular phenomenon must appear just at this time here, and at this place now; it is clear that with their assistance we can never penetrate to the inner nature of things. There always remains something which no explanation can venture to attack, but which it always presupposes; the forces of nature, the definite mode of operation of things, the quality and character of every phenomenon, that which is without ground, that which does not depend upon the form of the phenomenal, the principle of sufficient reason, but is something to which this form in itself is foreign, something which has yet entered this form, and now appears according to its law, a law, however, which only determines the appearance, not that which appears, only the how, not the what, only the form, not the content. Mechanics, physics, and chemistry teach the rules and laws according to which the forces of impenetrability, gravitation, rigidity, fluidity, cohesion, elasticity, heat, light, affinity, magnetism, electricity, etc., operate; that is to say, the law, the rule which these forces observe whenever they enter time and space. But do what we will, the forces themselves remain qualitates occultae. For it is just the thing-in-itself, which, because it is manifested, exhibits these phenomena, which are entirely different from itself. In its manifestation, indeed, it is completely subordinated to the principle of sufficient reason as the form of the idea, but it can never itself be referred to this form, and therefore cannot be fully explained etiologically, can never be completely fathomed. It is certainly perfectly comprehensible so far as it has assumed that form, that is, so far as it is phenomenon, but its inner nature is not in the least explained by the fact that it can thus be comprehended. Therefore the more necessity any knowledge carries with it, the more there is in it of that which cannot be otherwise thought or presented in perception — as, for example, space-relations — the clearer; and more sufficing then it is, the less pure objective content it has, or the less reality, properly so called, is given in it. And conversely, the more there is in it which must be conceived as mere chance, and the more it impresses us as given merely empirically, the more proper objectivity and true reality is there in such knowledge, and at the same time, the more that is inexplicable, that is, that cannot be deduced from anything else.

It is true that at all times an etiology, unmindful of its real aim, has striven to reduce all organised life to chemism or electricity; all chemism, that is to say quality, again to mechanism (action determined by the shape of the atom), this again sometimes to the object of phoronomy, i.e., the combination of time and space, which makes motion possible, sometimes to the object of mere geometry, i.e., position in space (much in the same way as we rightly deduce the diminution of an effect from the square of the distance, and the theory of the lever in a purely geometrical manner): geometry may finally be reduced to arithmetic, which, on account of its one dimension, is of all the forms of the principle of sufficient reason, the most intelligible, comprehensible, and completely susceptible of investigation. As instances of the method generally indicated here, we may refer to the atoms of Democritus, the vortex of Descartes, the mechanical physics of Lesage, which towards the end of last century tried to explain both chemical affinities and gravitation mechanically by impact and pressure, as may be seen in detail in "Lucrèce Neutonien"; Reil's form and combination as the cause of animal life, also tends in this direction. Finally, the crude materialism which even now in the middle of the nineteenth century has been served up again under the ignorant delusion that it is original, belongs distinctly to this class. It stupidly denies vital force, and first of all tries to explain the phenomena of life from physical and chemical forces, and those again from the mechanical effects of the matter, position, form, and motion of imagined atoms, and thus seeks to reduce all the forces of nature to action and reaction as its thing-in-itself. According to this teaching, light is the mechanical vibration or undulation of an imaginary ether, postulated for this end. This ether, if it reaches the eye, beats rapidly upon the retina, and gives us the knowledge of colour. Thus, for example, four hundred and eighty-three billion beats in a second give red, and seven hundred and twenty-seven billion beats in a second give violet. Upon this theory, persons who are colour blind must be those who are unable to count the beats, must they not? Such crass, mechanical, clumsy, and certainly knotty theories, which remind one of Democritus, are quite worthy of those who, fifty years after the appearance of Goethe's doctrine of colour, still believe in Newton's homogeneous light, and are not ashamed to say so. They will find that what is overlooked in the child (Democritus) will not be forgiven to the man. They might indeed, some day, come to an ignominious end; but then every one would slink away and pretend that he never had anything to do with them. We shall soon have to speak again of this false reduction of the forces of nature to each other; so much for the present. Supposing this theory were possible, all would certainly be explained and established and finally reduced to an arithmetical problem, which would then be the holiest thing in the temple of wisdom, to which the principle of sufficient reason would at last have happily conducted us. But all content of the phenomenon would have disappeared, and the mere form would remain. The "what appears" would be referred to the "how it appears", and this "how" would bo what is a priori knowable, therefore entirely dependent on the subject, therefore only for the subject, therefore, lastly, mere phantom, idea and form of idea, through and through: no thing-in-itself could be demanded. Supposing, then, that this were possible, the whole world would be derived from the subject, and, in fact, that would be accomplished which Fichte wanted to seem to accomplish by his empty bombast. But it is not possible: phantasies, sophisms, castles in the air, have been constructed in this way, but science never. The many and multifarious phenomena in nature have been successfully referred to particular original forces, and as often as this has been done, a real advance has been made. Several forces and qualities, which were at first regarded as different, have been derived from each other, and thus their number has been curtailed. (For example, magnetism from electricity). Etiology will have reached its goal when it has recognised and exhibited as such all the original forces of nature, and established their mode of operation, i.e., the law according to which, under the guidance of causality, their phenomena appear in time and space, and determine their position with regard to each other. But certain original forces will always remain over; there will always remain as an insoluble residuum a content of phenomena which cannot be referred to their form, and thus cannot be explained from something else in accordance with the principle of sufficient reason. For in everything in nature there is something of which no ground can ever be assigned, of which no explanation is possible, and no ulterior cause is to be sought. This is the specific nature of its action, i.e., the nature of its existence, its being. Of each particular effect of the thing a cause may be certainly indicated, from which it follows that it must act just at this time and in this place; but no cause can ever be found from which it follows that a thing acts in general, and precisely in the way it does. If it has no other qualities, if it is merely a mote in a sunbeam, it yet exhibits this unfathomable something, at least as weight and impenetrability. But this, I say, is to the mote what his will is to a man; and, like the human will, it is, according to its inner nature, not subject to explanation; nay, more — it is in itself identical with this will. It is true that a motive may be given for every manifestation of will, for every act of will at n pariicular time and in a particular place, upon which it must necessarily follow, muter the presupposition of the character of the man. But no reason can ever be given that the man has this character; that he wills at all; that, of several motives, just this one and no other, or indeed that any motive at all, moves his will. That which in the case of man is the unfathomable character which is presupposed in every explanation of his actions from motives is, in the case of every unorganised body, its definitive quality — the mode of its action, the manifestations of which are occasioned by impressions from without, while it itself, on the contrary, is determined by nothing outside itself, and thus is also inexplicable. Its particular manifestations, through which alone it becomes visible, are subordinated to the principle of sufficient reason; it itself is groundless. This was in substance rightly understood by the schoolmen, who called it forma substantialis. (Of. Suarez, Disput. Metaph., disp. xv. sect. i.)

It is a greater and a commoner error that the phenomena which we best understand are those which are of most frequent occurrence, and which are most universal and simple; for, on the contrary, these are just the phenomena that we are most accustomed to see about us, and to be ignorant of. It is just as inexplicable to us that a stone should fall to the earth as that an animal should move itself. It has been supposed, as we have remarked above, that, starting from the most universal forces of nature (gravitation, cohesion, impenetrability), it was possible to explain from them the rarer forces, which only operate under a combination of circumstances (for example, chemical quality, electricity, magnetism), and, lastly, from these to understand the organism and the life of animals, and even the nature of human knowing and willing. Men resigned themselves without a word to starting from mere qualitates occultae, the elucidation of which was entirely given up, for they intended to build upon them, not to investigate them. Such an intention cannot, as we have already said, be carried out. But apart from this, such structures would always stand in the air. What is the use of explanations which ultimately refer us to something which is quite as unknown as the problem with which we started? Do we in the end understand more of the inner nature of these universal natural forces than of the inner nature of an animal? Is not the one as much a sealed book to us as the other? Unfathomable because it is without ground, because it is the content, that which the phenomenon is, and which can never be referred to the form, to the how, to the principle of sufficient reason. But we, who have in view not etiology but philosophy, that is, not relative but unconditioned knowledge of the real nature of the world, take the opposite course, and start from that which is immediately and most completely known to us, and fully and entirely trusted by us — that which lies nearest to us, in order to understand that which is known to us only at a distance, one-sidedly and indirectly. From the most powerful, most significant, and most distinct phenomenon we seek to arrive at an understanding of those that are less complete and weaker. With the exception of my own body, all things are known to me only on one side, that of the idea. Their inner nature remains hidden from me and a profound secret, even if I know all the causes from which their changes follow. Only by comparison with that which goes on in me if my body performs an action when I am influenced by a motive only by comparison, I say, with what is the inner nature of my own changes determined by external reasons, can I obtain insight into the way in which these lifeless bodies change under the influence of causes, and so understand what is their inner nature. For the knowledge of the causes of the manifestation of this inner nature affords me merely the rule of its appearance in time and space, and nothing more. I can make this comparison because my body is the only object of which I know not merely the one side, that of the idea, but also the other side which is called will. Thus, instead of believing that I would better understand my own organisation, and then my own knowing and willing, and my movements following upon motives, if I could only refer them to movements due to electrical, chemical, and mechanical causes, I must, seeing that I seek philosophy and not etiology, learn to understand from my own movements following upon motives the inner nature of the simplest and commonest movements of an unorganised body which I see following upon causes. I must recognise the inscrutable forces which manifest themselves in all natural bodies as identical in kind with that which in me is the will, and as differing from it only in degree. That is to say, the fourth class of ideas given in the Essay on the Principle of Sufficient Eeason must be the key to the knowledge of the inner nature of the first class, and by means of the law of motivation I must come to understand the inner meaning of the law of causation.

Spinoza (Epist. 62) says that if a stone which has been projected through the air had consciousness, it would believe that it was moving of its own will. I add to 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. In the passage referred to, Spinoza had in view the necessity with which the stone flies, and he rightly desires to transfer this necessity to that of the particular act of will of a person. I, on the other hand, consider the inner being, which alone imparts meaning and validity to all real necessity (i.e., effect following upon a cause) as its presupposition. In the case of men this is called character; in the case of a stone it is called quality, but it is the same in both. When it is immediately known it is called will. In the stone it has the weakest, and in man the strongest degree of visibility, of objectivity. St. Augustine recognises, with a true instinct, this identity of the tendencies of all things with our own willing, and I cannot refrain from quoting his naive account of the matter: — "Si pecora essemus, carnalem vitam et quod secundum sensum ejusdem est amaremus, idque esset sufficiens bonum nostrum, et secundum hoc si esset nobis bene, nihil aliud quaereremus. Item, si arbores essenms, nihil quidem sentientes motu amare possemus: verumtamen id quasi appetere videremur, quo feracius essemus, uberiusque fructuosae. Si essemus lapides, aut fluctus, aut ventus, aut flamma, vel quid ejusmodi sine ullo quidem sensu atque vita, non tamen nobis deesset quasi quidam nostrorum locorum atque ordinis appetitus. Nam velut amores corporum momenta sunt ponderum, sive deorsum gravitate, sive sursum levitate nitantur: ita enim corpus pondere, sicut animus amore fertur quocunque fertur". (De Civ. Dei, xi. 28).

It ought further to be mentioned that Euler saw that the inner nature of gravitation must ultimately be referred to an "inclination and desire" (thus will) peculiar to material bodies (in the 68th letter to the Princess). Indeed, it is just this that makes him averse to the conception of gravitation as it existed for Newton, and he is inclined to try a modification of it in accordance with the earlier Cartesian theory, and so to derive gravitation from the impact of an ether upon the bodies, as being "more rational and more suitable for persons who like clear and intelligible principles". He wishes to banish attraction from physics as a qualitas occulta. This is only in keeping with the dead view of nature which prevailed at Euler s time as the correlative of the immaterial soul. It is only worth noticing because of its bearing upon the fundamental truth established by me, which even at that time this fine intellect saw glimmering in the distance. He hastened to turn in time, and then, in his anxiety at seeing all the prevalent fundamental views endangered, he sought safety in the old and already exploded absurdities.

§ 25[edit]

We know that multiplicity in general is necessarily conditioned by space and time, and is only thinkable in them. In this respect they are called the principium individuationis. But we have found that space and time are forms of the principle of sufficient reason. In this principle all our knowledge a priori is expressed, but, as we showed above, this a priori knowledge, as such, only applies to the knowableness of things, not to the things themselves, i.e., it is only our form of knowledge, it is not a property of the thing-in-itself. The thing-in-itself is, as such, free from all forms of knowledge, even the most universal, that of being an object for the subject. In other words, the thing-in-itself is something altogether different from the idea. If, now, this thing-in-itself is the will, as I believe I have fully and convincingly proved it to be, then, regarded as such and apart from its manifestation, it lies outside time and space, and therefore knows no multiplicity, and is consequently one. Yet, as I have said, it is not one in the sense in which an individual or a concept is one, but as something to which the condition of the possibility of multiplicity, the principium individuationis, is foreign. The multiplicity of things in space and time, which collectively constitute the objectification of will, does not affect the will itself, which remains indivisible notwithstanding it. It is not the case that, in some way or other, a smaller part of will is in the stone and a larger part in the man, for the relation of part and whole belongs exclusively to space, and has no longer any meaning when we go beyond this form of intuition or perception. The more and the less have application only to the phenomenon of will, that is, its visibility, its objectification. Of this there is a higher grade in the plant than in the stone; in the animal a higher grade than in the plant: indeed, the passage of will into visibility, its objectification, has grades as innumerable as exist between the dimmest twilight and the brightest sunshine, the loudest sound and the faintest echo. We shall return later to the consideration of these grades of visibility which belong to the objectification of the will, to the reflection of its nature. But as the grades of its objectification do not directly concern the will itself, still less is it concerned by the multiplicity of the phenomena of these different grades, i.e., the multitude of individuals of each form, or the particular manifestations of each force. For this multiplicity is directly conditioned by time and space, into which the will itself never enters. The will reveals itself as completely and as much in one oak as in millions. Their number and multiplication in space and time has no meaning with regard to it, but only with regard to the multiplicity of individuals who know in space and time, and who are themselves multiplied and dispersed in these. The multiplicity of these individuals itself belongs not to the will, but only to its manifestation. We may therefore say that if, per impossibile, a single real existence, even the most insignificant, were to be entirely annihilated, the whole world would necessarily perish with it. The great mystic Angelus Silesius feels this when he says —

"I know God cannot live an instant without me,
He must give up the ghost if I should cease to be."

Men have tried in various ways to bring the immeasurable greatness of the material universe nearer to the comprehension of us all, and then they have seized the opportunity to make edifying remarks. They have referred perhaps to the relative smallness of the earth, and indeed of man; or, on the contrary, they have pointed out the greatness of the mind of this man who is so insignificant — the mind that can solve, comprehend, and even measure the greatness of the universe, and so forth. Now, all this is very well, but to me, when I consider the vastness of the world, the most important point is this, that the thing-in-itself, whose manifestation is the world — whatever else it may be — cannot have its true self spread out and dispersed after this fashion in boundless space, but that this endless extension belongs only to its manifestation. The thing-in-itself, on the contrary, is present entire and undivided in every object of nature and in every living being. Therefore we lose nothing by standing still beside any single individual thing, and true wisdom is not to be gained by measuring out the boundless world, or, what would be more to the purpose, by actually traversing endless space. It is rather to be attained by the thorough investigation of any individual thing, for thus we seek to arrive at a full knowledge and under standing of its true and peculiar nature.

The subject which will therefore be fully considered in the next book, and which has, doubtless, already presented itself to the mind of every student of Plato, is, that these different grades of the objectification of will which are manifested in innumerable individuals, and exist as their unattained types or as the eternal forms of things, not entering themselves into time and space, which are the medium of individual things, but remaining fixed, subject to no change, always being, never becoming, while the particular things arise and pass away, always become and never are, — that these grades of the objectification of will are, I say, simply Plato's Ideas. I make this passing reference to the matter here in order that I may be able in future to use the word Idea in this sense. In my writings, therefore, the word is always to be understood in its true and original meaning given to it by Plato, and has absolutely no reference to those abstract productions of dogmatising scholastic reason, which Kant has inaptly and illegitimately used this word to denote, though Plato had already appropriated and used it most iitly. By Idea, then, I understand every definite and fixed grade of the objectiiication of will, so tar as it is thing-in-itself, and therefore has no multiplicity. These grades are related to individual things as their eternal forms or prototypes. The shortest and most concise statement of this famous Platonic doctrine is given us by Diogenes Laertes (iii. 12): "6 TlXarcov (f)r)ai,, ev ry fyvaei, ra? tSea? ecrravai, tcadairep TrapaSeiy/JLara, ra &a\\a raurat? eoi,icevai t rovrutv opoiwfiara KaOeaiwra" ("Plato ideas in natura velut exemplaria dixit subsistere; cetera his esse similia, ad istarum similitudinem consistentia"). Of Kant's misuse of the word I take no further notice; what it is needful to say about it will be found in the Appendix.

§ 26[edit]

The lowest grades of the objectification of will are to be found in those most universal forces of nature which partly appear in all matter without exception, as gravity and impenetrability, and partly have shared the given matter among them, so that certain of them reign in one species of matter and others in another species, constituting its specific difference, as rigidity, fluidity, elasticity, electricity, magnetism, chemical properties and qualities of every kind. They are in themselves immediate manifestations of will, just as much as human action; and as such they are groundless, like human character. Only their particular manifestations are subordinated to the principle of sufficient reason, like the particular actions of men. They themselves, on the other hand, can never be called either effect or cause, but are the prior and presupposed conditions of all causes and effects through which their real nature unfolds and reveals itself. It is therefore senseless to demand a cause of gravity or electricity, for they are original forces. Thejr expressions, indeed, take place in accordance with the law of cause and effect, so that every one of their particular manifestations has a cause, which is itself again just a similar particular manifestation which determines that this force must express itself here, must appear in space and time; but the force itself is by no means the effect of a cause, nor the cause of an effect. It is therefore a mistake to say "gravity is the cause of a stone falling"; for the cause in this case is rather the nearness of the earth, because it attracts the stone. Take the earth away and the stone will not fall, although gravity remains. The force itself lies quite outside the chain of causes and effects, which presupposes time, because it only has meaning in relation to it; but the force lies outside time. The individual change always has for its cause another change just as individual as itself, and not the force of which it is the expression. For that which always gives its efficiency to a cause, however many times it may appear, is a force of nature. As such, it is groundless, i.e., it lies outside the chain of causes and outside the province of the principle of sufficient reason in general, and is philosophically known as the immediate objectivity of will, which is the "in-itself" of the whole of nature; but in etiology, which in this reference is physics, it is set down as an original force, i.e., a qualitas occulta.

In the higher grades of the objectivity of will we see individuality occupy a prominent position, especially in the case of man, where it appears as the great difference of individual characters, i.e., as complete personality, out wardly expressed in strongly marked individual physiognomy, which influences the whole bodily form. None of the brutes have this individuality in anything like so high a degree, though the higher species of them have a trace of it; but the character of the species completely predominates over it, and therefore they have little individual physiognomy. The farther down we go, the more completely is every trace of the individual character lost in the common character of the species, and the physiognomy of the species alone remains. We know the physiological character of the species, and from that we know exactly what is to be expected from the individual; while, on the contrary, in the human species every individual has to be studied and fathomed for himself, which, if we wish to forecast his action with some degree of certainty, is, on account of the possibility of concealment that first appears with reason, a matter of the greatest difficulty. It is probably connected with this difference of the human species from all others, that the folds and convolutions of the brain, which are entirely wanting in birds, and very weakly marked in rodents, are even in the case of the higher animals far more symmetrical on both sides, and more constantly the same in each individual, than in the case of human beings.[8] It is further to be regarded as a phenomenon of this peculiar individual character which distinguishes men from all the lower animals, that in the case of the brutes the sexual instinct seeks its satisfaction without observable choice of objects, while in the case of man this choice is, in a purely instinctive manner and independent of all reflection, carried so far that it rises into a powerful passion. While then every man is to be regarded as a specially determined and characterised phenomenon of Will, and indeed to a certain extent as a special Idea, in the case of the brutes this individual character as a whole is wanting, because only the species has a special significance. And the farther we go from man, the fainter becomes the trace of this individual character, so that plants have no individual qualities left, except such as may be fully explained from the favourable or unfavourable external influences of soil, climate, and other accidents. Finally, in the inorganic kingdom of nature all individuality disappears. The crystal alone is to be regarded as to a certain extent individual. It is a unity of the tendency in definite directions, fixed by crystallisation, which makes the trace of this tendency permanent. It is at the same time a cumulative repetition of its primitive form, bound into unity by an idea, just as the tree is an aggregate of the single germinating fibre which shows itself in every rib of the leaves, in every leaf, in every branch; which repeats itself, and to some extent makes each of these appear as a separate growth, nourishing itself from the greater as a parasite, so that the tree, resembling the crystal, is a systematic aggregate of small plants, although only the whole is the complete expression of an individual Idea, i.e., of this particular grade of the objectification of will. But the individuals of the same species of crystal can have no other difference than such as is produced by external accidents; indeed we can make at pleasure large or small crystals of every species. The individual, however, as such, that is, with traces of an individual character, does not exist further in unorganised nature. All its phenomena are expressions of general forces of nature, i.e., of those grades of the objectification of will which do not objectify themselves (as is the case in organised nature), by means of the difference of the individualities which collectively express the whole of the Idea, but show themselves only in the species, and as a whole, without any variation in each particular example of it. Time, space, multiplicity, and existence conditioned by causes, do not belong to the will or to the Idea (the grade of the objectification of will), but only to their particular phenomena. There fore such a force of nature as, for example, gravity or electricity, must show itself as such in precisely the same way in all its million phenomena, and only external circumstances can modify these. This unity of its being in all its phenomena, this unchangeable constancy of the appearance of these whenever, under the guidance of casuality, the necessary conditions are present, is called a law of nature. If such a law is once learned from experience, then the phenomenon of that force of nature, the character of which is expressed and laid down in it, may be accurately forecast and counted upon. But it is just this conformity to law of the phenomena of the lower grades of the objectificatiou of will which gives them such a different aspect from the phenomena of the same will in the higher, i.e., the more distinct, grades of its objectification, in animals, and in men and their actions, where the stronger or weaker influence of the individual character and the susceptibility to motives which often remain hidden from the spectator, because they lie in knowledge, has had the result that the identity of the inner nature of the two kinds of phenomena has hitherto been entirely overlooked.

If we start from the knowledge of the particular, and not from that of the Idea, there is something astonishing, and sometimes even terrible, in the absolute uniformity of the laws of nature. It might astonish us that nature never once forgets her laws; that if, for example, it has once been according to a law of nature that where certain materials are brought together under given conditions, a chemical combination will take place, or gas will be evolved, or they will go on fire; if these conditions are fulfilled, whether by our interposition or entirely by chance (and in this case the accuracy is the more astonishing because unexpected), to-day just as well as a thousand years ago, the determined phenomenon will take place at once and without delay. We are most vividly impressed with the marvellousness of this fact in the case of rare phenomena, which only occur under very complex circumstances, but which we are previously informed will take place if these conditions are fulfilled. For example, when we are told that if certain metals, when arranged alternately in fluid with which an acid has been mixed, are brought into contact, silver leaf brought between the extremities of this combination will suddenly be consumed in a green flame; or that under certain conditions the hard diamond turns into carbonic acid. It is the ghostly omnipresence of natural forces that astonishes us in such cases, and we remark here what in the case of phenomena which happen daily no longer strikes us, how the connection between cause and effect is really as mysterious as that which is imagined between a magic formula and a spirit that must appear when invoked by it. On the other hand, if we have attained to the philosophical knowledge that a force of nature is a definite grade of the objectification of will, that is to say, a definite grade of that which we recognise as our own inmost nature, and that this will, in itself, and distinguished from its phenomena and their forms, lies outside time and space, and that, therefore, the multiplicity, which is conditioned by time and space, does not belong to it, nor directly to the grade of its objectification, i.e., the Idea, but only to the phenomena of the Idea; and if we remember that the law of causality has significance only in relation to time and space, inasmuch as it determines the position of the multitude of phenomena of the different Ideas in which the will reveals itself, governing the order in which they must appear; if, I say, in this knowledge the inner meaning of the great doctrine of Kant has been fully grasped, the doctrine that time, space, and causality do not belong to the thing-in-itself, but merely to the phenomenon, that they are only the forms of our knowledge, not qualities of things in themselves; then we shall understand that this astonishment at the conformity to law and accurate operation of a force of nature, this astonishment at the complete sameness of all its million phenomena and the infallibility of their occurrence, is really like that of a child or a savage who looks for the first time through a glass with many facets at a flower, and marvels at the complete similarity of the innumerable flowers which he sees, and counts the leaves of each of them separately.

Thus every universal, original force of nature is nothing but a low grade of the objectitication of will, and we call every such grade an eternal Idea in Plato's sense. But a law of nature is the relation of the Idea to the form of its manifestation. This form is time, space, and causality, which are necessarily and inseparably connected and related to each other. Through time and space the Idea multiplies itself in innumerable phenomena, but the order according to which it enters these forms of multiplicity is definitely determined by the law of causality; this law is as it were the norm of the limit of these phenomena of different Ideas, in accordance with which time, space, and matter are assigned to them. This norm is therefore necessarily related to the identity of the aggregate of existing matter, which is the common substratum of all those different phenomena. If all these were not directed to that common matter in the possession of which they must be divided, there would be no need for such a law to decide their claims. They might all at once and together fill a boundless space throughout an endless time. Therefore, because all these phenomena of the eternal Ideas are directed to one and the same matter, must there be a rule for their appearance and disappearance; for if there were not, they would not make way for each other. Thus the law of causality is essentially bound up with that of the permanence of substance; they reciprocally derive significance from each other. Time and space, again, are related to them in the same way. For time is merely the possibility of conflicting states of the same matter, and space is merely the possibility of the permanence of the same matter under all sorts of conflicting states. Accordingly, in the preceding book we explained matter as the union of space and time, and this union shows itself as change of the accidents in the permanence of the substance, of which causality or becoming is the universal possibility. And accordingly, we said that matter is through and through causality. We explained the understanding as the subjective correlative of causality, and said matter (and thus the whole world as idea) exists only for the understanding; the understanding is its condition, its supporter as its necessary correlative. I repeat all this in passing, merely to call to mind what was demonstrated in the First Book, for it is necessary for the complete understanding of these two books that their inner agreement should be observed, since what is inseparably united in the actual world as its two sides, will and idea, has, in order that we might understand each of them more clearly in isolation, been dissevered in these two books.

It may not perhaps be superfluous to elucidate further by an example how the law of causality has meaning only in relation to time and space, and the matter which consists in the union of the two. For it determines the limits in accordance with which the phenomena of the forces of nature divide themselves in the possession of matter, while the original forces of nature, as the immediate objectification of will, which, as a thing in itself, is not subordinated to the principle of sufficient reason, lie outside these forms, within which alone all etiological explanation has validity and meaning, and just on that account can never lead us to the inner reality of nature. For this purpose let us think of some kind of machine constructed according to the laws of mechanics. Iron weights begin the motion by their gravity; copper wheels resist by their rigidity, affect and raise each other and the lever by their impenetrability, and so on. Here gravity, rigidity, and impenetrability are original unexplained forces; mechanics only gives us the condition under which, and the manner in which, they manifest themselves, appear, and govern a definite matter, time, and place. If, now, a strong magnet is made to attract the iron of the weight, and overcome its gravity, the movement of the machine stops, and the matter becomes forthwith the scene of quite a different force of nature — magnetism, of which etiology again gives no further explanation than the condition under which it, appears. Or let us suppose that the copper discs of such a machine are laid upon zinc plates, and an acid solution introduced between them. At once the same matter of the machine has become subject to another original force, galvanism, which now governs it according to its own laws, and reveals itself in it through its phenomena; and etiology can again tell us nothing about this force except the conditions under which, and the laws in accordance with which, it manifests itself. Let us now raise the temperature and add pure acid; the whole machine burns; that is to say, once more an entirely different force of nature, chemical energy, asserts at this time and in this place irresistible claims to this particular matter, and reveals itself in it as Idea, as a definite grade of the objectification of will. The calcined metal thus produced now unites with an acid, and a salt is obtained which forms itself into crystals. These are the phenomena of another Idea, which in itself is again quite inexplicable, while the appearance of its phenomena is dependent upon certain conditions which etiology can give us. The crystals dissolve, mix with other materials, and vegetation springs up from them — a new phenomenon of will: and so the same permanent matter may be followed ad infinitum, to observe how now this and now that natural force obtains a right to it and temporarily takes possession of it, in order to appear and reveal its own nature. The condition of this right, the point of time and space at which it becomes valid, is given by causality, but the explanation founded upon this law only extends thus far. The force itself is a manifestation of will, and as such is not subject to the forms of the principle of sufficient reason, that is, it is groundless. It lies outside all time, is omnipresent, and seems as it were to wait constantly till the circumstances occur under which it can appear and take possession of a definite matter, supplanting the forces which have reigned in it till then. All time exists only for the phenomena of such a force, and is without significance for the force itself. Through thousands of years chemical forces slumber in matter till the contact with the reagents sets them free; then they appear; but time exists only for the phenomena, not for the forces themselves. For thousands of years galvanism slumbered in copper and zinc, and they lay quietly beside silver, which must be consumed in flame as soon as all three are brought together under the required conditions. Even in the organic kingdom we see a dry seed preserve the slumbering force through three thousand years, and when at last the favourable circumstances occur, grow up as a plant.[9]

If by this exposition the difference between a force of nature and all its phenomena has been made quite distinct; if we have seen clearly that the former is the will itself at this particular grade of its objectification, but that multiplicity comes to phenomena only through time and space, and that the law of causality is nothing but the determination of the position of these phenomena in time and space; then we shall recognise the complete truth and the deep meaning of Malebranche's doctrine of occasional causes (causes occasionelles). It is well worth while comparing this doctrine of his, as lie explains it in the "Recherches de la Vérite", both in the 3rd Chapter of the second part of the 6th Book, and in the éclaircissements appended to this chapter, with this exposition of mine, and observing the complete agreement of the two doctrines in the case of such different systems of thought. Indeed I cannot help admiring how Malebranche, though thoroughly involved in the positive dogmas which his age inevitably forced upon him, yet, in such bonds and under such a burden, hit the truth so happily, so correctly, and even knew how to combine it with these dogmas, at all events verbally.

For the power of truth is incredibly great and of unspeakable endurance. We find constant traces of it in all, even the most eccentric and absurd dogmas, of different times and different lands, — often indeed in strange company, curiously mixed up with other things, but still recognisable. It is like a plant that germinates under a heap of great stones, but still struggles up to the light working itself through with many deviations and windings disfigured, worn out, stunted in its growth, but yet to the light.

In any case Malebranche is right: every natural cause is only an occasional cause. It only gives opportunity or occasion for the manifestation of the ono indivisible will which is the "in-itself" of all things, and whose graduated objectification is the whole visible world. Only the appearance, the becoming visible, in this place, at this time, is brought about by the cause and is so far dependent on it, but not the whole of the phenomenon nor its inner nature. This is the will itself, to which the principle of sufficient reason has not application and which is therefore groundless. Nothing in the world has a sufficient cause of its existence generally, but only a cause of existence just here and just now. That a tone exhibits now gravity, now rigidity, now electricity, now chemical qualities, depends upon causes, upon impressions upon it from without, and is to be explained from these. But these qualities themselves, and thus the whole inner nature of the stone which consists in them, and therefore manifests itself in all the ways referred to; thus, in general, that the stone is such as it is, that it exists generally — all this, I say, has no ground, but is the visible appearance of the groundless will. Every cause is thus an occasional cause. We have found it to be so in nature, which is without knowledge, and it is also precisely the same when motives and not causes or stimuli determine the point at which the phenomena are to appear, that is to say, in the actions of animals and human beings. For in both cases it is one and the same will which appears; very different in the grades of its manifestation, multiplied in the phenomena of these grades, and, in respect of these, subordinated to the principle of sufficient reason, but in itself free from all this. Motives do not determine the character of man, but only the phenomena of his character, that is, his actions; the outward fashion of his life, not its inner meaning and content. These proceed from the character which is the immediate manifestation of the will, and is therefore groundless. That one man is bad and another good, does not depend upon motives or outward influences, such as teaching and preaching, and is in this sense quite inexplicable. But whether a bad man shows his badness in petty acts of injustice, cowardly tricks, and low knavery which he practises in the narrow sphere of his circumstances, or whether as a conqueror he oppresses nations, throws a world into lamentation, and sheds the blood of millions; this is the outward form of his manifestation, that which is unessential to it, and depends upon the circumstances in which fate has placed him, upon his surroundings, upon external influences, upon motives; but his decision upon these motives can never be explained from them; it proceeds from the will, of which this man is a manifestation. Of this we shall speak in the Fourth Book. The manner in which the character discloses its qualities is quite analogous to the way in which those of every material body in unconscious nature are disclosed. Water remains water with its intrinsic qualities, whether as a still lake it reflects its banks, or leaps in foam from the cliffs, or, artificially con fined, spouts in a long jet into the air. All that depends upon external causes; the one form is as natural to it as the other, but it will always show the same form in the same circumstances; it is equally ready for any, but in every case true to its character, and at all times revealing this alone. So will every human character under all circumstances reveal itself, but the phenomena which proceed from it will always be in accordance with the circumstances.

§ 27[edit]

If, from the foregoing consideration of the forces of nature and their phenomena, we have come to see clearly how far an explanation from causes can go, and where it must stop if it is not to degenerate into the vain attempt to reduce the content of all phenomena to their mere form, in which case there would ultimately remain nothing but form, we shall be able to settle in general terms what is to be demanded of etiology as a whole. It must seek out the causes of all phenomena in nature, i.e., the circumstances under which they in variably appear. Then it must refer the multitude of phenomena which have various forms in various circumstances to what is active in every phenomenon, and is presupposed in the cause, — original forces of nature. It must correctly distinguish between a difference of the phenomenon which arises from a difference of the force, and one which results merely from a difference of the circumstances under which the force expresses itself; and with equal care it must guard against taking the expressions of one and the same force under different circumstances for the manifestations of different forces, and conversely against taking for manifestations of one and the same force what originally belongs to different forces. Now this is the direct work of the faculty of judgment, and that is why so few men are capable of increasing our insight in physics, while all are able to enlarge experience. Indolence and ignorance make us disposed to appeal too soon to original forces. This is exemplified with an exaggeration that savours of irony in the entities and quidities of the schoolmen. Nothing is further from my desire than to favour their resuscitation. We have just as little right to appeal to the objectification of will, instead of giving a physical explanation, as we have to appeal to the creative power of God. For physics demands causes, and the will is never a cause. Its whole relation to the phenomenon is not in accordance with the principle of sufficient reason. But that which in itself is the will exists in another aspect as idea; that is to say, is phenomenon. As such, it obeys the laws which constitute the form of the phenomenon. Every movement, for example, although it is always a manifestation of will, must yet have a cause from which it is to be explained in relation to a particular time and space; that is, not in general in its inner nature, but as a particular phenomenon. In the case of the stone, this is a mechanical cause; in that of the movement of a man, it is a motive; but in no case can it be wanting. On the other hand, the universal common nature of all phenomena of one particular kind, that which must be presupposed if the explanation from causes is to have any sense and meaning, is the general force of nature, which, in physics, must remain a qualitas occulta, because witli it the etiological explanation ends and the metaphysical begins. But the chain of causes and effects is never broken by an original force to which it has been necessary to appeal. It does not run back to such a force as if it were its first link, but the nearest link, as well as the remotest, presupposes the original force, and could otherwise explain nothing. A series of causes and effects may be the manifestation of the most different kinds of forces, whose successive visible appear ances are conducted through it, as I have illustrated above by the example of a metal machine. But the difference of these original forces, which cannot be referred to each other, by no means breaks the unity of that chain of causes, and the connection between all its links. The etiology and the philosophy of nature never do violence to each other, but go hand in hand, regarding the same object from different points of view. Etiology gives an account of the causes which necessarily produce the particular phenomenon to be explained. It exhibits, as the foundation of all its explanations, the universal forces which are active in all these causes and effects. It accurately defines, enumerates, and distinguishes these forces, and then indicates all the different effects in which each force appears, regulated by the difference of the circumstances, always in accordance with its own peculiar character, which it discloses in obedience to an invariable rule, called a law of nature. When all this has been thoroughly accomplished by physics in every particular, it will be complete, and its work will be done. There will then remain no unknown force in unorganised nature, nor any effect, which has not been proved to be the manifestation of one of these forces under definite circumstances, in accordance with a law of nature. Yet a law of nature remains merely the observed rule according to which nature invariably proceeds whenever certain definite circumstances occur. Therefore a law of nature may be defined as a fact expressed generally — un fait généralisé — and thus a complete enumeration of all the laws of nature would only be a complete register of facts. The consideration of nature as a whole is thus completed in morphology, which enumerates, compares, and arranges all the enduring forms of organised nature. Of the causes of the appearance of the individual creature it has little to say, for in all cases this is procreation (the theory of which is a separate matter), and in rare cases the generatio aequivoca. But to this last belongs, strictly speaking, the manner in which all the lower grades of the objectification of will, that is to say, physical and chemical phenomena, appear as individual, and it is precisely the task of etiology to point out the conditions of this appearance. Philosophy, on the other hand, concerns itself only with the universal, in nature as everywhere else. The original forces themselves are here its object, and it recognises in them the different grades of the objectivity of will, which is the inner nature, the "in-itself" of this world; and when it regards the world apart from will, it explains it as merely the idea of the subject. But if etiology, instead of preparing the way for philosophy, and supplying its doctrines with practical application by means of instances, supposes that its aim is rather to deny the existence of all original forces, except perhaps one, the most general, for example, impenetrability, which it imagines it thoroughly understands, and consequently seeks forcibly to refer all the others to it — it forsakes its own province and can only give us error instead of truth. The content of nature is supplanted by its form, everything is ascribed to the circumstances which work from without, and nothing to the inner nature of the thing. Now if it were possible to succeed by this method, a problem in arithmetic would ultimately, as we have already remarked, solve the riddle of the universe. But this is the method adopted by those, referred to above, who think that all physiological effects ought to be reduced to form and combination, this, perhaps, to electricity, and this again to chemism, and chemism to mechanism. The mistake of Descartes, for example, and of all the Atomists, was of this last description. They referred the movements of the globe to the impact of a fluid, and the qualities of matter to the connection and form of the atoms, and hence they laboured to explain all the phenomena of nature as merely manifestations of impenetrability and cohesion. Although this has been given up, precisely the same error is committed in our own day by the electrical, chemical, and mechanical physiologists, who obstinately attempt to explain the whole of life and all the functions of the organism from "form and combination". In Meckel's "Archiv für Physiologic" (1820, vol. v. p. 185) we still find it stated that the aim of physiological explanation is the reduction of organic life to the universal forces with which physics deals. Lamarck also, in his "Philosophie Zoologique" explains life as merely the effect of warmth and electricity: le calorique et la matière électrique suffisent parfaitement pour composer ensemble cette cause essentielle de la vie (p. 16). According to this, warmth and electricity would be the "thing-in-itself", and the world of animals and plants its phenomenal appearance. The absurdity of this opinion becomes glaringly apparent at the 306th and following pages of that work. It is well known that all these opinions, that have been so often refuted, have reappeared quite recently with renewed confidence. If we carefully examine the foundation of these views, we shall find that they ultimately involve the presupposition that the organism is merely an aggregate of phenomena of physical, chemical, and mechanical forces, which have come together here by chance, and produced the organism as a freak of nature without further significance. The organism of an animal or of a human being would therefore be, if considered philosophically, not the exhibition of a special Idea, that is, not itself immediate objectivity of the will at a definite higher grade, but in it would appear only those Ideas which objectify the will in electricity, in chemism, and in mechanism. Thus the organism would be as fortuitously constructed by the concurrence of these forces as the forms of men and beasts in clouds and stalactites, and would therefore in itself be no more interesting than they are. However, we shall see immediately how far the application of physical and chemical modes of explanation to the organism may yet, within certain limits, be allowable and useful; for I shall explain that the vital force certainly avails itself of and uses the forces of unorganised nature; yet these forces no more constitute the vital force than a hammer and anvil make a black smith. Therefore even the most simple example of plant life can never be explained from these forces by any theory of capillary attraction and endosmose, much less animal life. The following observations will prepare the way for this somewhat difficult discussion.

It follows from all that has been said that it is certainly an error on the part of natural science to seek to refer the higher grades of the objectiti cation of will to the lower; for the failure to recognise, or the denial of, original and self-existing forces of nature is just as wrong as the groundless assumption of special forces when what occurs is merely a peculiar kind of manifestation of what is already known. Thus Kant rightly says that it would be absurd to hope for a blade of grass from a Newton, that is, from one who reduced the blade of grass to the manifestions of physical and chemical forces, of which it was the chance product, and therefore a mere freak of nature, in which no special Idea appeared, i.e., the will did not directly reveal itself in it in a higher and specific grade, but just as in the phenomena of unorganised nature and by chance in this form. The school men, who certainly would not have allowed such a doctrine, would rightly have said that it was a complete denial of the forma substantialis, and a degradation of it to the forma accidentalis. For the forma substantialis of Aristotle denotes exactly what I call the grade of the objectification of will in a thing. On the other hand, it is not to be overlooked that in all Ideas, that is, in all forces of unorganised, and all forms of organised nature, it is one and the same will that reveals itself, that is to say, which enters the form of the idea and passes into objectivity. Its unity must therefore be also recognisable through an inner relationship between all its phenomena. Now this reveals itself in the higher grades of the objectification of will, where the whole phenomenon is more distinct, thus in the vegetable and animal kingdoms, through the universally prevailing analogy of all forms, the fundamental type which recurs in all phenomena. This has, therefore, become the guiding principle of the admirable zoological system which was originated by the French in this century, and it is most completely established in comparative anatomy as l'unité de plan, l'uniformité de l'élément anatomique. To discover this fundamental type has been the chief concern, or at any rate the praiseworthy endeavour, of the natural philosophers of the school of Schelling, who have in this respect considerable merit, although in many cases their hunt after analogies in nature degenerated into mere conceits. They have, however, rightly shown that that general relationship and family likeness exists also in the Ideas of unorganised nature; for example, between electricity and magnetism, the identity of which was afterwards established; between chemical attraction and gravitation, and so forth. They specially called attention to the fact that polarity, that is, the sundering of a force into two qualitatively different and opposed activities striving after reunion, which also shows itself for the most part in space as a dispersion in opposite directions, is a fundamental type of almost all the phenomena of nature, from the magnet and the crystal to man himself. Yet this knowledge has been current in China from the earliest times, in the doctrine of opposition of Yin and Yang. Indeed, since all things in the world are the objectification of one and the same will, and therefore in their inner nature identical, it must not only be the case that there is that unmistakable analogy between them, and that in every phenomenon the trace, intimation, and plan of the higher phenomenon that lies next to it in point of development shows itself, but also because all these forms belong to the world as idea, it is indeed conceivable that even in the most universal forms of the idea, in that peculiar framework of the phenomenal world space and time, it may be possible to discern and establish the fundamental type, intimation, and plan of what fills the forms. It seems to have been a dim notion of this that was the origin of the Cabala and all the mathematical philosophy of the Pythagoreans, and also of the Chinese in Y-king. In the school of Schelling also, to which we have already referred, we find, among their efforts to bring to light the similarity among the phenomena of nature, several attempts (though rather unfortunate ones) to deduce laws of nature from the laws of pure space and time. However, one can never tell to what extent a man of genius will realise both endeavours.

Now, although the difference between phenomenon and thing-in-itself is never lost sight of, and therefore the identity of the will which objectifies itself in all Ideas can never (because it has different grades of its objectification) be distorted to mean identity of the particular Ideas themselves in which it appears, so that, for example, chemical or electrical attraction can never be reduced to the attraction of gravitation, although this inner analogy is known, and the former may be regarded as, so to speak, higher powers of the latter, just as little does the similarity of the construction of all animals warrant us in mixing and identifying the species and explaining the more developed as mere variations of the less developed; and although, finally, the physiological functions are never to be reduced to chemical or physical processes, yet, in justification of this procedure, within certain limits, we may accept the following observations as highly probable.

If several of the phenomena of will in the lower grades of its objectification — that is, in unorganised nature — come into conflict because each of them, under the guidance of causality, seeks to possess a given portion of matter, there arises from the conflict the phenomenon of a higher Idea which prevails over all the less developed phenomena previously there, yet in such a way that it allows the essence of these to continue to exist in a subordinate manner, in that it takes up into itself from them something which is analogous to them. This process is only intelligible from the identity of the will which manifests itself in all the Ideas, and which is always striving after higher objectiiication. We thus see, for example, in the hardening of the bones, an unmistakable analogy to crystallisation, as the force which originally had possession of the chalk, although ossification is never to bo reduced to crystallisation. The analogy shows itself in a weaker degree in the flesh becoming firm. The combination of humours in the animal body and secretion are also analogous to chemical combination and separation. Indeed, the laws of chemistry are still strongly operative in this case, but subordinated, very much modified, and mastered by a higher Idea; therefore mere chemical forces outside the organism will never afford us such humours; but

"Encheiresin naturae nennt es die Chemie,
Spottet ihrer selbst und weiss nicht wie."

The more developed Idea resulting from this victory over several lower Ideas or objectifications of will, gains an entirely new character by taking up into itself from every Idea over which it has prevailed a strengthened analogy. The will objectifies itself in a new, more distinct way. It originally appears in generatio aequivoca; afterwards in assimilation to the given germ, organic moisture, plant, animal, man. Thus from the strife of lower phenomena the higher arise, swallowing them all up, but yet realising in the higher grade the tendency of all the lower. Here, then, already the law applies — Serpens nisi serpentem comederit non fit draco.

I wish it had been possible for me to dispel by clearness of explanation the obscurity which clings to the subject of these thoughts; but I see very well that the reader s own consideration of the matter must materially aid me if I am not to remain uncomprehended or misunderstood. According to the view I have expressed, the traces of chemical and physical modes of operation will indeed be found in the organism, but it can never be explained from them; because it is by no means a phenomenon even accidentally brought about through the united actions of such forces, but a higher Idea which has overcome these lower ideas by subduing assimilation; for the one will which objectifies itself in all Ideas always seeks the highest possible objectification, and has therefore in this case given up the lower grades of its manifestation after a conflict, in order to appear in a higher grade, and one so much the more powerful. No victory without conflict: since the higher Idea or objectification of will, can only appear through the conquest of the lower, it endures the opposition of these lower Ideas, which, although brought into subjection, still constantly strive to obtain an independent and complete expression of their being. The magnet that has attracted a piece of iron carries on a perpetual conflict with gravitation, which, as the lower objectification of will, has a prior right to the matter of the iron; and in this constant battle the magnet indeed grows stronger, for the opposition excites it, as it were, to greater effort. In the same way every manifestation of the will, including that which expresses itself in the human organism, wages a constant war against the many physical and chemical forces which, as lower Ideas, have a prior right to that matter. Thus the arm falls which for a while, overcoming gravity, we have held stretched out; thus the pleasing sensation of health, which proclaims the victory of the Idea of the self-conscious organism over the physical and chemical laws, which originally governed the humours of the body, is so often interrupted, and is indeed always accompanied by greater or less discomfort, which arises from the resistance of these forces, and on account of which the vegetative part of our life is constantly attended by slight pain. Thus also digestion weakens all the animal functions, because it requires the whole vital force to overcome the chemical forces of nature by assimilation. Hence also in general the burden of physical life, the necessity of sleep, and, finally, of death; for at last these subdued forces of nature, assisted by circumstances, win back from the organism, wearied even by the constant victory, the matter it took from them, and attain to an unimpeded expression of their being. We may therefore say that every organism expresses the Idea of which it is the image, only after we have subtracted the part of its force which is expended in subduing the lower Ideas that strive with it for matter. This seems to have been running in the mind of Jacob Bohin when he says some where that all the bodies of men and animals, and even all plants, are really half dead. According as the subjection in the organism of these forces of nature, which express the lower grades of the objectification of will, is more or less successful, the more or the less completely does it attain to the expression of its Idea; that is to say, the nearer it is to the ideal or the further from it — the ideal of beauty in its species.

Thus everywhere in nature we see strife, conflict, and alternation of victory, and in it we shall come to recognise more distinctly that variance with itself which is essential to the will. Every grade of the objectification of will lights for the matter, the space, and the time of the others. The permanent matter must constantly change its form; for under the guidance of causality, mechanical, physical, chemical, and organic phenomena, eagerly striving to appear, wrest the matter from each other, for each desires to reveal its own Idea. This strife may be followed through the whole of nature; indeed nature exists only through it: ει γάρ μή ενήν τό Νείκος εν τοίς πράγμασιν, έν άν ήν άπαντα, ώς φησιν 'Εμπεδοκλής (nam si non inesset in rebus contentio, unum omnia essent, ut ait Empedocles. Aris. Metaph., B. 5). Yet this strife itself is only the revelation of that variance with itself which is essential to the will. This universal conflict becomes most distinctly visible in the animal kingdom. For animals have the whole of the vegetable kingdom for their food, and even within the animal kingdom every beast is the prey and the food of another; that is, the matter in which its Idea expresses itself must yield itself to the expression of another Idea, for each animal can only maintain its existence by the constant destruction of some other. Thus the will to live everywhere preys upon itself, and in different forms is its own nourishment, till finally the human race, because it subdues all the others, regards nature as a manufactory for its use. Yet even the human race, as we shall see in the Fourth Book, reveals in itself with most terrible distinctness this conflict, this variance with itself of the will, and we find homo homini lupus. Meanwhile we can recognise this strife, this subjugation, just as well in the lower grades of the objectification of will. Many insects (especially ichneumon-flies) lay their eggs on the skin, and even in the body of the larvae of other insects, whose slow destruction is the first work of the newly hatched brood. The young hydra, which grows like a bud out of the old one, and afterwards separates itself from it, fights while it is still joined to the old one for the prey that offers itself, so that the one snatches it out of the mouth of the other (Trembley, Polypod., ii p. 110, and iii. p. 165). But the bulldug-ant of Australia affords us the most extraordinary example of this kind; for if it is cut in two, a battle begins between the head and the tail. The head seizes the tail with its teeth, and the tail defends itself bravely by stinging the head: the battle may last for half an hour, until they die or are dragged away by other ants. This contest takes place every time the experiment is tried. (From a letter by Howitt in the W. Journal, reprinted in Galignani's Messenger, 17th November 1855.) On the banks of the Missouri one sometimes sees a mighty oak the stem and branches of which are so encircled, fettered, and interlaced by a gigantic wild vine, that it withers as if choked. The same thing shows itself in the lowest grades; for example, when water and carbon are changed into vegetable sap, or vegetables or bread into blood by organic assimilation; and so also in every case in which animal secretion takes place, along with the restriction of chemical forces to a subordinate mode of activity. This also occurs in unorganised nature, when, for example, crystals in process of formation meet, cross, and mutually disturb each other to such an extent that they are unable to assume the pure crystalline form, so that almost every cluster of crystals is an image of such a conflict of will at this low grade of its objectification; or again, when a magnet forces its magnetism upon iron, in order to express its Idea in it; or when galvanism overcomes chemical affinity, decomposes the closest combinations, and so entirely suspends the laws of chemistry that the acid of a decomposed salt at the negative pole must pass to the positive pole with out combining with the alkalies through which it goes on its way, or turning red the litmus paper that touches it. On a large scale it shows itself in the relation between the central body and the planet, for although the planet is in absolute dependence, yet it always resists, just like the chemical forces in the organism; hence arises the constant tension between centripetal and centrifugal force, which keeps the globe in motion, and is itself an example of that universal essential conflict of the manifestation of will which we are considering. For as every body must be regarded as the manifestation of a will, and as will necessarily expresses itself as a struggle, the original condition of every world that is formed into a globe cannot be rest, but motion, a striving forward in boundless space without rest and without end. Neither the law of inertia nor that of causality is opposed to this: for as, according to the former, matter as such is alike indifferent to rest and motion, its original condition may just as well be the one as the other, therefore if we first find it in motion, we have just as little right to assume that this was preceded by a condition of rest, and to inquire into the cause of the origin of the motion, as, conversely, if we found it at rest, we would have to assume a previous motion and inquire into the cause of its suspension. It is, therefore, not needful to seek for a first impulse for centrifugal force, for, according to the hypothesis of Kant and Laplace, it is, in the case of the planets, the residue of the original rotation of the central body, from which the planets have separated themselves as it contracted. But to this central body itself motion is essential; it always continues its rotation, and at the same time rushes forward in endless space, or perhaps circulates round a greater central body invisible to us. This view entirely agrees with the conjecture of astronomers that there is a central sun, and also with the observed advance of our whole solar system, and perhaps of the whole stellar system to which our sun belongs. From this we are finally led to assume a general advance of fixed stars, together with the central sun, and this certainly loses all meaning in boundless space (for motion in absolute space cannot be distinguished from rest), and becomes, as is already the case from its striving and aimless flight, an expression of that nothingness, that failure of all aim, which, at the close of this book, we shall be obliged to recognise in the striving of will in all its phenomena. Thus boundless space and endless time must be the most universal and essential forms of the collective phenomena of will, which exist for the expression of its whole being. Lastly, we can recognise that conflict which we are considering of all phenomena of will against each other in simple matter regarded as such; for the real characteristic of matter is correctly expressed by Kant as repulsive and attractive force; so that even crude matter has its existence only in the strife of conflicting forces. If we abstract from all chemical differences in matter, or go so far back in the chain of causes and effects that as yet there is no chemical difference, there remains mere matter, — the world rounded to a globe, whose life, i.e., objectification of will, is now constituted by the conflict between attractive and repulsive forces, the former as gravitation pressing from all sides towards the centre, the latter as impenetrability always opposing the former either as rigidity or elasticity; and this constant pressure and resistance may be regarded as the objectivity of will in its very lowest grade, and even there it expresses its character.

We should see the will express itself here in the lowest grade as blind striving, an obscure, inarticulate impulse, far from susceptible of being directly known. It is the simplest and the weakest mode of its objectification. But it appears as this blind and unconscious striving in the whole of unorganised nature, in all those original forces of which it is the work of physics and chemistry to discover and to study the laws, and each of which manifests itself to us in millions of phenomena which are exactly similar and regular, and show no trace of individual character, but are mere multiplicity through space and time, i.e., through the principium individuationis, as a picture is multiplied through the facets of a glass.

From grade to grade objectifying itself more distinctly, yet still completely without consciousness as an obscure striving force, the will acts in the vegetable kingdom also, in which the bond of its phenomena consists no longer properly of causes, but of stimuli; and, finally, also in the vegetative part of the animal phenomenon, in the production and maturing of the animal, and in sustaining its inner economy, in which the manifestation of will is still always necessarily determined by stimuli. The ever—ascending grades of the objectification of will bring us at last to the point at which the individual that expresses the Idea could no longer receive food for its assimilation through mere movement following upon stimuli. For such a stimulus must be waited for, but the food has now come to be of a more special and definite kind, and with the ever-increasing multiplicity of the individual phenomena, the crowd and confusion has be come so great that they interfere with each other, and the chance of the individual that is moved merely by stimuli and must wait for its food would be too unfavourable. From the point, therefore, at which the animal has delivered itself from the egg or the womb in which it vegetated without consciousness, its food must be sought out and selected. For this purpose movement following upon motives, and therefore consciousness, be comes necessary, and consequently it appears as an agent, μηχανή, called at this stage of the objectification of will for the conservation of the individual and the propagation of the species. It appears represented by the brain or a large ganglion, just as every other effort or determination of the will which objectifies itself is represented by an organ, that is to say, manifests itself for the idea as an organ[10]. But with this means of assistance, this μηχανή, the world as idea comes into existence at a stroke, with all its forms, object and subject, time, space, multiplicity, and causality. The world now shows its second side. Till now mere will, it becomes also idea, object of the knowing subject. The will, which up to this point followed its tendency in the dark with unerring certainty, has at this grade kindled for itself a light as a means which became necessary for getting rid of the disadvantage which arose from the throng and the complicated nature of its manifestations, and which would have accrued precisely to the most perfect of them. The hitherto infallible certainty and regularity with which it worked in unorganised and merely vegetative nature, rested upon the fact that it alone was active in its original nature, as blind impulse, will, without assistance, and also without interruption, from a second and entirely different world, the world as idea, which is indeed only the image of its own inner being, but is yet of quite another nature, and now encroaches on the connected whole of its phenomena. Hence its infallible certainty comes to an end. Animals are already exposed to illusion, to deception. They have, however, merely ideas of perception, no conceptions, no reflection, and they are therefore bound to the present; they cannot have regard for the future. It seems as if this knowledge without reason was not in all cases sufficient for its end, and at times required, as it were, some assistance. For the very remarkable phenomenon presents itself, that the blind working of the will and the activity enlightened by knowledge encroach in a most astonishing manner upon each other s spheres in two kinds of phenomena. In the one case we lind in the very midst of those actions of animals which are guided by perceptive knowledge and its motives one kind of action which is accomplished apart from these, and thus through the necessity of the blindly acting will. I refer to those mechanical instincts which are guided by no motive or knowledge, and which yet have the appearance of performing their work from abstract rational motives. The other case, which is opposed to this, is that in which, on the contrary, the light of knowledge penetrates into the workshop of the blindly active will, and illuminates the vegetative functions of the human organism. I mean clairvoyance. Finally, when the will has attained to the highest grade of its objectification, that knowledge of the understanding given to brutes to which the senses supply the data, out of which there arises mere perception confined to what is immediately present, dues not suffice. That complicated, many-sided, imaginative being, man, with his many needs, and exposed as he is to innumerable dangers, must, in order to exist, be lighted by a double knowledge; a higher power, as it were, of perceptive knowledge must be given him, and also reason, as the faculty of framing abstract conceptions. With this there has appeared reflection, surveying the future and the past, and, as a consequence, deliberation, care, the power of premeditated action independent of the present, and finally, the full and distinct consciousness of one's own deliberate volition as such. Now if with mere knowledge of perception there arose the possibility of illusion and deception, by which the previous infallibility of the blind striving of will was done away with, so that mechanical and other instincts, as expressions of unconscious will, had to lend their help in the midst of those that were conscious, with the entrance of reason that certainty and infallibility of the expressions of will (which at the other extreme in unorganised nature appeared as strict conformity to law) is almost entirely lost; instinct disappears altogether; deliberation, which is supposed to take the place of everything else, begets (as was shown in the First Book) irresolution and uncertainty; then error becomes possible, and in many cases obstructs the adequate objectification of the will in action. For although in the character the will has already taken its definite and unchangeable bent or direction, in accordance with which volition, when occasioned by the presence of a motive, invariably takes place, yet error can falsify its expressions, for it introduces illusive motives that take the place of the real ones which they resemble[11]; as, for example, when superstition forces on a man imaginary motives which impel him to a course of action directly opposed to the way in which the will would otherwise express itself in the given circumstances. Agamemnon slays his daughter; a miser dispenses alms, out of pure egotism, in the hope that he will some day receive an hundred-fold; and so on.

Thus knowledge generally, rational as well as merely sensuous, proceeds originally from the will itself, belongs to the inner being of the higher grades of its objectification as a mere μηχανή), a means of supporting the individual and the species, just like any organ of the body. Originally destined for the service of the will for the accomplishment of its aims, it remains almost throughout entirely subjected to its service: it is so in all brutes and in almost all men. Yet we shall see in the Third Book how in certain individual men knowledge can deliver itself from this bondage, throw off its yoke, and, free from all the aims of will, exist purely for itself, simply as a clear mirror of the world, which is the source of art. Finally, in the Fourth Book, we shall see how, if this kind of knowledge reacts on the will, it can bring about self-surrender, i.e., resignation, which is the final goal, and indeed the inmost nature of all virtue and holiness, and is deliverance from the world.

§ 28[edit]

We have considered the great multiplicity and diversity of the phenomena in which the will objectifies itself, and we have seen their endless and implacable strife with each other. Yet, according to the whole discussion up to this point, the will itself, as thing-in-itself, is by no means included in that multiplicity and change. The diversity of the (Platonic) Ideas, i.e., grades of objectification, the multitude of individuals in which each of these expresses itself, the struggle of forms for matter, all this does not concern it, but is only the manner of its objectification, and only through this has an indirect relation to it, by virtue of which it belongs to the expression of the nature of will for the idea. As the magic-lantern shows many different pictures, which are all made visible by one and the same light, so in all the multifarious phenomena which fill the world together or throng after each other as events, only one will manifests itself, of which everything is the visibility, the objectivity, and which remains unmoved in the midst of this change; it alone is thing-in-itself; all objects are manifestations, or, to speak the language of Kant, phenomena. Although in man, as (Platonic) Idea, the will finds its clearest and fullest objectification, yet man alone could not express its being. In order to manifest the full significance of the will, the Idea of man would need to appear, not alone and sundered from everything else, but accompanied by the whole series of grades, down through all the forms of animals, through the vegetable kingdom to unorganised nature. All these supplement each other in the complete objectification of will; they are as much presupposed by the Idea of man as the blossoms of a tree presuppose leaves, branches, stem, and root; they form a pyramid, of which man is the apex. If fond of similes, one might also say that their manifestations accompany that of man as necessarily as the full daylight is accompanied by all the gradations of twilight, through which, little by little, it loses itself in darkness; or one might call them the echo of man, and say: Animal and plant are the descending fifth and third of man, the inorganic kingdom is the lower octave. The full truth of this last comparison will only become clear to us when, in the following book, we attempt to fathom the deep significance of music, and see how a connected, progressive melody, made up of high, quick notes, may be regarded as in some sense expressing the life and efforts of man connected by reflection, while the unconnected coinplemental notes and the slow bass, which make up the harmony necessary to perfect the music, represent the rest of the animal kingdom and the whole of nature that is without knowledge. But of this in its own place, where it will not sound so paradoxical. We find, however, that the inner necessity of the gradation of its manifestations, which is inseparable from the adequate objectification of the will, is expressed by an outer necessity in the whole of these manifestations themselves, by reason of which man has need of the beasts for his support, the beasts in their grades have need of each other as well as of plants, which in their turn require the ground, water, chemical elements and their combinations, the planet, the sun, rotation and motion round the sun, the curve of the ellipse, etc., etc. At bottom this results from the fact that the will must live on itself, for there exists nothing beside it, and it is a hungry will. Hence arise eager pursuit, anxiety, and suffering.

It is only the knowledge of the unity of will as thing-in-itself, in the endless diversity and multiplicity of the phenomena, that can afford us the true explanation of that wonderful, unmistakable analogy of all the productions of nature, that family likeness on account of which we may regard them as variations on the same ungiven theme. So in like measure, through the distinct and thoroughly comprehended knowledge of that harmony, that essential connection of all the parts of the world, that necessity of their gradation which, we have just been considering, we shall obtain a true and sufficient insight into the inner nature and meaning of the undeniable teleology of all organised productions of nature, which, indeed, we presupposed a priori, when considering and investigating them.

This teleology is of a twofold description; sometimes an inner teleology, that is, an agreement of all the parts of a particular organism, so ordered that the sustenance of the individual and the species results from it, and therefore presents itself as the end of that disposition or arrangement. Sometimes, however, there is an outward teleology, a relation of unorganised to organised nature in general, or of particular parts of organised nature to each other, which makes the maintenance of the whole of organised nature, or of the particular animal species, possible, and therefore presents itself to our judgment as the means to this end.

Inner teleology is connected with the scheme of our work in the following way. If, in accordance with what has been said, all variations of form in nature, and all multiplicity of individuals, belong not to the will itself, but merely to its objectivity and the form of this objectivity, it necessarily follows that the will is indivisible and is present as a whole in every manifestation, although the grades of its objectification, the (Platonic) Ideas, are very different from each other. We may, for the sake of simplicity, regard these different Ideas as in themselves individual and simple acts of the will, in which it expresses its nature more or less. Individuals, however, are again manifestations of the Ideas, thus of these acts, in time, space, and multiplicity. Now, in the lowest grades of objectivity, such an act (or an Idea) retains its unity in the manifestation; while, in order to appear in higher grades, it requires a whole series of conditions and developments in time, which only collectively express its nature completely. Thus, for example the Idea that reveals itself in any general force of nature has always one single expression, although it presents itself differently according to the external relations that are present: otherwise its identity could not be proved, for this is done by abstracting the diversity that arises merely from external relations. In the same way the crystal has only one manifestation of life, crystallisation, which afterwards has its fully adequate and exhaustive expression in the rigid form, the corpse of that momentary life. The plant, however, does not express the Idea, whose phenomenon it is, at once and through a single manifestation, but in a succession of developments of its organs in time. The animal not only develops its organism in the same manner, in a succession of forms which are often very different (metamorphosis), but this form itself, although it is already objectivity of will at this grade, does not attain to a full expression of its Idea. This expression must be completed through the actions of the animal, in which its empirical character, common to the whole species, manifests itself, and only then does it become the full revelation of the Idea, a revelation which presupposes the particular organism as its first condition. In the case of man, the empirical character is peculiar to every individual (indeed, as we shall see in the Fourth Book, even to the extent of supplanting entirely the character of the species, through the self-surrender of the whole will). That which is known as the empirical character, through the necessary development in time, and the division into particular actions that is conditioned by it, is, when we abstract from this temporal form of the manifestation the intelligible character, according to the expression of Kant, who shows his undying merit especially in establishing this distinction and explaining the relation between freedom and necessity, i.e., between the will as thing-in-itself and its manifestations in time[12]. Thus the intelligible character coincides with the Idea, or, more accurately, with the original act of will which reveals itself in it. So far then, not only the empirical character of every man, but also that of every species of animal and plant, and even of every original force of unorganised nature, is to be regarded as the manifestation of an intelligible character, that is, of a timeless, indivisible act of will. I should like here to draw attention in passing to the naïveté with which every plant expresses and lays open its whole character in its mere form, reveals its whole being and will. This is why the physiognomy of plants is so interesting; while in order to know an animal in its Idea, it is necessary to observe the course of its action. As for man, he must be fully investigated and tested, for reason makes him capable of a high degree of dissimulation. The beast is as much more naive than the man as the plant is more naive than the beast. In the beast we see the will to live more naked, as it were, than in the man, in whom it is clothed with so much knowledge, and is, moreover, so veiled through the capacity for dissimulation, that it is almost only by chance, and here and there, that its true nature becomes apparent. In the plant it shows itself quite naked, but also much weaker, as mere blind striving for existence without end or aim. For the plant reveals its whole being at the first glance, and with complete innocence, which does not suffer from the fact that it carries its organs of generation exposed to view on its upper surface, though in all animals they have been assigned to the most hidden part. This innocence of the plant results from its complete want of knowledge. Guilt does not lie in willing, but in willing with knowledge. Every plant speaks to us first of all of its home, of the climate, and the nature of the ground in which it has grown. Therefore, even those who have had little practice easily tell whether an exotic plant belongs to the tropical or the temperate zone, and whether it grows in water, in marshes, on mountain, or on moorland. Besides this, however, every plant expresses the special will of its species, and says something that cannot be uttered in any other tongue. But we must now apply what has been said to the teleological consideration of the organism, so far as it concerns its inner design. If in unorganised nature the Idea, which is everywhere to be regarded as a single act of will, reveals itself also in a single manifestation which is always the same, and thus one may say that here the empirical character directly partakes of the unity of the intelligible, coincides, as it were, with it, so that no inner design can show itself here; if, on the contrary, all organisms express their Ideas through a series of successive developments, conditioned by a multiplicity of co-existing parts, and thus only the sum of the manifestations of the empirical character collectively constitute the expression of the intelligible character; this necessary co-existence of the parts and succession of the stages of development does not destroy the unity of the appearing Idea, the act of will which expresses itself; nay, rather this unity finds its expression in the necessary relation and connection of the parts and stages of development with each other, in accordance with the law of causality. Since it is the will which is one, indivisible, and therefore entirely in harmony with itself, that reveals itself in the whole Idea as in act, its manifestation, although broken up into a number of different parts and conditions, must yet show this unity again in the thorough agreement of all of these. This is effected by a necessary relation and dependence of all the parts upon each other, by means of which the unity of the Idea is re-established in the manifestation. In accordance with this, we now recognise these different parts and functions of the organism as related to each other reciprocally as means and end, but the organism itself as the final end of all. Consequently, neither the breaking up of the Idea, which in itself is simple, into the multiplicity of the parts and conditions of the organism, on the one hand, nor, on the other hand, the re-establishment of its unity through the necessary connection of the parts and functions which arises from the fact that they are the cause and effect, the means and end, of each other, is peculiar and essential to the appearing will as such, to the thing-in-itself, but only to its manifestation in space, time, and casuality (mere modes of the principle of sufficient reason, the form of the phenomenon). They belong to the world as idea, not to the world as will; they belong to the way in which the will becomes object, i.e., idea at this grade of its objectivity. Every one who has grasped the meaning of this discussion — a discussion which is perhaps somewhat difficult — will now fully understand the doctrine of Kant, which follows from it, that both the design of organised and the conformity to law of unorganised nature are only introduced by our understanding, and therefore both belong only to the phenomenon, not to the thing-in-itself. The surprise, which was referred to above, at the infallible constancy of the conformity to law of unorganised nature, is essentially the same as the surprise that is excited by design in organised nature; for in both cases what we wonder at is only the sight of the original unity of the Idea, which, for the phenomenon, has assumed the form of multiplicity and diversity.[13]

As regards the second kind of teleology, according to the division made above, the outer design, which shows itself, not in the inner economy of the organisms, but in the support and assistance they receive from without, both from unorganised nature and from each other; its general explanation is to be found in the exposition we have just given. For the whole world, with all its phenomena, is the objectivity of the one indivisible will, the Idea, which is related to all other Ideas as harmony is related to the single voice. Therefore that unity of the will must show itself also in the agreement of all its manifestations. But we can very much increase the clearness of this insight if we go somewhat more closely into the manifestations of that outer teleology and agreement of the different parts of nature with each other, an inquiry which will also throw some lighten the foregoing exposition. We shall best attain this end by considering the following analogy.

The character of each individual man, so far as it is thoroughly individual, and not entirely included in that of the species, may be regarded as a special Idea, corresponding to a special act of the objectification of will. This act itself would then be his intelligible character, and his empirical character would be the manifestation of it. The empirical character is entirely determined through the intelligible, which is without ground, i.e., as thing-in-itself is not subordinated to the principle of sufficient reason (the form of the phenomenon). The empirical character must in the course of life afford us the express image of the intelligible, and can only become what the nature of the latter demands. But this property extends only to the essential, not to the unessential in the course of life to which it applies. To this unessential belong the detailed events and actions which are the material in which the empirical character shows itself. These are determined by outward circumstances, which present the motives upon which the character reacts according to its nature; and as they may be very different, the outward form of the manifestation of the empirical character, that is, the definite actual or historical form of the course of life, will have to accommodate itself to their influence. Now this form may be very different, although what is essential to the manifestation, its content, remains the same. Thus, for example it is immaterial whether a man plays for nuts or for crowns; but whether a man cheats or plays fairly, that is the real matter; the latter is determined by the intelligible character, the former by outward circumstances. As the same theme may be expressed in a hundred different variations, so the same character may be expressed in a hundred very different lives. But various as the outward influence may be, the empirical character which expresses itself in the course of life must yet, whatever form it takes, accurately objectify the intelligible character, for the latter adapts its objectification to the given material of actual circumstances. We have now to assume something analogous to the influence of outward circumstances upon the life that is determined in essential matters by the character, if we desire to understand how the will, in the original act of its objectification, determines the various Ideas in which it objectifies itself, that is, the different forms of natural existence of every kind, among which it distributes its objectification, and which must therefore necessarily have a relation to each other in the manifestation. We must assume that between all these manifestations of the one will there existed a universal and reciprocal adaptation and accommodation of themselves to each other, by which, however, as we shall soon see more clearly, all time-determination is to be excluded, for the Idea lies outside time. In accordance with this, every manifestation must have adapted itself to the surroundings into which it entered, and these again must have adapted themselves to it, although it occupied a much later position in time; and we see this consensus naturae everywhere. Every plant is there fore adapted to its soil and climate, every animal to its element and the prey that will be its food, and is also in some way protected, to a certain extent, against its natural enemy; the eye is adapted to the light and its refrangibility, the lungs and the blood to the air, the air-bladder of fish to water, the eye of the seal to the change of the medium in which it must see, the water-pouch in the stomach of the camel to the drought of the African deserts, the sail of the nautilus to the wind that is to drive its little bark, and so on down to the most special and astonishing outward adaptations.[14] We must abstract however here from all temporal relations, for these can only concern the manifestation of the Idea, not the Idea itself. Accordingly this kind of explanation must also be used retrospectively, and we must not merely admit that every species accommodated itself to the given environment, but also that this environment itself, which preceded it in time, had just as much regard for the being that would some time come into it. For it is one and the same will that objectifies itself in the whole world; it knows no time, for this form of the principle of sufficient reason does not belong to it, nor to its original objectivity, the Ideas, but only to the way in which these are known by the individuals who themselves are transitory, i.e., to the manifestation of the Ideas. Thus, time has no significance for our present examination of the manner in which the objectification of the will distributes itself among the Ideas, and the Ideas whose manifestations entered into the course of time earlier, according to the law of causality, to which as phenomena they are subject, have no advantage over those whose manifestation entered later; nay rather, these last are the completest objectifications of the will, to which the earlier manifestations must adapt themselves just as much as they must adapt themselves to the earlier. Thus the course of the planets, the tendency to the ellipse, the rotation of the earth, the division of land and sea, the atmosphere, light, warmth, and all such phenomena, which are in nature what bass is in harmony, adapted themselves in anticipation of the coming species of living creatures of which they were to become the supporter and sustainer. In the same way the ground adapted itself to the nutrition of plants, plants adapted themselves to the nutrition of animals, animals to that of other animals, and conversely they all adapted them selves to the nutrition of the ground. All the parts of nature correspond to each other, for it is one will that appears in them all, but the course of time is quite foreign to its original and only adequate objectification (this expression will be explained in the following book), the Ideas. Even now, when the species have only to sustain themselves, no longer to come into existence, we see here and there some such forethought of nature extending to the future, and abstracting as it were from the process of time, a self-adaptation of what is to what is yet to come. The bird builds the nest lor the young which it does not yet know; the beaver constructs a dam the object of which is unknown to it; ants, marmots, and bees lay in provision for the winter they have never experienced; the spider and the ant-lion make snares, as if with deliberate cunning, for future unknown prey; insects deposit their eggs where the coming brood finds future nourishment. In the spring-time the female flower of the dioecian valisneria unwinds the spirals of its stalk, by which till now it was held at the bottom of the water, and thus rises to the surface. Just then the male flower, which grows on a short stalk from the bottom, breaks away, and so, at the sacrifice of its life, reaches the surface, where it swims about in search of the female. The latter is fructified, and then draws itself down again to the bottom by contracting its spirals, and there the fruit grows.[15] I must again refer here to the larva of the male stag-beetle, which makes the hole in the wood for its metamorphosis as big again as the female does, in order to have room for its future horns. The instinct of animals in general gives us the best illustration of what remains of teleology in nature. For as instinct is an action, like that which is guided by the conception of an end, and yet is entirely without this; so all construction of nature resembles that which is guided by the conception of an end, and yet is entirely without it. For in the outer as in the inner teleology of nature, what we are obliged to think as means and end is, in every case, the manifestation of the unity of the one will so thoroughly agreeing with itself, which has assumed multiplicity in space and time for our manner of knowing.

The reciprocal adaptation and self-accommodation of phenomena that springs from this unity cannot, however, annul the inner contradiction which appears in the universal conflict of nature described above, and which is essential to the will. That harmony goes only so far as to render possible the duration of the world and the different kinds of existences in it, which without it would long since have perished. Therefore it only extends to the continuance of the species, and the general conditions of life, but not to that of the individual. If, then, by reason of that harmony and accommodation, the species in organised nature and the universal forces in unorganised nature continue to exist beside each other, and indeed support each other reciprocally, on the other hand, the inner contradiction of the will which objectifies itself in all these ideas shows itself in the ceaseless internecine war of the individuals of these species, and in the constant struggle of the manifestations of these natural forces with each other, as we pointed out above. The scene and the object of this conflict is matter, which they try to wrest from each other, and also space and time, the combination of which through the form of causality is, in fact, matter, as was explained in the First Book.[16]

§ 29[edit]

I here conclude the second principal division of my exposition, in the hope that, so far as is possible in the case of an entirely new thought, which cannot be quite free from traces of the individuality in which it originated, I have succeeded in conveying to the reader the complete certainty that this world in which we live and have our being is in its whole nature through and through will, and at the same time through and through idea: that this idea, as such, already presupposes a form, object and subject, is therefore relative; and if we ask what remains if we take away this form, and all those forms which are subordinate to it, and which express the principle of sufficient reason, the answer must be that as something toto genere different from idea, this can be nothing but will, which is thus properly the thing-in-itself. Every one finds that he himself is this will, in which the real nature of the world consists, and he also finds that he is the knowing subject, whose idea the whole world is, the world which exists only in relation to his consciousness, as its necessary supporter. Every one is thus himself in a double aspect the whole world, the microcosm; finds both sides whole and complete in himself. And what he thus recognises as his own real being also exhausts the being of the whole world — the macrocosm; thus the world, like man, is through and through will, and through and through idea, and nothing more than this. So we see the philosophy of Thales, which concerned the macrocosm, unite at this point with that of Socrates, which dealt with the microcosm, for the object of both is found to be the same. But all the knowledge that has been communicated in the two first books will gain greater completeness, and consequently greater certainty, from the two following books, in which I hope that several questions that have more or less distinctly arisen in the course of our work will also be sufficiently answered.

In the meantime one such question may be more particularly considered, for it can only properly arise so long as one has not fully penetrated the meaning of the foregoing exposition, and may so far serve as an illustration of it. It is this: Every will is a will towards something, has an object, an end of its willing; what then is the final end, or towards what is that will striving that is exhibited to us as the being-in-itself of the world? This question rests, like so many others, upon the confusion of the thing-in-itself with the manifestation. The principle of sufficient reason, of which the law of motivation is also a form, extends only to the latter, not to the former. It is only of phenomena, of individual things, that a ground can be given, never of the will itself, nor of the Idea in which it adequately objectifies itself. So then of every particular movement or change of any kind in nature, a cause is to be sought, that is, a condition that of necessity produced it, but never of the natural force itself which is revealed in this and in numerable similar phenomena; and it is therefore simple misunderstanding, arising from want of consideration, to ask for a cause of gravity, electricity, and so on. Only if one had somehow shown that gravity and electricity were not original special forces of nature, but only the manifestations of a more general force already known, would it be allowable to ask for the cause which made this force produce the phenomena of gravity or of electricity here. All this has been explained at length above. In the same way every particular act of will of a knowing individual (which is itself only a manifestation of will as the thing-in-itself) has necessarily a motive without which that act would never have occurred; but just as material causes contain merely the determination that at this time, in this place, and in this matter, a manifestation of this or that natural force must take place, so the motive determines only the act of will of a knowing being, at this time, in this place, and under these circumstances, as a particular act, but by no means determines that that being wills in general or wills in this manner; this is the expression of his intelligible character, which, as will itself, the thing-in-itself, is without ground, for it lies outside the province of the principle of sufficient reason. Therefore every man has permanent aims and motives by which he guides his conduct, and he can always give an account of his particular actions; but if he were asked why he wills at all, or why in general he wills to exist, he would have no answer, and the question would indeed seem to him meaningless; and this would be just the expression of his consciousness that he himself is nothing but will, whose willing stands by itself and requires more particular determination by motives only in its individual acts at each point of time.

In fact, freedom from all aim, from all limits, belongs to the nature of the will, which is an endless striving. This was already touched on above in the reference to centrifugal force. It also discloses itself in its simplest form in the lowest grade of the objectification of will, in gravitation, which we see constantly exerting itself though a final goal is obviously impossible for it. For if, according to its will, all existing matter were collected in one mass, yet within this mass gravity, ever striving towards the centre, would still wage war with impenetrability as rigidity or elasticity. The tendency of matter can therefore only be confined, never completed or appeased. But this is precisely the case with all tendencies of all phenomena of will. Every attained end is also the beginning of a new course, and so on ad infinitum. The plant raises its manifestation from the seed through the stem and the leaf to the blossom and the fruit, which again is the beginning of a new seed, a new individual, that runs through the old course, and so on through endless time. Such also is the life of the animal; procreation is its highest point, and after attaining to it, the life of the first individual quickly or slowly sinks, while a new life ensures to nature the endurance of the species and repeats the same phenomena. Indeed, the constant renewal of the matter of every organism is also to be regarded as merely the manifestation of this continual pressure and change, and physiologists are now ceasing to hold that it is the necessary reparation of the matter wasted in motion, for the possible wearing out of the machine can by no means be equivalent to the support it is constantly receiving through nourishment. Eternal becoming, endless flux, characterises the revelation of the inner nature of will Finally, the same thing shows itself in human endeavours and desires, which always delude us by presenting their satisfaction as the final end of will. As soon as we attain to them they no longer appear the same, and therefore they soon grow stale, are forgotten, and though not openly disowned, are yet always thrown aside as vanished illusions. We are fortunate enough if there still remains something to wish for and to strive after that the game may be kept up of constant transition from desire to satisfaction, and from satisfaction to a new desire, the rapid course of which is called happiness, and the slow course sorrow, and does not sink into that stagnation that shows itself in fearful ennui that paralyses life, vain yearning without a definite object, deadening languor. According to all this, when the will is en lightened by knowledge, it always knows what it wills, — now and here, never what it wills in general; every particular act of will has its end, the whole will has none; just as every particular phenomenon of nature is determined by a sufficient cause so far as concerns its appearance in this place at this time, but the force which manifests itself in it has no general cause, for it belongs to the thing-in-itself, to the groundless will. The single example of self-knowledge of the will as a whole is the idea as a whole, the whole world of perception. It is the objectification, the revelation, the mirror of the will. What the will expresses in it will be the subject of our further consideration.[17]


  1. Cf. Ch. xviii. of the Supplement.
  2. We can thus by no means agree with Bacon if he (De Augm. Scient., L. iv. in fine.) thinks that all mechanical and physical movement of bodies has always been preceded by perception in these bodies; though a glimmering of truth lies at the bottom of this false proposition This is also the case with Kepler's opinion, expressed in his essay De Plancta Mortis, that the planets must have knowledge in order to keep their elliptical courses so correctly, and to regulate the velocity of their motion so that the triangle of the plane of their course always remains proportional to the time in which they pass through its base.
  3. Cf. Ch. xix. of the Supplement.
  4. Cf. Ch. xx. (of the Supplement, and also my work "Über den Willen in der Natur", the chapters on Physiology and Comparative Anatomy, where the subject I have only touched upon here is fully discussed.
  5. This is specially treated in the 27th Ch. of the Supplement.
  6. This subject is fully worked out in my prize essay on the freedom of the will, in which therefore (pp. 29-44 of the "Grundprobleme der Ethik") the relation of cause, stimulus, and motive has also been fully explained.
  7. Cf. Ch. xxiii. of the Supplement, and also the Ch. on the physiology of plants in my work "Über den Willen in der Natur", and the Ch. on physical astronomy, which is of great importance with regard to the kernel of my metaphysic.
  8. Wenzel, De Structura Cerebri Hominis et Brutorum, 1812, ch. iii.; Cuvier, Leçons d'Anat., comp. leçon 9, arts. 4 and 5; Vic. d'Azyr, Hist. de l'Acad. de Sc. de Paris, 1783, pp. 470 and 483.
  9. On the 16th of September 1840, at a lecture upon Egyptian Archaeology delivered by Mr. Pettigrew at the Literary and Scientific Institute of London, he showed some corns of wheat which Sir G. Wilkinson had found in a grave at Thebes, in which they must have lain for three thousand years. They were found in an hermetically sealed vase. Mr. Pettigrew had sowed twelve grains, and obtained a plant which grew live feet high, and the seeds of which were now quite ripe. — Times, 21st September 1840. In the same way in 1830 Mr. Haulton produced in the Medical Botanical Society of London a bulbous root which was found in the hand of an Egyptian mummy, in which it was probably put in observance of some religious rite, and which must have been at least two thousand years old. He had planted it in a flower-pot, in which it grew up and flourished. This is quoted from the Medical Journal of 1830 in the Journal of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, October 1830, p. 196. — "In the garden of Mr. Grimstone of the Herbarium, Highgate, London, is a pea in full fruit, which has sprung from a pea that Mr. Pettigrew and the officials of the British Museum took out of a vase which had been found in an Egyptian sarcophagus, where it must have lain 2844 years." — Times, 16th August 1844. Indeed, the living toads found in limestone lead to the conclusion that even animal life is capable of such a suspension for thousands of years, if this is begun in the dormant period and maintained by special stances.
  10. Cf. Chap. xxii. of the Supplement, and also my work "Über den Willen in der Natur", p. 54 et seq., and pp. 70-79 of the first edition, or p. 46 et seq., and pp. 63-72 of the second, or p. 48 et seq., and pp. 69-77 of the third edition.
  11. The Scholastics therefore said very truly: Causa finalis movet non secundum suum esse reale, sed secundum esse cognitum. Cf. Suarez, Disp. Metaph. disp. xxiii., sec. 7 and 8.
  12. Cf. "Critique of Pure Reason. Solution of the Cosmological Ideas of the Totality of the Deduction of the Events in the Universe", pp. 560-586 of the fifth, and p. 532 and following of first edition; and "Critique of Practical Reason", fourth edition, pp. 169-179; Rosenkranz' edition, p. 224 and following. Cf. my Essay on the Principle of Suffi-cient Reason, § 43.
  13. Cf. "Über der Willen in der Natur", at the end of the section on Comparative Anatomy.
  14. Cf. "Über den Willen in der Natur", the section on Comparative Anatomy.
  15. Chatin, Sur la Vallisneria Spiralis, in the Comptes Rendus de l'Acad. de Sc., No. 13, 1855.
  16. Cf. Chaps. xxvi. and xxvii. of the Supplement.
  17. Cf. Chap. xxviii. of the Supplement.