The World as Will and Representation/Supplements to the Second Book
Supplements to the Second Book.
Ihr folget falscher Spur,
- Denkt nicht, wir scherzen!
Ist nicht der Kern der Natur
- Menschen im Herzen?
In 1836 I already published, under the title “Ueber den Willen in der Natur” (second ed., 1854; third ed., 1867), the most essential supplement to this book, which contains the most peculiar and important step in my philosophy, the transition from the phenomenon to the thing in itself, which Kant gave up as impossible. It would be a great mistake to regard the foreign conclusions with which I have there connected my expositions as the real material and subject of that work, which, though small as regards its extent, is of weighty import. These conclusions are rather the mere occasion starting from which I have there expounded that fundamental truth of my philosophy with so much greater clearness than anywhere else, and brought it down to the empirical knowledge of nature. And indeed this is done most exhaustively and stringently under the heading “Physische Astronomie;” so that I dare not hope ever to find a more correct or accurate expression of that core of my philosophy than is given there. Whoever desires to know my philosophy thoroughly and to test it seriously must therefore give attention before everything to that section. Thus, in general, all that is said in that little work would form the chief content of these supplements, if it had not to be excluded on account of having preceded them; but, on the other hand, I here take for granted that it is known, for otherwise the very best would be wanting. I wish now first of all to make a few preliminary observations from a general point of view as to the sense in which we can speak of a knowledge of the thing in itself and of its necessary limitation.
What is knowledge? It is primarily and essentially idea. What is idea? A very complicated physiological process in the brain of an animal, the result of which is the consciousness of a picture there. Clearly the relation between such a picture and something entirely different from the animal in whose brain it exists can only be a very indirect one. This is perhaps the simplest and most comprehensible way of disclosing the deep gulf between the ideal and the real. This belongs to the things of which, like the motion of the earth, we are not directly conscious; therefore the ancients did not observe it, just as they did not observe the motion of the earth. Once pointed out, on the other hand, first by Descartes, it has ever since given philosophers no rest. But after Kant had at last proved in the most thorough manner the complete diversity of the ideal and the real, it was an attempt, as bold as it was absurd, yet perfectly correctly calculated with reference to the philosophical public in Germany, and consequently crowned with brilliant results, to try to assert the absolute identity of the two by dogmatic utterances, on the strength of a pretended intellectual intuition. In truth, on the contrary, a subjective and an objective existence, a being for self and a being for others, a consciousness of one's own self, and a consciousness of other things, is given us directly, and the two are given in such a fundamentally different manner that no other difference can compare with this. About himself every one knows directly, about all others only very indirectly. This is the fact and the problem.
Whether, on the other hand, through further processes in the interior of a brain, general conceptions (Universalia) are abstracted from the perceptible ideas or images that have arisen within it, for the assistance of further combinations, whereby knowledge becomes rational, and is now called thinking—this is here no longer the essential question, but is of subordinate significance. For all such conceptions receive their content only from the perceptible idea, which is therefore primary knowledge, and has consequently alone to be taken account of in an investigation of the relation between the ideal and the real. It therefore shows entire ignorance of the problem, or at least it is very inept, to wish to define that relation as that between being and thinking. Thinking has primarily only a relation to perceiving, but perception has a relation to the real being of what is perceived, and this last is the great problem with which we are here concerned. Empirical being, on the other hand, as it lies before us, is nothing else than simply being given in perception; but the relation of the latter to thinking is no riddle, for the conceptions, thus the immediate materials of thought, are obviously abstracted from perception, which no reasonable man can doubt. It may be said in passing that one can see how important the choice of expressions in philosophy is from the fact that that inept expression condemned above, and the misunderstanding which arose from it, became the foundation of the whole Hegelian pseudo-philosophy, which has occupied the German public for twenty-five years.
If, however, it should be said: “The perception is itself the knowledge of the thing in itself: for it is the effect of that which is outside of us, and as this acts, so it is: its action is just its being;” to this we reply: (1.) that the law of causality, as has been sufficiently proved, is of subjective origin, as well as the sensation from which the perception arises; (2.) that at any rate time and space, in which the object presents itself, are of subjective origin; (3.) that if the being of the object consists simply in its action, this means that it consists merely in the changes which it brings about in others; therefore itself and in itself it is nothing at all. Only of matter is it true, as I have said in the text, and worked out in the essay on the principle of sufficient reason, at the end of § 21, that its being consists in its action, that it is through and through only causality, thus is itself causality objectively regarded; hence, however, it is also nothing in itself (ἡ ὑλη το αληθινον ψευδος, materia mendacium verax), but as an ingredient in the perceived object, is a mere abstraction, which for itself alone can be given in no experience. It will be fully considered later on in a chapter of its own. But the perceived object must be something in itself, and not merely something for others. For otherwise it would be altogether merely idea, and we would have an absolute idealism, which would ultimately become theoretical egoism, with which all reality disappears and the world becomes a mere subjective phantasm. If, however, without further question, we stop altogether at the world as idea, then certainly it is all one whether I explain objects as ideas in my head or as phenomena exhibiting themselves in time and space; for time and space themselves exist only in my head. In this sense, then, an identity of the ideal and the real might always be affirmed; only, after Kant, this would not be saying anything new. Besides this, however, the nature of things and of the phenomenal world would clearly not be thereby exhausted; but with it we would always remain still upon the ideal side. The real side must be something toto genere different from the world as idea, it must be that which things are in themselves; and it is this entire diversity between the ideal and the real which Kant has proved in the most thorough manner.
Locke had denied to the senses the knowledge of things as they are in themselves; but Kant denied this also to the perceiving understanding, under which name I here comprehend what he calls the pure sensibility, and, as it is given a priori, the law of causality which brings about the empirical perception. Not only are both right, but we can also see quite directly that a contradiction lies in the assertion that a thing is known as it is in and for itself, i.e., outside of knowledge. For all knowing is, as we have said, essentially a perceiving of ideas; but my perception of ideas, just because it is mine, can never be identical with the inner nature of the thing outside of me. The being in and for itself, of everything, must necessarily be subjective; in the idea of another, however, it exists just as necessarily as objective—a difference which can never be fully reconciled. For by it the whole nature of its existence is fundamentally changed; as objective it presupposes a foreign subject, as whose idea it exists, and, moreover, as Kant has shown, has entered forms which are foreign to its own nature, just because they belong to that foreign subject, whose knowledge is only possible by means of them. If I, absorbed in this reflection, perceive, let us say lifeless bodies, of easily surveyed magnitude and regular, comprehensible form, and now attempt to conceive this spatial existence, in its three dimensions, as their being in itself, consequently as the existence which to the things is subjective, the impossibility of the thing is at once apparent to me, for I can never think those objective forms as the being which to the things is subjective, rather I become directly conscious that what I there perceive is only a picture produced in my brain, and existing only for me as the knowing subject, which cannot constitute the ultimate, and therefore subjective, being in and for itself of even these lifeless bodies. But, on the other hand, I must not assume that even these lifeless bodies exist only in my idea, but, since they have inscrutable qualities, and, by virtue of these, activity, I must concede to them a being in itself of some kind. But this very inscrutableness of the properties, while, on the one hand, it certainly points to something which exists independently of our knowledge, gives also, on the other hand, the empirical proof that our knowledge, because it consists simply in framing ideas by means of subjective forms, affords us always mere phenomena, not the true being of things. This is the explanation of the fact that in all that we know there remains hidden from us a certain something, as quite inscrutable, and we are obliged to confess that we cannot thoroughly understand even the commonest and simplest phenomena. For it is not merely the highest productions of nature, living creatures, or the complicated phenomena of the unorganised world that remain inscrutable to us, but even every rock-crystal, every iron-pyrite, by reason of its crystallographical, optical, chemical, and electrical properties, is to the searching consideration and investigation an abyss of incomprehensibilities and mysteries. This could not be the case if we knew things as they are in themselves; for then at least the simpler phenomena, the path to whose qualities was not barred for us by ignorance, would necessarily be thoroughly comprehensible to us, and their whole being and nature would be able to pass over into our knowledge. Thus it lies not in the defectiveness of our acquaintance with things, but in the nature of knowledge itself. For if our perception, and consequently the whole empirical comprehension of the things that present themselves to us, is already essentially and in the main determined by our faculty of knowledge, and conditioned by its forms and functions, it cannot but be that things exhibit themselves in a manner which is quite different from their own inner nature, and therefore appear as in a mask, which allows us merely to assume what is concealed beneath it, but never to know it; hence, then, it gleams through as an inscrutable mystery, and never can the nature of anything entire and without reserve pass over into knowledge; but much less can any real thing be construed a priori, like a mathematical problem. Thus the empirical inscrutableness of all natural things is a proof a posteriori of the ideality and merely phenomenal-actuality of their empirical existence.
According to all this, upon the path of objective knowledge, hence starting from the idea, one will never get beyond the idea, i.e., the phenomenon. One will thus remain at the outside of things, and will never be able to penetrate to their inner nature and investigate what they are in themselves, i.e., for themselves. So far I agree with Kant. But, as the counterpart of this truth, I have given prominence to this other truth, that we are not merely the knowing subject, but, in another aspect, we ourselves also belong to the inner nature that is to be known, we ourselves are the thing in itself; that therefore a way from within stands open for us to that inner nature belonging to things themselves, to which we cannot penetrate from without, as it were a subterranean passage, a secret alliance, which, as if by treachery, places us at once within the fortress which it was impossible to take by assault from without. The thing in itself can, as such, only come into consciousness quite directly, in this way, that it is itself conscious of itself: to wish to know it objectively is to desire something contradictory. Everything objective is idea, therefore appearance, mere phenomenon of the brain.
Kant's chief result may in substance be thus concisely stated: “All conceptions which have not at their foundation a perception in space and time (sensuous intuition), that is to say then, which have not been drawn from such a perception, are absolutely empty, i.e., give no knowledge. But since now perception can afford us only phenomena, not things in themselves, we have also absolutely no knowledge of things in themselves.” I grant this of everything, with the single exception of the knowledge which each of us has of his own willing: this is neither a perception (for all perception is spatial) nor is it empty; rather it is more real than any other. Further, it is not a priori, like merely formal knowledge, but entirely a posteriori; hence also we cannot anticipate it in the particular case, but are hereby often convicted of error concerning ourselves. In fact, our willing is the one opportunity which we have of understanding from within any event which exhibits itself without, consequently the one thing which is known to us immediately, and not, like all the rest, merely given in the idea. Here, then, lies the datum which alone is able to become the key to everything else, or, as I have said, the single narrow door to the truth. Accordingly we must learn to understand nature from ourselves, not conversely ourselves from nature. What is known to us immediately must give us the explanation of what we only know indirectly, not conversely. Do we perhaps understand the rolling of a ball when it has received an impulse more thoroughly than our movement when we feel a motive? Many may imagine so, but I say it is the reverse. Yet we shall attain to the knowledge that what is essential in both the occurrences just mentioned is identical; although identical in the same way as the lowest audible note of harmony is the same as the note of the same name ten octaves higher.
Meanwhile it should be carefully observed, and I have always kept it in mind, that even the inward experience which we have of our own will by no means affords us an exhaustive and adequate knowledge of the thing in itself. This would be the case if it were entirely an immediate experience; but it is effected in this way: the will, with and by means of the corporisation, provides itself also with an intellect (for the sake of its relations to the external world), and through this now knows itself as will in self-consciousness (the necessary counterpart of the external world); this knowledge therefore of the thing in itself is not fully adequate. First of all, it is bound to the form of the idea, it is apprehension, and as such falls asunder into subject and object. For even in self-consciousness the I is not absolutely simple, but consists of a knower, the intellect, and a known, the will. The former is not known, and the latter does not know, though both unite in the consciousness of an I. But just on this account that I is not thoroughly intimate with itself, as it were transparent, but is opaque, and therefore remains a riddle to itself, thus even in inner knowledge there also exists a difference between the true being of its object and the apprehension of it in the knowing subject. Yet inner knowledge is free from two forms which belong to outer knowledge, the form of space and the form of causality, which is the means of effecting all sense-perception. On the other hand, there still remains the form of time, and that of being known and knowing in general. Accordingly in this inner knowledge the thing in itself has indeed in great measure thrown off its veil, but still does not yet appear quite naked. In consequence of the form of time which still adheres to it, every one knows his will only in its successive acts, and not as a whole, in and for itself: therefore no one knows his character a priori, but only learns it through experience and always incompletely. But yet the apprehension, in which we know the affections and acts of our own will, is far more immediate than any other. It is the point at which the thing in itself most directly enters the phenomenon and is most closely examined by the knowing subject; therefore the event thus intimately known is alone fitted to become the interpreter of all others.
For in every emergence of an act of will from the obscure depths of our inner being into the knowing consciousness a direct transition occurs of the thing in itself, which lies outside time, into the phenomenal world. Accordingly the act of will is indeed only the closest and most distinct manifestation of the thing in itself; yet it follows from this that if all other manifestations or phenomena could be known by us as directly and inwardly, we would be obliged to assert them to be that which the will is in us. Thus in this sense I teach that the inner nature of everything is will, and I call will the thing in itself. Kant's doctrine of the unknowableness of the thing in itself is hereby modified to this extent, that the thing in itself is only not absolutely and from the very foundation knowable, that yet by far the most immediate of its phenomena, which by this immediateness is toto genere distinguished from all the rest, represents it for us; and accordingly we have to refer the whole world of phenomena to that one in which the thing in itself appears in the very thinnest of veils, and only still remains phenomenon in so far as my intellect, which alone is capable of knowledge, remains ever distinguished from me as the willing subject, and moreover does not even in inner perfection put off the form of knowledge of time.
Accordingly, even after this last and furthest step, the question may still be raised, what that will, which exhibits itself in the world and as the world, ultimately and absolutely is in itself? i.e., what it is, regarded altogether apart from the fact that it exhibits itself as will, or in general appears, i.e., in general is known. This question can never be answered: because, as we have said, becoming known is itself the contradictory of being in itself, and everything that is known is as such only phenomenal. But the possibility of this question shows that the thing in itself, which we know most directly in the will, may have, entirely outside all possible phenomenal appearance, ways of existing, determinations, qualities, which are absolutely unknowable and incomprehensible to us, and which remain as the nature of the thing in itself, when, as is explained in the fourth book, it has voluntarily abrogated itself as will, and has therefore retired altogether from the phenomenon, and for our knowledge, i.e., as regards the world of phenomena, has passed into empty nothingness. If the will were simply and absolutely the thing in itself this nothing would also be absolute, instead of which it expressly presents itself to us there as only relative.
I now proceed to supplement with a few considerations pertinent to the subject the exposition given both in our second book and in the work “Ueber den Willen in der Natur,” of the doctrine that what makes itself known to us in the most immediate knowledge as will is also that which objectifies itself at different grades in all the phenomena of this world; and I shall begin by citing a number of psychological facts which prove that first of all in our own consciousness the will always appears as primary and fundamental, and throughout asserts its superiority to the intellect, which, on the other hand, always presents itself as secondary, subordinate, and conditioned. This proof is the more necessary as all philosophers before me, from the first to the last, place the true being or the kernel of man in the knowing consciousness, and accordingly have conceived and explained the I, or, in the case of many of them, its transcendental hypostasis called soul, as primarily and essentially knowing, nay, thinking, and only in consequence of this, secondarily and derivatively, as willing. This ancient and universal radical error, this enormous πρωτον ψευδος and fundamental ὑστερον προτερον, must before everything be set aside, and instead of it the true state of the case must be brought to perfectly distinct consciousness. Since, however, this is done here for the first time, after thousands of years of philosophising, some fulness of statement will be appropriate. The remarkable phenomenon, that in this most essential point all philosophers have erred, nay, have exactly reversed the truth, might, especially in the case of those of the Christian era, be partly explicable from the fact that they all had the intention of presenting man as distinguished as widely as possible from the brutes, yet at the same time obscurely felt that the difference between them lies in the intellect, not in the will; whence there arose unconsciously within them an inclination to make the intellect the essential and principal thing, and even to explain volition as a mere function of the intellect. Hence also the conception of a soul is not only inadmissible, because it is a transcendent hypostasis, as is proved by the “Critique of Pure Reason,” but it becomes the source of irremediable errors, because in its “simple substance” it establishes beforehand an indivisible unity of knowledge and will, the separation of which is just the path to the truth. That conception must therefore appear no more in philosophy, but may be left to German doctors and physiologists, who, after they have laid aside scalpel and spattle, amuse themselves by philosophising with the conceptions they received when they were confirmed. They might certainly try their luck in England. The French physiologists and zootomists have (till lately) kept themselves free from that reproach.
The first consequence of their common fundamental error, which is very inconvenient to all these philosophers, is this: since in death the knowing consciousness obviously perishes, they must either allow death to be the annihilation of the man, to which our inner being is opposed, or they must have recourse to the assumption of a continued existence of the knowing consciousness, which requires a strong faith, for his own experience has sufficiently proved to every one the thorough and complete dependence of the knowing consciousness upon the brain, and one can just as easily believe in digestion without a stomach as in a knowing consciousness without a brain. My philosophy alone leads out of this dilemma, for it for the first time places the true being of man not in the consciousness but in the will, which is not essentially bound up with consciousness, but is related to consciousness, i.e., to knowledge, as substance to accident, as something illuminated to the light, as the string to the resounding-board, and which enters consciousness from within as the corporeal world does from without. Now we can comprehend the indestructibleness of this our real kernel and true being, in spite of the evident ceasing of consciousness in death, and the corresponding non-existence of it before birth. For the intellect is as perishable as the brain, whose product or rather whose action it is. But the brain, like the whole organism, is the product or phenomenon, in short, the subordinate of the will, which alone is imperishable.
The will, as the thing in itself, constitutes the inner, true, and indestructible nature of man; in itself, however, it is unconscious. For consciousness is conditioned by the intellect, and the intellect is a mere accident of our being; for it is a function of the brain, which, together with the nerves and spinal cord connected with it, is a mere fruit, a product, nay, so far, a parasite of the rest of the organism; for it does not directly enter into its inner constitution, but merely serves the end of self-preservation by regulating the relations of the organism to the external world. The organism itself, on the other hand, is the visibility, the objectivity, of the individual will, the image of it as it presents itself in that very brain (which in the first book we learned to recognise as the condition of the objective world in general), therefore also brought about by its forms of knowledge, space, time, and causality, and consequently presenting itself as extended, successively acting, and material, i.e., as something operative or efficient. The members are both directly felt and also perceived by means of the senses only in the brain. According to this one may say: The intellect is the secondary phenomenon; the organism the primary phenomenon, that is, the immediate manifestation of the will; the will is metaphysical, the intellect physical;—the intellect, like its objects, is merely phenomenal appearance; the will alone is the thing in itself. Then, in a more and more figurative sense, thus by way of simile: The will is the substance of man, the intellect the accident; the will is the matter, the intellect is the form; the will is warmth, the intellect is light.
We shall now first of all verify and also elucidate this thesis by the following facts connected with the inner life of man; and on this opportunity perhaps more will be done for the knowledge of the inner man than is to be found in many systematic psychologies.
1. Not only the consciousness of other things, i.e., the apprehension of the external world, but also self-consciousness, contains, as was mentioned already above, a knower and a known; otherwise it would not be consciousness. For consciousness consists in knowing; but knowing requires a knower and a known; therefore there could be no self-consciousness if there were not in it also a known opposed to the knower and different from it. As there can be no object without a subject, so also there can be no subject without an object, i.e., no knower without something different from it which is known. Therefore a consciousness which is through and through pure intelligence is impossible. The intelligence is like the sun, which does not illuminate space if there is no object from which its rays are reflected. The knower himself, as such, cannot be known; otherwise he would be the known of another knower. But now, as the known in self-consciousness we find exclusively the will. For not merely willing and purposing in the narrowest sense, but also all striving, wishing, shunning, hoping, fearing, loving, hating, in short, all that directly constitutes our own weal and woe, desire and aversion, is clearly only affection of the will, is a moving, a modification of willing and not-willing, is just that which, if it takes outward effect, exhibits itself as an act of will proper. In all knowledge, however, the known is first and essential, not the knower; for the former is the πρωτοτυπος, the latter the εκτυπος. Therefore in self-consciousness also the known, thus the will, must be what is first and original; the knower, on the other hand, only what is secondary, that which has been added, the mirror. They are related very much as the luminous to the reflecting body; or, again, as the vibrating strings to the resounding-board, in which case the note produced would be consciousness. We may also regard the plant as a like symbol of consciousness. It has, we know, two poles, the root and the corona: the former struggling into darkness, moisture, and cold, the latter into light, dryness, and warmth; then, as the point of indifference of the two poles, where they part asunder, close to the ground, the collum (rhizoma, le collet). The root is what is essential, original, perennial, the death of which involves that of the corona, is thus the primary; the corona, on the other hand, is the ostensible, but it has sprung from something else, and it passes away without the root dying; it is thus secondary. The root represents the will, the corona the intellect, and the point of indifference of the two, the collum, would be the I, which, as their common termination, belongs to both. This I is the pro tempore identical subject of knowing and willing, whose identity I called in my very first essay (on the principle of sufficient reason), and in my first philosophical wonder, the miracle κατ εξοχην. It is the temporal starting-point and connecting-link of the whole phenomenon, i.e., of the objectification of the will: it conditions indeed the phenomenon, but is also conditioned by it. This comparison may even be carried to the individual nature of men. As a large corona commonly springs only from a large root, so the greatest intellectual capabilities are only found in connection with a vehement and passionate will. A genius of a phlegmatic character and weak passions would resemble those succulent plants that, with a considerable corona consisting of thick leaves, have very small roots; will not, however, be found. That vehemence of will and passionateness of character are conditions of heightened intelligence exhibits itself physiologically through the fact that the activity of the brain is conditioned by the movement which the great arteries running towards the basis cerebri impart to it with each pulsation; therefore an energetic pulse, and even, according to Bichat, a short neck, is a requisite of great activity of the brain. But the opposite of the above certainly occurs: vehement desires, passionate, violent character, along with weak intellect, i.e., a small brain of bad conformation in a thick skull. This is a phenomenon as common as it is repulsive: we might perhaps compare it to beetroot.
2. But in order not merely to describe consciousness figuratively, but to know it thoroughly, we have first of all to find out what appears in the same way in every consciousness, and therefore, as the common and constant element, will also be the essential. Then we shall consider what distinguishes one consciousness from another, which accordingly will be the adventitious and secondary element.
Consciousness is positively only known to us as a property of animal nature; therefore we must not, and indeed cannot, think of it otherwise than as animal 'consciousness, so that this expression is tautological. Now, that which in every animal consciousness, even the most imperfect and the weakest, is always present, nay, lies at its foundation, is an immediate sense of longing, and of the alternate satisfaction and non-satisfaction of it, in very different degrees. This we know to a certain extent a priori. For marvellously different as the innumerable species of animals are, and strange as some new form, never seen before, appears to us, we yet assume beforehand its inmost nature, with perfect certainty, as well known, and indeed fully confided to us. We know that the animal wills, indeed also what it wills, existence, well-being, life, and propagation; and since in this we presuppose with perfect certainty identity with us, we do not hesitate to attribute to it unchanged all the affections of will which we know in ourselves, and speak at once of its desire, aversion, fear, anger, hatred, love, joy, sorrow, longing, &c. On the other hand, whenever phenomena of mere knowledge come to be spoken of we fall at once into uncertainty. We do not venture to say that the animal conceives, thinks, judges, knows: we only attribute to it with certainty ideas in general; because without them its will could not have those emotions referred to above. But with regard to the definite manner of knowing of the brutes and the precise limits of it in a given species, we have only indefinite conceptions, and make conjectures. Hence our understanding with them is also often difficult, and is only brought about by skill, in consequence of experience and practice. Here then lie distinctions of consciousness. On the other hand, a longing, desiring, wishing, or a detesting, shunning, and not wishing, is proper to every consciousness: man has it in common with the polyp. This is accordingly the essential element in and the basis of every consciousness. The difference of the manifestations of this in the different species of animal beings depends upon the various extension of their sphere of knowledge, in which the motives of those manifestations lie. We understand directly from our own nature all actions and behaviour of the brutes which express movements of the will; therefore, so far, we sympathise with them in various ways. On the other hand, the gulf between us and them results simply and solely from the difference of intellect. The gulf which lies between a very sagacious brute and a man of very limited capacity is perhaps not much greater than that which exists between a blockhead and a man of genius; therefore here also the resemblance between them in another aspect, which springs from the likeness of their inclinations and emotions, and assimilates them again to each other, sometimes appears with surprising prominence, and excites astonishment. This consideration makes it clear that in all animal natures the will is what is primary and substantial, the intellect again is secondary, adventitious, indeed a mere tool for the service of the former, and is more or less complete and complicated, according to the demands of this service. As a species of animals is furnished with hoofs, claws, hands, wings, horns, or teeth according to the aims of its will, so also is it furnished with a more or less developed brain, whose function is the intelligence necessary for its endurance. The more complicated the organisation becomes, in the ascending series of animals, the more numerous also are its wants, and the more varied and specially determined the objects which are capable of satisfying them; hence the more complicated and distant the paths by which these are to be obtained, which must now be all known and found: therefore in the same proportion the ideas of the animal must be more versatile, accurate, definite, and connected, and also its attention must be more highly strung, more sustained, and more easily roused, consequently its intellect must be more developed and perfect. Accordingly we see the organ of intelligence, the cerebral system, together with all the organs of sense, keep pace with the increasing wants and the complication of the organism; and the increase of the part of consciousness that has to do with ideas (as opposed to the willing part) exhibits itself in a bodily form in the ever-increasing proportion of the brain in general to the rest of the nervous system, and of the cerebrum to the cerebellum; for (according to Flourens) the former is the workshop of ideas, while the latter is the disposer and orderer of movements. The last step which nature has taken in this respect is, however, disproportionately great. For in man not only does the faculty of ideas of perception, which alone existed hitherto, reach the highest degree of perfection, but the abstract idea, thought, i.e., reason, and with it reflection, is added. Through this important advance of the intellect, thus of the secondary part of consciousness, it now gains a preponderance over the primary part, in so far as it becomes henceforward the predominantly active part. While in the brute the immediate sense of its satisfied or unsatisfied desire constitutes by far the most important part of its consciousness, and the more so indeed the lower the grade of the animal, so that the lowest animals are only distinguished from plants by the addition of a dull idea, in man the opposite is the case. Vehement as are his desires, even more vehement than those of any brute, rising to the level of passions, yet his consciousness remains continuously and predominantly occupied and filled with ideas and thoughts. Without doubt this has been the principal occasion of that fundamental error of all philosophers on account of which they make thought that which is essential and primary in the so-called soul, i.e., in the inner or spiritual life of man, always placing it first, but will, as a mere product of thought, they regard as only a subordinate addition and consequence of it. But if willing merely proceeded from knowing, how could the brutes, even the lower grades of them, with so very little knowledge, often show such an unconquerable and vehement will? Accordingly, since that fundamental error of the philosophers makes, as it were, the accident the substance, it leads them into mistaken paths, which there is afterwards no way of getting out of. Now this relative predominance of the knowing consciousness over the desiring, consequently of the secondary part over the primary, which appears in man, may, in particular exceptionally favoured individuals, go so far that at the moments of its highest ascendancy, the secondary or knowing part of consciousness detaches itself altogether from the willing part, and passes into free activity for itself, i.e., untouched by the will, and consequently no longer serving it. Thus it becomes purely objective, and the clear mirror of the world, and from it the conceptions of genius then arise, which are the subject of our third book.
3. If we run through the series of grades of animals downwards, we see the intellect always becoming weaker and less perfect, but we by no means observe a corresponding degradation of the will. Rather it retains everywhere its identical nature and shows itself in the form of great attachment to life, care for the individual and the species, egoism and regardlessness of all others, together with the emotions that spring from these. Even in the smallest insect the will is present, complete and entire; it wills what it wills as decidedly and completely as the man. The difference lies merely in what it wills, i.e., in the motives, which, however, are the affair of the intellect. It indeed, as the secondary part of consciousness, and bound to the bodily organism, has innumerable degrees of completeness, and is in general essentially limited and imperfect. The will, on the contrary, as original and the thing in itself, can never be imperfect, but every act of will is all that it can be. On account of the simplicity which belongs to the will as the thing in itself, the metaphysical in the phenomenon, its nature admits of no degrees, but is always completely itself. Only its excitement has degrees, from the weakest inclination to the passion, and also its susceptibility to excitement, thus its vehemence from the phlegmatic to the choleric temperament. The intellect, on the other hand, has not merely degrees of excitement, from sleepiness to being in the vein, and inspiration, but also degrees of its nature, of the completeness of this, which accordingly rises gradually from the lowest animals, which can only obscurely apprehend, up to man, and here again from the fool to the genius. The will alone is everywhere completely itself. For its function is of the utmost simplicity; it consists in willing and not willing, which goes on with the greatest ease, without effort, and requires no practice. Knowing, on the contrary, has multifarious functions, and never takes place entirely without effort, which is required to fix the attention and to make clear the object, and at a higher stage is certainly needed for thinking and deliberation; therefore it is also capable of great improvement through exercise and education. If the intellect presents a simple, perceptible object to the will, the latter expresses at once its approval or disapproval of it, and this even if the intellect has laboriously inquired and pondered, in order from numerous data, by means of difficult combinations, ultimately to arrive at the conclusion as to which of the two seems to be most in conformity with the interests of the will. The latter has meanwhile been idly resting, and when the conclusion is arrived at it enters, as the Sultan enters the Divan, merely to express again its monotonous approval or disapproval, which certainly may vary in degree, but in its nature remains always the same.
This fundamentally different nature of the will and the intellect, the essential simplicity and originality of the former, in contrast to the complicated and secondary character of the latter, becomes still more clear to us if we observe their remarkable interaction within us, and now consider in the particular case, how the images and thoughts which arise in the intellect move the will, and how entirely separated and different are the parts which the two play. We can indeed perceive this even in actual events which excite the will in a lively manner, while primarily and in themselves they are merely objects of the intellect. But, on the one hand, it is here not so evident that this reality primarily existed only in the intellect; and, on the other hand, the change does not generally take place so rapidly as is necessary if the thing is to be easily surveyed, and thereby become thoroughly comprehensible. Both of these conditions, however, are fulfilled if it is merely thoughts and phantasies which we allow to act on the will. If, for example, alone with ourselves, we think over our personal circumstances, and now perhaps vividly present to ourselves the menace of an actually present danger and the possibility of an unfortunate issue, anxiety at once compresses the heart, and the blood ceases to circulate in the veins. But if then the intellect passes to the possibility of an opposite issue, and lets the imagination picture the long hoped for happiness thereby attained, all the pulses quicken at once with joy and the heart feels light as a feather, till the intellect awakes from its dream. Thereupon, suppose that an occasion should lead the memory to an insult or injury once suffered long ago, at once anger and bitterness pour into the breast that was but now at peace. But then arises, called up by accident, the image of a long-lost love, with which the whole romance and its magic scenes is connected; then that anger will at once give place to profound longing and sadness. Finally, if there occurs to us some former humiliating incident, we shrink together, would like to sink out of sight, blush with shame, and often try forcibly to distract and divert our thoughts by some loud exclamation, as if to scare some evil spirit. One sees, the intellect plays, and the will must dance to it. Indeed the intellect makes the will play the part of a child which is alternately thrown at pleasure into joyful or sad moods by the chatter and tales of its nurse. This depends upon the fact that the will is itself without knowledge, and the understanding which is given to it is without will. Therefore the former is like a body which is moved, the latter like the causes which set it in motion, for it is the medium of motives. Yet in all this the primacy of the will becomes clear again, if this will, which, as we have shown, becomes the sport of the intellect as soon as it allows the latter to control it, once makes its supremacy in the last instance felt by prohibiting the intellect from entertaining certain ideas, absolutely preventing certain trains of thought from arising, because it knows, i.e., learns from that very intellect, that they would awaken in it some one of the emotions set forth above. It now bridles the intellect, and compels it to turn to other things. Hard as this often may be, it must yet be accomplished as soon as the will is in earnest about it, for the resistance in this case does not proceed from the intellect, which always remains indifferent, but from the will itself, which in one respect has an inclination towards an idea that in another respect it abhors. It is in itself interesting to the will simply because it excites it, but at the same time abstract knowledge tells it that this idea will aimlessly cause it a shock of painful or unworthy emotion: it now decides in conformity with this abstract knowledge, and compels the obedience of the intellect. This is called “being master of oneself.” Clearly the master here is the will, the servant the intellect, for in the last instance the will always keeps the upper hand, and therefore constitutes the true core, the inner being of man. In this respect the title Ηγεμονικον would belong to the will; yet it seems, on the other hand, to apply to the intellect, because it is the leader and guide, like the valet de place who conducts a stranger. In truth, however, the happiest figure of the relation of the two is the strong blind man who carries on his shoulders the lame man who can see.
The relation of the will to the intellect here explained may also be further recognised in the fact that the intellect is originally entirely a stranger to the purposes of the will. It supplies the motives to the will, but it only learns afterwards, completely a posteriori, how they have affected it, as one who makes a chemical experiment applies the reagents and awaits the result. Indeed the intellect remains so completely excluded from the real decisions and secret purposes of its own will that sometimes it can only learn them like those of a stranger, by spying upon them and surprising them, and must catch the will in the act of expressing itself in order to get at its real intentions. For example, I have conceived a plan, about which, however, I have still some scruple, but the feasibleness of which, as regards its possibility, is completely uncertain, for it depends upon external and still undecided circumstances. It would therefore certainly be unnecessary to come to a decision about it at present, and so for the time I leave the matter as it is. Now in such a case I often do not know how firmly I am already attached to that plan in secret, and how much, in spite of the scruple, I wish to carry it out: that is, my intellect does not know. But now only let me receive news that it is practicable, at once there rises within me a jubilant, irresistible gladness, that passes through my whole being and takes permanent possession of it, to my own astonishment. For now my intellect learns for the first time how firmly my will had laid hold of that plan, and how thoroughly the plan suited it, while the intellect had regarded it as entirely problematical, and had with difficulty been able to overcome that scruple. Or in another case, I have entered eagerly into a contract which I believed to be very much in accordance with my wishes. But as the matter progresses the disadvantages and burdens of it are felt, and I begin to suspect that I even repent of what I so eagerly pursued; yet I rid myself of this feeling by assuring myself that even if I were not bound I would follow the same course. Now, however, the contract is unexpectedly broken by the other side, and I perceive with astonishment that this happens to my great satisfaction and relief. Often we don't know what we wish or what we fear. We may entertain a wish for years without even confessing it to ourselves, or even allowing it to come to clear consciousness; for the intellect must know nothing about it, because the good opinion which we have of ourselves might thereby suffer. But if it is fulfilled we learn from our joy, not without shame, that we have wished this. For example, the death of a near relation whose heir we are. And sometimes we do not know what we really fear, because we lack the courage to bring it to distinct consciousness. Indeed we are often in error as to the real motive from which we have done something or left it undone, till at last perhaps an accident discovers to us the secret, and we know that what we have held to be the motive was not the true one, but another which we had not wished to confess to ourselves, because it by no means accorded with the good opinion we entertained of ourselves. For example, we refrain from doing something on purely moral grounds, as we believe, but afterwards we discover that we were only restrained by fear, for as soon as all danger is removed we do it. In particular cases this may go so far that a man does not even guess the true motive of his action, nay, does not believe himself capable of being influenced by such a motive; and yet it is the true motive of his action. We may remark in passing that in all this we have a confirmation and explanation of the rule of Larochefoucauld: “L'amour-propre est plus habile que le plus habile homme du monde;” nay, even a commentary on the Delphic γνωθι σαυτον and its difficulty. If now, on the contrary, as all philosophers imagine, the intellect constituted our true nature and the purposes of the will were a mere result of knowledge, then only the motive from which we imagined that we acted would be decisive of our moral worth; in analogy with the fact that the intention, not the result, is in this respect decisive. But really then the distinction between imagined and true motive would be impossible. Thus all cases here set forth, to which every one who pays attention may observe analogous cases in himself, show us how the intellect is so strange to the will that it is sometimes even mystified by it: for it indeed supplies it with motives, but does not penetrate into the secret workshop of its purposes. It is indeed a confidant of the will, but a confidant that is not told everything. This is also further confirmed by the fact, which almost every one will some time have the opportunity of observing in himself, that sometimes the intellect does not thoroughly trust the will. If we have formed some great and bold purpose, which as such is yet really only a promise made by the will to the intellect, there often remains within us a slight unconfessed doubt whether we are quite in earnest about it, whether in carrying it out we will not waver or draw back, but will have sufficient firmness and persistency to fulfil it. It therefore requires the deed to convince us ourselves of the sincerity of the purpose.
All these facts prove the absolute difference of the will and the intellect, the primacy of the former and the subordinate position of the latter.
4. The intellect becomes tired; the will is never tired. After sustained work with the head we feel the tiredness of the brain, just like that of the arm after sustained bodily work. All knowing is accompanied with effort; willing, on the contrary, is our very nature, whose manifestations take place without any weariness and entirely of their own accord. Therefore, if our will is strongly excited, as in all emotions, thus in anger, fear, desire, grief, &c., and we are now called upon to know, perhaps with the view of correcting the motives of that emotion, the violence which we must do ourselves for this purpose is evidence of the transition from the original natural activity proper to ourselves to the derived, indirect, and forced activity. For the will alone is αυτοματος, and therefore ακαματος και αγηρατος ηματα παντα (lassitudinis et senii expers in sempiternum). It alone is active without being called upon, and therefore often too early and too much, and it knows no weariness. Infants who scarcely show the first weak trace of intelligence are already full of self-will: through unlimited, aimless roaring and shrieking they show the pressure of will with which they swell, while their willing has yet no object, i.e., they will without knowing what they will. What Cabanis has observed is also in point here: “Toutes ces passions, qui se succèdent d'une mannière si rapide, et se peignent avec tant de naïveté, sur le visage mobile des enfants. Tandis que les faibles muscles de leurs bras et de leurs jambes savent encore a peine former quelque mouvemens indécis, les muscles de la face expriment déjà par des mouvemens distincts presque toute la suite des affections générales propres a la nature humaine: et l'observateur attentif reconnait facilement dans ce tableau les traits caractéristiques de l'homme futur” (Rapports du Physique et Moral, vol. i. p. 123). The intellect, on the contrary, develops slowly, following the completion of the brain and the maturity of the whole organism, which are its conditions, just because it is merely a somatic function. It is because the brain attains its full size in the seventh year that from that time forward children become so remarkably intelligent, inquisitive, and reasonable. But then comes puberty; to a certain extent it affords a support to the brain, or a resounding-board, and raises the intellect at once by a large step, as it were by an octave, corresponding to the lowering of the voice by that amount. But at once the animal desires and passions that now appear resist the reasonableness that has hitherto prevailed and to which they have been added. Further evidence is given of the indefatigable nature of the will by the fault which is, more or less, peculiar to all men by nature, and is only overcome by education—precipitation. It consists in this, that the will hurries to its work before the time. This work is the purely active and executive part, which ought only to begin when the explorative and deliberative part, thus the work of knowing, has been completely and thoroughly carried out. But this time is seldom waited for. Scarcely are a few data concerning the circumstances before us, or the event that has occurred, or the opinion of others conveyed to us, superficially comprehended and hastily gathered together by knowledge, than from the depths of our being the will, always ready and never weary, comes forth unasked, and shows itself as terror, fear, hope, joy, desire, envy, grief, zeal, anger, or courage, and leads to rash words and deeds, which are generally followed by repentance when time has taught us that the hegemonicon, the intellect, has not been able to finish half its work of comprehending the circumstances, reflecting on their connection, and deciding what is prudent, because the will did not wait for it, but sprang forward long before its time with “Now it is my turn!” and at once began the active work, without the intellect being able to resist, as it is a mere slave and bondman of the will, and not, like it, αυτοματος, nor active from its own power and its own impulse; therefore it is easily pushed aside and silenced by a nod of the will, while on its part it is scarcely able, with the greatest efforts, to bring the will even to a brief pause, in order to speak. This is why the people are so rare, and are found almost only among Spaniards, Turks, and perhaps Englishmen, who even under circumstances of provocation keep the head uppermost, imperturbably proceed to comprehend and investigate the state of affairs, and when others would already be beside themselves, con mucho sosiego, still ask further questions, which is something quite different from the indifference founded upon apathy and stupidity of many Germans and Dutchmen. Iffland used to give an excellent representation of this admirable quality, as Hetmann of the Cossacks, in Benjowski, when the conspirators have enticed him into their tent and hold a rifle to his head, with the warning that they will fire it if he utters a cry, Iffland blew into the mouth of the rifle to try whether it was loaded. Of ten things that annoy us, nine would not be able to do so if we understood them thoroughly in their causes, and therefore knew their necessity and true nature; but we would do this much oftener if we made them the object of reflection before making them the object of wrath and indignation. For what bridle and bit are to an unmanageable horse the intellect is for the will in man; by this bridle it must be controlled by means of instruction, exhortation, culture, &c., for in itself it is as wild and impetuous an impulse as the force that appears in the descending waterfall, nay, as we know, it is at bottom identical with this. In the height of anger, in intoxication, in despair, it has taken the bit between its teeth, has run away, and follows its original nature. In the Mania sine delirio it has lost bridle and bit altogether, and shows now most distinctly its original nature, and that the intellect is as different from it as the bridle from the horse. In this condition it may also be compared to a clock which, when a certain screw is taken away, runs down without stopping.
Thus this consideration also shows us the will as that which is original, and therefore metaphysical; the intellect, on the other hand, as something subordinate and physical. For as such the latter is, like everything physical, subject to vis inertiæ, consequently only active if it is set agoing by something else, the will, which rules it, manages it, rouses it to effort, in short, imparts to it the activity which does not originally reside in it. Therefore it willingly rests whenever it is permitted to do so, often declares itself lazy and disinclined to activity; through continued effort it becomes weary to the point of complete stupefaction, is exhausted, like the voltaic pile, through repeated shocks. Hence all continuous mental work demands pauses and rest, otherwise stupidity and incapacity ensue, at first of course only temporarily; but if this rest is persistently denied to the intellect it will become excessively and continuously fatigued, and the consequence is a permanent deterioration of it, which in an old man may pass into complete incapacity, into childishness, imbecility, and madness. It is not to be attributed to age in and for itself, but to long-continued tyrannical over-exertion of the intellect or brain, if this misfortune appears in the last years of life. This is the explanation of the fact that Swift became mad, Kant became childish, Walter Scott, and also Wordsworth, Southey, and many minorum gentium, became dull and incapable. Goethe remained to the end clear, strong, and active-minded, because he, who was always a man of the world and a courtier, never carried on his mental occupations with self-compulsion. The same holds good of Wieland and of Kuebel, who lived to the age of ninety-one, and also of Voltaire. Now all this proves how very subordinate and physical and what a mere tool the intellect is. Just on this account it requires, during almost a third part of its lifetime, the entire suspension of its activity in sleep, i.e., the rest of the brain, of which it is the mere function, and which therefore just as truly precedes it as the stomach precedes digestion, or as a body precedes its impulsion, and with which in old age it flags and decays. The will, on the contrary, as the thing in itself, is never lazy, is absolutely untiring, its activity is its essence, it never ceases willing, and when, during deep sleep, it is forsaken of the intellect, and therefore cannot act outwardly in accordance with motives, it is active as the vital force, cares the more uninterruptedly for the inner economy of the organism, and as vis naturæ medicatrix sets in order again the irregularities that have crept into it. For it is not, like the intellect, a function of the body; but the body is its function; therefore it is, ordine rerum, prior to the body, as its metaphysical substratum, as the in-itself of its phenomenal appearance. It shares its unwearying nature, for the time that life lasts, with the heart, that primum mobile of the organism, which has therefore become its symbol and synonym. Moreover, it does not disappear in the old man, but still continues to will what it has willed, and indeed becomes firmer, more inflexible, than it was in youth, more implacable, self-willed, and unmanageable, because the intellect has become less susceptible: therefore in old age the man can perhaps only be matched by taking advantage of the weakness of his intellect.
Moreover, the prevailing weakness and imperfection of the intellect, as it is shown in the want of judgment, narrow-mindedness, perversity, and folly of the great majority of men, would be quite inexplicable if the intellect were not subordinate, adventitious, and merely instrumental, but the immediate and original nature of the so-called soul, or in general of the inner man: as all philosophers have hitherto assumed it to be. For how could the original nature in its immediate and peculiar function so constantly err and fail? The truly original in human consciousness, the willing, always goes on with perfect success; every being wills unceasingly, capably, and decidedly. To regard the immorality in the will as an imperfection of it would be a fundamentally false point of view. For morality has rather a source which really lies above nature, and therefore its utterances are in contradiction with it. Therefore morality is in direct opposition to the natural will, which in itself is completely egoistic; indeed the pursuit of the path of morality leads to the abolition of the will. On this subject I refer to our fourth book and to my prize essay, “Ueber das Fundament der Moral.”
5. That the will is what is real and essential in man, and the intellect only subordinate, conditioned, and produced, is also to be seen in the fact that the latter can carry on its function with perfect purity and correctness only so long as the will is silent and pauses. On the other hand, the function of the intellect is disturbed by every observable excitement of the will, and its result is falsified by the intermixture of the latter; but the converse does not hold, that the intellect should in the same way be a hindrance to the will. Thus the moon cannot shine when the sun is in the heavens, but when the moon is in the heavens it does not prevent the sun from shining.
A great fright often deprives us of our senses to such an extent that we are petrified, or else do the most absurd things; for example, when fire has broken out run right into the flames. Anger makes us no longer know what we do, still less what we say. Zeal, therefore called blind, makes us incapable of weighing the arguments of others, or even of seeking out and setting in order our own. Joy makes us inconsiderate, reckless, and foolhardy, and desire acts almost in the same way. Fear prevents us from seeing and laying hold of the resources that are still present, and often lie close beside us. Therefore for overcoming sudden dangers, and also for fighting with opponents and enemies, the most essential qualifications are coolness and presence of mind. The former consists in the silence of the will so that the intellect can act; the latter in the undisturbed activity of the intellect under the pressure of events acting on the will; therefore the former is the condition of the latter, and the two are nearly related; they are seldom to be found, and always only in a limited degree. But they are of inestimable advantage, because they permit the use of the intellect just at those times when we stand most in need of it, and therefore confer decided superiority. He who is without them only knows what he should have done or said when the opportunity has passed. It is very appropriately said of him who is violently moved, i.e., whose will is so strongly excited that it destroys the purity of the function of the intellect, he is disarmed; for the correct knowledge of the circumstances and relations is our defence and weapon in the conflict with things and with men. In this sense Balthazar Gracian says: “Es la passion enemiga declarada de la cordura” (Passion is the declared enemy of prudence). If now the intellect were not something completely different from the will, but, as has been hitherto supposed, knowing and willing had the same root, and were equally original functions of an absolutely simple nature, then with the rousing and heightening of the will, in which the emotion consists, the intellect would necessarily also be heightened; but, as we have seen, it is rather hindered and depressed by this; whence the ancients called emotion animi perturbatio. The intellect is really like the reflecting surface of water, but the water itself is like the will, whose disturbance therefore at once destroys the clearness of that mirror and the distinctness of its images. The organism is the will itself, is embodied will, i.e., will objectively perceived in the brain. Therefore many of its functions, such as respiration, circulation, secretion of bile, and muscular power, are heightened and accelerated by the pleasurable, and in general the healthy, emotions. The intellect, on the other hand, is the mere function of the brain, which is only nourished and supported by the organism as a parasite. Therefore every perturbation of the will, and with it of the organism, must disturb and paralyse the function of the brain, which exists for itself and for no other wants than its own, which are simply rest and nourishment.
But this disturbing influence of the activity of the will upon the intellect can be shown, not only in the perturbations brought about by emotions, but also in many other, more gradual, and therefore more lasting falsifications of thought by our inclinations. Hope makes us regard what we wish, and fear what we are apprehensive of, as probable and near, and both exaggerate their object. Plato (according to Ælian, V.H., 13, 28) very beautifully called hope the dream of the waking. Its nature lies in this, that the will, when its servant the intellect is not able to produce what it wishes, obliges it at least to picture it before it, in general to undertake the roll of comforter, to appease its lord with fables, as a nurse a child, and so to dress these out that they gain an appearance of likelihood. Now in this the intellect must do violence to its own nature, which aims at the truth, for it compels it, contrary to its own laws, to regard as true things which are neither true nor probable, and often scarcely possible, only in order to appease, quiet, and send to sleep for a while the restless and unmanageable will. Here we see clearly who is master and who is servant. Many may well have observed that if a matter which is of importance to them may turn out in several different ways, and they have brought all of these into one disjunctive judgment which in their opinion is complete, the actual result is yet quite another, and one wholly unexpected by them: but perhaps they will not have considered this, that this result was then almost always the one which was unfavourable to them. The explanation of this is, that while their intellect intended to survey the possibilities completely, the worst of all remained quite invisible to it; because the will, as it were, covered it with its hand, that is, it so mastered the intellect that it was quite incapable of glancing at the worst case of all, although, since it actually came to pass, this was also the most probable case. Yet in very melancholy dispositions, or in those that have become prudent through experience like this, the process is reversed, for here apprehension plays the part which was formerly played by hope. The first appearance of danger throws them into groundless anxiety. If the intellect begins to investigate the matter it is rejected as incompetent, nay, as a deceitful sophist, because the heart is to be believed, whose fears are now actually allowed to pass for arguments as to the reality and greatness of the danger. So then the intellect dare make no search for good reasons on the other side, which, if left to itself, it would soon recognise, but is obliged at once to picture to them the most unfortunate issue, even if it itself can scarcely think this issue possible:
Such as we know is false, yet dread in sooth,
Because the worst is ever nearest truth.
- —Byron (Lara, c. 1).
Love and hate falsify our judgment entirely. In our enemies we see nothing but faults—in our loved ones nothing but excellences, and even their faults appear to us amiable. Our interest, of whatever kind it may be, exercises a like secret power over our judgment; what is in conformity with it at once seems to us fair, just, and reasonable; what runs contrary to it presents itself to us, in perfect seriousness, as unjust and outrageous, or injudicious and absurd. Hence so many prejudices of position, profession, nationality, sect, and religion. A conceived hypothesis gives us lynx-eyes for all that confirms it, and makes us blind to all that contradicts it. What is opposed to our party, our plan, our wish, our hope, we often cannot comprehend and grasp at all, while it is clear to every one else; but what is favourable to these, on the other hand, strikes our eye from afar. What the heart opposes the head will not admit. We firmly retain many errors all through life, and take care never to examine their ground, merely from a fear, of which we ourselves are conscious, that we might make the discovery that we had so long believed and so often asserted what is false. Thus then is the intellect daily befooled and corrupted by the impositions of inclination. This has been very beautifully expressed by Bacon of Verulam in the words: Intellectus luminis sicci non est; sed recipit infusionem a voluntate et affectibus: id quod generat ad quod vult scientias: quod enim mavult homo, id potius credit. Innumeris modis, iisque interdum imperceptibilibus, affectus intellectum imbuit et inficit (Org. Nov., i. 14). Clearly it is also this that opposes all new fundamental opinions in the sciences and all refutations of sanctioned errors, for one will not easily see the truth of that which convicts one of incredible want of thought. It is explicable, on this ground alone, that the truths of Goethe's doctrine of colours, which are so clear and simple, are still denied by the physicists; and thus Goethe himself has had to learn what a much harder position one has if one promises men instruction than if one promises them amusement. Hence it is much more fortunate to be born a poet than a philosopher. But the more obstinately an error was held by the other side, the more shameful does the conviction afterwards become. In the case of an overthrown system, as in the case of a conquered army, the most prudent is he who first runs away from it.
A trifling and absurd, but striking example of that mysterious and immediate power which the will exercises over the intellect, is the fact that in doing accounts we make mistakes much oftener in our own favour than to our disadvantage, and this without the slightest dishonest intention, merely from the unconscious tendency to diminish our Debit and increase our Credit.
Lastly, the fact is also in point here, that when advice is given the slightest aim or purpose of the adviser generally outweighs his insight, however great it may be; therefore we dare not assume that he speaks from the latter when we suspect the existence of the former. How little perfect sincerity is to be expected even from otherwise honest persons whenever their interests are in any way concerned we can gather from the fact that we so often deceive ourselves when hope bribes us, or fear befools us, or suspicion torments us, or vanity flatters us, or an hypothesis blinds us, or a small aim which is close at hand injures a greater but more distant one; for in this we see the direct and unconscious disadvantageous influence of the will upon knowledge. Accordingly it ought not to surprise us if in asking advice the will of the person asked directly dictates the answer even before the question could penetrate to the forum of his judgment.
I wish in a single word to point out here what will be fully explained in the following book, that the most perfect knowledge, thus the purely objective comprehension of the world, i.e., the comprehension of genius, is conditioned by a silence of the will so profound that while it lasts even the individuality vanishes from consciousness and the man remains as the pure subject of knowing, which is the correlative of the Idea.
The disturbing influence of the will upon the intellect, which is proved by all these phenomena, and, on the other hand, the weakness and frailty of the latter, on account of which it is incapable of working rightly whenever the will is in any way moved, gives us then another proof that the will is the radical part of our nature, and acts with original power, while the intellect, as adventitious and in many ways conditioned, can only act in a subordinate and conditional manner.
There is no direct disturbance of the will by the intellect corresponding to the disturbance and clouding of knowledge by the will that has been shown. Indeed we cannot well conceive such a thing. No one will wish to construe as such the fact that motives wrongly taken up lead the will astray, for this is a fault of the intellect in its own function, which is committed quite within its own province, and the influence of which upon the will is entirely indirect. It would be plausible to attribute irresolution to this, for in its case, through the conflict of the motives which the intellect presents to the will, the latter is brought to a standstill, thus is hindered. But when we consider it more closely, it becomes very clear that the cause of this hindrance does not lie in the activity of the intellect as such, but entirely in external objects which are brought about by it, for in this case they stand in precisely such a relation to the will, which is here interested, that they draw it with nearly equal strength in different directions. This real cause merely acts through the intellect as the medium of motives, though certainly under the assumption that it is keen enough to comprehend the objects in their manifold relations. Irresolution, as a trait of character, is just as much conditioned by qualities of the will as of the intellect. It is certainly not peculiar to exceedingly limited minds, for their weak understanding does not allow them to discover such manifold qualities and relations in things, and moreover is so little fitted for the exertion of reflection and pondering these, and then the probable consequences of each step, that they rather decide at once according to the first impression, or according to some simple rule of conduct. The converse of this occurs in the case of persons of considerable understanding. Therefore, whenever such persons also possess a tender care for their own well-being, i.e., a very sensitive egoism, which constantly desires to come off well and always to be safe, this introduces a certain anxiety at every step, and thereby irresolution. This quality therefore indicates throughout not a want of understanding but a want of courage. Yet very eminent minds survey the relations and their probable developments with such rapidity and certainty, that if they are only supported by some courage they thereby acquire that quick decision and resolution that fits them to play an important part in the affairs of the world, if time and circumstances afford them the opportunity.
The only decided, direct restriction and disturbance which the will can suffer from the intellect as such may indeed be the quite exceptional one, which is the consequence of an abnormally preponderating development of the intellect, thus of that high endowment which has been defined as genius. This is decidedly a hindrance to the energy of the character, and consequently to the power of action. Hence it is not the really great minds that make historical characters, because they are capable of bridling and ruling the mass of men and carrying out the affairs of the world; but for this persons of much less capacity of mind are qualified when they have great firmness, decision, and persistency of will, such as is quite inconsistent with very high intelligence. Accordingly, where this very high intelligence exists we actually have a case in which the intellect directly restricts the will.
6. In opposition to the hindrances and restrictions which it has been shown the intellect suffers from the will, I wish now to show, in a few examples, how, conversely, the functions of the intellect are sometimes aided and heightened by the incitement and spur of the will; so that in this also we may recognise the primary nature of the one and the secondary nature of the other, and it may become clear that the intellect stands to the will in the relation of a tool.
A motive which affects us strongly, such as a yearning desire or a pressing need, sometimes raises the intellect to a degree of which we had not previously believed it capable. Difficult circumstances, which impose upon us the necessity of certain achievements, develop entirely new talents in us, the germs of which were hidden from us, and for which we did not credit ourselves with any capacity. The understanding of the stupidest man becomes keen when objects are in question that closely concern his wishes; he now observes, weighs, and distinguishes with the greatest delicacy even the smallest circumstances that have reference to his wishes or fears. This has much to do with the cunning of half-witted persons, which is often remarked with surprise. On this account Isaiah rightly says, vexatio dat intellectum, which is therefore also used as a proverb. Akin to it is the German proverb, “Die Noth ist die Mutter der Künste” (“Necessity is the mother of the arts”); when, however, the fine arts are to be excepted, because the heart of every one of their works, that is, the conception, must proceed from a perfectly will-less, and only thereby purely objective, perception, if they are to be genuine. Even the understanding of the brutes is increased considerably by necessity, so that in cases of difficulty they accomplish things at which we are astonished. For example, they almost all calculate that it is safer not to run away when they believe they are not seen; therefore the hare lies still in the furrow of the field and lets the sportsman pass close to it; insects, when they cannot escape, pretend to be dead, &c. We may obtain a fuller knowledge of this influence from the special history of the self-education of the wolf, under the spur of the great difficulty of its position in civilised Europe; it is to be found in the second letter of Leroy's excellent book, “Lettres sur l'intelligence et la perfectibilité des animaux.” Immediately afterwards, in the third letter, there follows the high school of the fox, which in an equally difficult position has far less physical strength. In its case, however, this is made up for by great understanding; yet only through the constant struggle with want on the one hand and danger on the other, thus under the spur of the will, does it attain that high degree of cunning which distinguishes it especially in old age. In all these enhancements of the intellect the will plays the part of a rider who with the spur urges the horse beyond the natural measure of its strength.
In the same way the memory is enhanced through the pressure of the will. Even if it is otherwise weak, it preserves perfectly what has value for the ruling passion. The lover forgets no opportunity favourable to him, the ambitious man forgets no circumstance that can forward his plans, the avaricious man never forgets the loss he has suffered, the proud man never forgets an injury to his honour, the vain man remembers every word of praise and the most trifling distinction that falls to his lot. And this also extends to the brutes: the horse stops at the inn where once long ago it was fed; dogs have an excellent memory for all occasions, times, and places that have afforded them choice morsels; and foxes for the different hiding-places in which they have stored their plunder.
Self-consideration affords opportunity for finer observations in this regard. Sometimes, through an interruption, it has entirely escaped me what I have just been thinking about, or even what news I have just heard. Now if the matter had in any way even the most distant personal interest, the after-feeling of the impression which it made upon the will has remained. I am still quite conscious how far it affected me agreeably or disagreeably, and also of the special manner in which this happened, whether, even in the slightest degree, it vexed me, or made me anxious, or irritated me, or depressed me, or produced the opposite of these affections. Thus the mere relation of the thing to my will is retained in the memory after the thing itself has vanished, and this often becomes the clue to lead us back to the thing itself. The sight of a man sometimes affects us in an analogous manner, for we remember merely in general that we have had something to do with him, yet without knowing where, when, or what it was, or who he is. But the sight of him still recalls pretty accurately the feeling which our dealings with him excited in us, whether it was agreeable or disagreeable, and also in what degree and in what way. Thus our memory has preserved only the response of the will, and not that which called it forth. We might call what lies at the foundation of this process the memory of the heart; it is much more intimate than that of the head. Yet at bottom the connection of the two is so far-reaching that if we reflect deeply upon the matter we will arrive at the conclusion that memory in general requires the support of a will as a connecting point, or rather as a thread upon which the memories can range themselves, and which holds them firmly together, or that the will is, as it were, the ground to which the individual memories cleave, and without which they could not last; and that therefore in a pure intelligence, i.e., in a merely knowing and absolutely will-less being, a memory cannot well be conceived. Accordingly the improvement of the memory under the spur of the ruling passion, which has been shown above, is only the higher degree of that which takes place in all retention and recollection; for its basis and condition is always the will. Thus in all this also it becomes clear how very much more essential to us the will is than the intellect. The following facts may also serve to confirm this.
The intellect often obeys the will; for example, if we wish to remember something, and after some effort succeed; so also if we wish now to ponder something carefully and deliberately, and in many such cases. Sometimes, again, the intellect refuses to obey the will; for example, if we try in vain to fix our minds upon something, or if we call in vain upon the memory for something that was intrusted to it. The anger of the will against the intellect on such occasions makes its relation to it and the difference of the two very plain. Indeed the intellect, vexed by this anger, sometimes officiously brings what was asked of it hours afterwards, or even the following morning, quite unexpectedly and unseasonably. On the other hand, the will never really obeys the intellect; but the latter is only the ministerial council of that sovereign; it presents all kinds of things to the will, which then selects what is in conformity with its nature, though in doing so it determines itself with necessity, because this nature is unchangeable and the motives now lie before it. Hence no system of ethics is possible which moulds and improves the will itself. For all teaching only affects knowledge, and knowledge never determines the will itself, i.e., the fundamental character of willing, but only its application to the circumstances present. Rectified knowledge can only modify conduct so far as it proves more exactly and judges more correctly what objects of the will's choice are within its reach; so that the will now measures its relation to things more correctly, sees more clearly what it desires, and consequently is less subject to error in its choice. But over the will itself, over the main tendency or fundamental maxim of it, the intellect has no power. To believe that knowledge really and fundamentally determines the will is like believing that the lantern which a man carries by night is the primum mobile of his steps. Whoever, taught by experience or the admonitions of others, knows and laments a fundamental fault of his character, firmly and honestly forms the intention to reform and give it up; but in spite of this, on the first opportunity, the fault receives free course. New repentance, new intentions, new transgressions. When this has been gone through several times he becomes conscious that he cannot improve himself, that the fault lies in his nature and personality, indeed is one with this. Now he will blame and curse his nature and personality, will have a painful feeling, which may rise to anguish of consciousness, but to change these he is not able. Here we see that which condemns and that which is condemned distinctly separate: we see the former as a merely theoretical faculty, picturing and presenting the praiseworthy, and therefore desirable, course of life, but the other as something real and unchangeably present, going quite a different way in spite of the former: and then again the first remaining behind with impotent lamentations over the nature of the other, with which, through this very distress, it again identifies itself. Will and intellect here separate very distinctly. But here the will shows itself as the stronger, the invincible, unchangeable, primitive, and at the same time as the essential thing in question, for the intellect deplores its errors, and finds no comfort in the correctness of the knowledge, as its own function. Thus the intellect shows itself entirely secondary, as the spectator of the deeds of another, which it accompanies with impotent praise and blame, and also as determinable from without, because it learns from experience, weighs and alters its precepts. Special illustrations of this subject will be found in the “Parerga,” vol. ii. § 118 (second ed., § 119.) Accordingly, a comparison of our manner of thinking at different periods of our life will present a strange mixture of permanence and changeableness. On the one hand, the moral tendency of the man in his prime and the old man is still the same as was that of the boy; on the other hand, much has become so strange to him that he no longer knows himself, and wonders how he ever could have done or said this and that. In the first half of life to-day for the most part laughs at yesterday, indeed looks down on it with contempt; in the second half, on the contrary, it more and more looks back at it with envy. But on closer examination it will be found that the changeable element was the intellect, with its functions of insight and knowledge, which, daily appropriating new material from without, presents a constantly changing system of thought, while, besides this, it itself rises and sinks with the growth and decay of the organism. The will, on the contrary, the basis of this, thus the inclinations, passions, and emotions, the character, shows itself as what is unalterable in consciousness. Yet we have to take account of the modifications that depend upon physical capacities for enjoyment, and hence upon age. Thus, for example, the eagerness for sensuous pleasure will show itself in childhood as a love of dainties, in youth and manhood as the tendency to sensuality, and in old age again as a love of dainties.
7. If, as is generally assumed, the will proceeded from knowledge, as its result or product, then where there is much will there would necessarily also be much knowledge, insight, and understanding. This, however, is absolutely not the case; rather, we find in many men a strong, i.e., decided, resolute, persistent, unbending, wayward, and vehement will, combined with a very weak and incapable understanding, so that every one who has to do with them is thrown into despair, for their will remains inaccessible to all reasons and ideas, and is not to be got at, so that it is hidden, as it were, in a sack, out of which it wills blindly. Brutes have often violent, often stubborn wills, but yet very little understanding. Finally, plants only will without any knowledge at all.
If willing sprang merely from knowledge, our anger would necessarily be in every case exactly proportionate to the occasion, or at least to our relation to it, for it would be nothing more than the result of the present knowledge. This, however, is rarely the case; rather, anger generally goes far beyond the occasion. Our fury and rage, the furor brevis, often upon small occasions, and without error regarding them, is like the raging of an evil spirit which, having been shut up, only waits its opportunity to dare to break loose, and now rejoices that it has found it. This could not be the case if the foundation of our nature were a knower, and willing were merely a result of knowledge; for how came there into the result what did not lie in the elements? The conclusion cannot contain more than the premisses. Thus here also the will shows itself as of a nature quite different from knowledge, which only serves it for communication with the external world, but then the will follows the laws of its own nature without taking from the intellect anything but the occasion.
The intellect, as the mere tool of the will, is as different from it as the hammer from the smith. So long as in a conversation the intellect alone is active it remains cold. It is almost as if the man himself were not present. Moreover, he cannot then, properly speaking, compromise himself, but at the most can make himself ridiculous. Only when the will comes into play is the man really present: now he becomes warm, nay, it often happens, hot. It is always the will to which we ascribe the warmth of life; on the other hand, we say the cold understanding, or to investigate a thing coolly, i.e., to think without being influenced by the will. If we attempt to reverse the relation, and to regard the will as the tool of the intellect, it is as if we made the smith the tool of the hammer.
Nothing is more provoking, when we are arguing against a man with reasons and explanations, and taking all pains to convince him, under the impression that we have only to do with his understanding, than to discover at last that he will not understand; that thus we had to do with his will, which shuts itself up against the truth and brings into the field wilful misunderstandings, chicaneries, and sophisms in order to intrench itself behind its understanding and its pretended want of insight. Then he is certainly not to be got at, for reasons and proofs applied against the will are like the blows of a phantom produced by mirrors against a solid body. Hence the saying so often repeated, “Stat pro ratione voluntas.” Sufficient evidence of what has been said is afforded by ordinary life. But unfortunately proofs of it are also to be found on the path of the sciences. The recognition of the most important truths, of the rarest achievements, will be looked for in vain from those who have an interest in preventing them from being accepted, an interest which either springs from the fact that such truths contradict what they themselves daily teach, or else from this, that they dare not make use of them and teach them; or if all this be not the case they will not accept them, because the watchword of mediocrity will always be, Si quelqu'un excelle parmi nous, qu'il aille exceller ailleurs, as Helvetius has admirably rendered the saying of the Ephesian in the fifth book of Cicero's “Tusculanæ” (c. 36), or as a saying of the Abyssinian Fit Arari puts it, “Among quartzes adamant is outlawed.” Thus whoever expects from this always numerous band a just estimation of what he has done will find himself very much deceived, and perhaps for a while he will not be able to understand their behaviour, till at last he finds out that while he applied himself to knowledge he had to do with the will, thus is precisely in the position described above, nay, is really like a man who brings his case before a court the judges of which have all been bribed. Yet in particular cases he will receive the fullest proof that their will and not their insight opposed him, when one or other of them makes up his mind to plagiarism. Then he will see with astonishment what good judges they are, what correct perception of the merit of others they have, and how well they know how to find out the best, like the sparrows, who never miss the ripest cherries.
The counterpart of the victorious resistance of the will to knowledge here set forth appears if in expounding our reasons and proofs we have the will of those addressed with us. Then all are at once convinced, all arguments are telling, and the matter is at once clear as the day. This is well known to popular speakers. In the one case, as in the other, the will shows itself as that which has original power, against which the intellect can do nothing.
8. But now we shall take into consideration the individual qualities, thus excellences and faults of the will and character on the one hand, and of the intellect on the other, in order to make clear, in their relation to each other, and their relative worth, the complete difference of the two fundamental faculties. History and experience teach that the two appear quite independently of each other. That the greatest excellence of mind will not easily be found combined with equal excellence of character is sufficiently explained by the extraordinary rarity of both, while their opposites are everywhere the order of the day; hence we also daily find the latter in union. However, we never infer a good will from a superior mind, nor the latter from the former, nor the opposite from the opposite, but every unprejudiced person accepts them as perfectly distinct qualities, the presence of which each for itself has to be learned from experience. Great narrowness of mind may coexist with great goodness of heart, and I do not believe Balthazar Gracian was right in saying (Discreto, p. 406), “No ay simple, que no sea malicioso” (“There is no simpleton who would not be malicious”), though he has the Spanish proverb in his favour, “Nunca la necedad anduvo sin malicia” (“Stupidity is never without malice”). Yet it may be that many stupid persons become malicious for the same reason as many hunchbacks, from bitterness on account of the neglect they have suffered from nature, and because they think they can occasionally make up for what they lack in understanding through malicious cunning, seeking in this a brief triumph. From this, by the way, it is also comprehensible why almost every one easily becomes malicious in the presence of a very superior mind. On the other hand, again, stupid people have very often the reputation of special good-heartedness, which yet so seldom proves to be the case that I could not help wondering how they had gained it, till I was able to flatter myself that I had found the key to it in what follows. Moved by a secret inclination, every one likes best to choose for his more intimate intercourse some one to whom he is a little superior in understanding, for only in this case does he find himself at his ease, because, according to Hobbes, “Omnis animi voluptas, omnisgue alacritas in eo sita est, quod quis habeat, quibuscum conferens se, possit magnifice sentire de se ipso” (De Cive, i. 5). For the same reason every one avoids him who is superior to himself; wherefore Lichtenberg quite rightly observes: “To certain men a man of mind is a more odious production than the most pronounced rogue.” And similarly Helvetius says: “Les gens médiocres ont un instinct sûr et prompt, pour connaître et fuir les gens d'esprit.” And Dr. Johnson assures us that “there is nothing by which a man exasperates most people more than by displaying a superior ability of brilliancy in conversation. They seem pleased at the time, but their envy makes them curse him in their hearts” (Boswell; aet. anno 74). In order to bring this truth, so universal and so carefully concealed, more relentlessly to light, I add the expression of it by Merck, the celebrated friend of Goethe's youth, from his story “Lindor:” “He possessed talents which were given him by nature and acquired by himself through learning; and thus it happened that in most society he left the worthy members of it far behind.” If, in the moment of delight at the sight of an extraordinary man, the public swallows these superiorities also, without actually at once putting a bad construction upon them, yet a certain impression of this phenomenon remains behind, which, if it is often repeated, may on serious occasions have disagreeable future consequences for him who is guilty of it. Without any one consciously noting that on this occasion he was insulted, no one is sorry to place himself tacitly in the way of the advancement of this man. Thus on this account great mental superiority isolates more than anything else, and makes one, at least silently, hated. Now it is the opposite of this that makes stupid people so generally liked; especially since many can only find in them what, according to the law of their nature referred to above, they must seek. Yet this the true reason of such an inclination no one will confess to himself, still less to others; and therefore, as a plausible pretext for it, will impute to those he has selected a special goodness of heart, which, as we have said, is in reality only very rarely and accidentally found in combination with mental incapacity. Want of understanding is accordingly by no means favourable or akin to goodness of character. But, on the other hand, it cannot be asserted that great understanding is so; nay, rather, no scoundrel has in general been without it. Indeed even the highest intellectual eminence can coexist with the worst moral depravity. An example of this is afforded by Bacon of Verulam: “Ungrateful, filled with the lust of power, wicked and base, he at last went so far that, as Lord Chancellor and the highest judge of the realm, he frequently allowed himself to be bribed in civil actions. Impeached before his peers, he confessed himself guilty, was expelled by them from the House of Lords, and condemned to a fine of forty thousand pounds and imprisonment in the Tower” (see the review of the latest edition of Bacon's Works in the Edinburgh Review, August 1837). Hence also Pope called him “the wisest, brightest, meanest of mankind” (“Essay on Man,” iv. 282). A similar example is afforded by the historian Guicciardini, of whom Rosini says in the Notizie Storiche, drawn from good contemporary sources, which is given in his historical romance “Luisa Strozzi:” “Da coloro, che pongono l'ingegno e il sapere al di sopra di tutte le umane qualità, questo uomo sarà riguardato come fra i più grandi del suo secolo: ma da quelli, che reputano la virtù dovere andare innanzi a tutto, non potra esecrarsi abbastanza la sua memoria. Esso fu il più crudele fra i cittadini a perseguitare, uccidere e confinare,” &c. 
If now it is said of one man, “He has a good heart, though a bad head,” but of another, “He has a very good head, yet a bad heart,” every one feels that in the first case the praise far outweighs the blame—in the other case the reverse. Answering to this, we see that if some one has done a bad deed his friends and he himself try to remove the guilt from the will to the intellect, and to give out that faults of the heart were faults of the head; roguish tricks they will call errors, will say they were merely want of understanding, want of reflection, light-mindedness, folly; nay, if need be, they will plead a paroxysm, momentary mental aberration, and if a heavy crime is in question, even madness, only in order to free the will from the guilt. And in the same way, we ourselves, if we have caused a misfortune or injury, will before others and ourselves willingly impeach our stultitia, simply in order to escape the reproach of malitia. In the same way, in the case of the equally unjust decision of the judge, the difference, whether he has erred or been bribed, is so infinitely great. All this sufficiently proves that the will alone is the real and essential, the kernel of the man, and the intellect is merely its tool, which may be constantly faulty without the will being concerned. The accusation of want of understanding is, at the moral judgment-seat, no accusation at all; on the contrary, it even gives privileges. And so also, before the courts of the world, it is everywhere sufficient to deliver a criminal from all punishment that his guilt should be transferred from his will to his intellect, by proving either unavoidable error or mental derangement, for then it is of no more consequence than if hand or foot had slipped against the will. I have fully discussed this in the appendix, “Ueber die Intellektuelle Freiheit,” to my prize essay on the freedom of the will, to which I refer to avoid repetition.
Everywhere those who are responsible for any piece of work appeal, in the event of its turning out unsatisfactorily, to their good intentions, of which there was no lack. Hereby they believe that they secure the essential, that for which they are properly answerable, and their true self; the inadequacy of their faculties, on the other hand, they regard as the want of a suitable tool.
If a man is stupid, we excuse him by saying that he cannot help it; but if we were to excuse a bad man on the same grounds we would be laughed at. And yet the one, like the other, is innate. This proves that the will is the man proper, the intellect merely its tool.
Thus it is always only our willing that is regarded as depending upon ourselves, i.e., as the expression of our true nature, and for which we are therefore made responsible. Therefore it is absurd and unjust if we are taken to task for our beliefs, thus for our knowledge: for we are obliged to regard this as something which, although it changes in us, is as little in our power as the events of the external world. And here, also, it is clear that the will alone is the inner and true nature of man; the intellect, on the contrary, with its operations, which go on as regularly as the external world, stands to the will in the relation of something external to it, a mere tool.
High mental capacities have always been regarded as the gift of nature or the gods; and on that account they have been called Gaben, Begabung, ingenii dotes, gifts (a man highly gifted), regarding them as something different from the man himself, something that has fallen to his lot through favour. No one, on the contrary, has ever taken this view of moral excellences, although they also are innate; they have rather always been regarded as something proceeding from the man himself, essentially belonging to him, nay, constituting his very self. But it follows now from this that the will is the true nature of man; the intellect, on the other hand, is secondary, a tool, a gift.
Answering to this, all religions promise a reward beyond life, in eternity, for excellences of the will or heart, but none for excellences of the head or understanding. Virtue expects its reward in that world; prudence hopes for it in this; genius, again, neither in this world nor in that; it is its own reward. Accordingly the will is the eternal part, the intellect the temporal.
Connection, communion, intercourse among men is based, as a rule, upon relations which concern the will, not upon such as concern the intellect. The first kind of communion may be called the material, the other the formal. Of the former kind are the bonds of family and relationship, and further, all connections that rest upon any common aim or interest, such as that of trade or profession, of the corporation, the party, the faction, &c. In these it merely amounts to a question of views, of aims; along with which there may be the greatest diversity of intellectual capacity and culture. Therefore not only can any one live in peace and unity with any one else, but can act with him and be allied to him for the common good of both. Marriage also is a bond of the heart, not of the head. It is different, however, with merely formal communion, which aims only at an exchange of thought; this demands a certain equality of intellectual capacity and culture. Great differences in this respect place between man and man an impassable gulf: such lies, for example, between a man of great mind and a fool, between a scholar and a peasant, between a courtier and a sailor. Natures as heterogeneous as this have therefore trouble in making themselves intelligible so long as it is a question of exchanging thoughts, ideas, and views. Nevertheless close material friendship may exist between them, and they may be faithful allies, conspirators, or men under mutual pledges. For in all that concerns the will alone, which includes friendship, enmity, honesty, fidelity, falseness, and treachery, they are perfectly homogeneous, formed of the same clay, and neither mind nor culture make any difference here; indeed here the ignorant man often shames the scholar, the sailor the courtier. For at the different grades of culture there are the same virtues and vices, emotions and passions; and although somewhat modified in their expression, they very soon mutually recognise each other even in the most heterogeneous individuals, upon which the similarly disposed agree and the opposed are at enmity.
Brilliant qualities of mind win admiration, but never affection; this is reserved for the moral, the qualities of the character. Every one will choose as his friend the honest, the good-natured, and even the agreeable, complaisant man, who easily concurs, rather than the merely able man. Indeed many will be preferred to the latter, on account of insignificant, accidental, outward qualities which just suit the inclination of another. Only the man who has much mind himself will wish able men for his society; his friendship, on the other hand, he will bestow with reference to moral qualities; for upon this depends his really high appreciation of a man in whom a single good trait of character conceals and expiates great want of understanding. The known goodness of a character makes us patient and yielding towards weaknesses of understanding, as also towards the dulness and childishness of age. A distinctly noble character along with the entire absence of intellectual excellence and culture presents itself as lacking nothing; while, on the contrary, even the greatest mind, if affected with important moral faults, will always appear blamable. For as torches and fireworks become pale and insignificant in the presence of the sun, so intellect, nay, genius, and also beauty, are outshone and eclipsed by the goodness of the heart. When this appears in a high degree it can make up for the want of those qualities to such an extent that one is ashamed of having missed them. Even the most limited understanding, and also grotesque ugliness, whenever extraordinary goodness of heart declares itself as accompanying them, become as it were transfigured, outshone by a beauty of a higher kind, for now a wisdom speaks out of them before which all other wisdom must be dumb. For goodness of heart is a transcendent quality; it belongs to an order of things that reaches beyond this life, and is incommensurable with any other perfection. When it is present in a high degree it makes the heart so large that it embraces the world, so that now everything lies within it, no longer without; for it identifies all natures with its own. It then extends to others also that boundless indulgence which otherwise each one only bestows on himself. Such a man is incapable of becoming angry; even if the malicious mockery and sneers of others have drawn attention to his own intellectual or physical faults, he only reproaches himself in his heart for having been the occasion of such expressions, and therefore, without doing violence to his own feelings, proceeds to treat those persons in the kindest manner, confidently hoping that they will turn from their error with regard to him, and recognise themselves in him also. What is wit and genius against this?—what is Bacon of Verulam?
Our estimation of our own selves leads to the same result as we have here obtained by considering our estimation of others. How different is the self-satisfaction which we experience in a moral regard from that which we experience in an intellectual regard! The former arises when, looking back on our conduct, we see that with great sacrifices we have practised fidelity and honesty, that we have helped many, forgiven many, have behaved better to others than they have behaved to us; so that we can say with King Lear, “I am a man more sinned against than sinning;” and to its fullest extent if perhaps some noble deed shines in our memory. A deep seriousness will accompany the still peace which such a review affords us; and if we see that others are inferior to us here, this will not cause us any joy, but we will rather deplore it, and sincerely wish that they were as we are. How entirely differently does the knowledge of our intellectual superiority affect us! Its ground bass is really the saying of Hobbes quoted above: Omnis animi voluptas, omnisque alacritas in eo sita est, quad quis habeat, quibuscum conferens se, possit magnifice sentire de se ipso. Arrogant, triumphant vanity, proud, contemptuous looking down on others, inordinate delight in the consciousness of decided and considerable superiority, akin to pride of physical advantages,—that is the result here. This opposition between the two kinds of self-satisfaction shows that the one concerns our true inner and eternal nature, the other a more external, merely temporal, and indeed scarcely more than a mere physical excellence. The intellect is in fact simply the function of the brain; the will, on the contrary, is that whose function is the whole man, according to his being and nature.
If, looking without us, we reflect that ὁ βιος βραχυς, ἡ δε τεχνη μακρα (vita brevis, ars longa), and consider how the greatest and most beautiful minds, often when they have scarcely reached the summit of their power, and the greatest scholars, when they have only just attained to a thorough knowledge of their science, are snatched away by death, we are confirmed in this, that the meaning and end of life is not intellectual but moral.
The complete difference between the mental and moral qualities displays itself lastly in the fact that the intellect suffers very important changes through time, while the will and character remain untouched by it. The new-born child has as yet no use of its understanding, but obtains it within the first two months to the extent of perception and apprehension of the things in the external world—a process which I have described more fully in my essay, “Ueber das Sehn und die Farben,” p. 10 of the second (and third) edition. The growth of reason to the point of speech, and thereby of thought, follows this first and most important step much more slowly, generally only in the third year; yet the early childhood remains hopelessly abandoned to silliness and folly, primarily because the brain still lacks physical completeness, which, both as regards its size and texture, it only attains in the seventh year. But then for its energetic activity there is still wanting the antagonism of the genital system; it therefore only begins with puberty. Through this, however, the intellect has only attained to the capacity for its psychical improvement; this itself can only be won by practice, experience, and instruction. Thus as soon as the mind has escaped from the folly of childhood it falls into the snares of innumerable errors, prejudices, and chimeras, sometimes of the absurdest and crudest kind, which it obstinately sticks to, till experience gradually removes them, and many of them also are insensibly lost. All this takes many years to happen, so that one grants it majority indeed soon after the twentieth year, yet has placed full maturity, years of discretion, not before the fortieth year. But while this psychical education, resting upon help from without, is still in process of growth, the inner physical energy of the brain already begins to sink again. This has reached its real culminating point about the thirtieth year, on account of its dependence upon the pressure of blood and the effect of the pulsation upon the brain, and through this again upon the predominance of the arterial over the venous system, and the fresh tenderness of the brain fibre, and also on account of the energy of the genital system. After the thirty-fifth year a slight diminution of the physical energy of the brain becomes noticeable, which, through the gradually approaching predominance of the venous over the arterial system, and also through the increasing firmer and drier consistency of the brain fibre, more and more takes place, and would be much more observable if it were not that, on the other hand, the psychical perfecting, through exercise, experience, increase of knowledge, and acquired skill in the use of it, counteracts it—an antagonism which fortunately lasts to an advanced age, for the brain becomes more and more like a worn-out instrument. But yet the diminution of the original energy of the intellect, resting entirely upon organic conditions, continues, slowly indeed, but unceasingly: the faculty of original conception, the imagination, the plastic power, the memory, become noticeably weaker; and so it goes on step by step downwards into old age, garrulous, without memory, half-unconscious, and ultimately quite childish.
The will, on the contrary, is not affected by all this becoming, this change and vicissitude, but is from beginning to end unalterably the same. Willing does not require to be learned like knowing, but succeeds perfectly at once. The new-born child makes violent movements, rages, and cries; it wills in the most vehement manner, though it does not yet know what it wills. For the medium of motives, the intellect, is not yet fully developed. The will is in darkness concerning the external world, in which its objects lie, and now rages like a prisoner against the walls and bars of his dungeon. But little by little it becomes light: at once the fundamental traits of universal human willing, and, at the same time, the individual modification of it here present, announce themselves. The already appearing character shows itself indeed at first in weak and uncertain outline, on account of the defective service of the intellect, which has to present it with motives; but to the attentive observer it soon declares its complete presence, and in a short time it becomes unmistakable. The characteristics appear which last through the whole of life; the principal tendencies of the will, the easily excited emotions, the ruling passion, declare themselves. Therefore the events at school stand to those of the future life for the most part as the dumb-show in “Hamlet” that precedes the play to be given at the court, and foretells its content in the form of pantomime, stands to the play itself. But it is by no means possible to prognosticate in the same way the future intellectual capacities of the man from those shown in the boy; rather as a rule the ingenia præcocia, prodigies, turn out block-heads; genius, on the contrary, is often in childhood of slow conception, and comprehends with difficulty, just because it comprehends deeply. This is how it is that every one relates laughing and without reserve the follies and stupidities of his childhood. For example, Goethe, how he threw all the kitchen crockery out of the window (Dichtung und Wahrheit, vol. i. p. 7); for we know that all this only concerns what changes. On the other hand, a prudent man will not favour us with the bad features, the malicious or deceitful actions, of his youth, for he feels that they also bear witness to his present character. I have been told that when Gall, the phrenologist and investigator of man, had to put himself into connection with a man as yet unknown to him, he used to get him to speak about his youthful years and actions, in order, if possible, to gather from these the distinctive traits of his character; because this must still be the same now. This is the reason why we are indifferent to the follies and want of understanding of our youthful years, and even look back on them with smiling satisfaction, while the bad features of character even of that time, the ill-natured actions and the misdeeds then committed exist even in old age as inextinguishable reproaches, and trouble our consciences. Now, just as the character appears complete, so it remains unaltered to old age. The advance of age, which gradually consumes the intellectual powers, leaves the moral qualities untouched. The goodness of the heart still makes the old man honoured and loved when his head already shows the weaknesses which are the commencement of second childhood. Gentleness, patience, honesty, veracity, disinterestedness, philanthropy, &c., remain through the whole life, and are not lost through the weaknesses of old age; in every clear moment of the worn-out old man they come forth undiminished, like the sun from the winter clouds. And, on the other hand, malice, spite, avarice, hard-heartedness, infidelity, egoism, and baseness of every kind also remain undiminished to our latest years. We would not believe but would laugh at any one who said to us, “In former years I was a malicious rogue, but now I am an honest and noble-minded man.” Therefore Sir Walter Scott, in the “Fortunes of Nigel,” has shown very beautifully, in the case of the old usurer, how burning avarice, egoism, and injustice are still in their full strength, like a poisonous plant in autumn, when the intellect has already become childish. The only alterations that take place in our inclinations are those which result directly from the decrease of our physical strength, and with it of our capacities for enjoyment. Thus voluptuousness will make way for intemperance, the love of splendour for avarice, and vanity for ambition; just like the man who before he has a beard will wear a false one, and later, when his own beard has become grey, will dye it brown. Thus while all organic forces, muscular power, the senses, the memory, wit, understanding, genius, wear themselves out, and in old age become dull, the will alone remains undecayed and unaltered: the strength and the tendency of willing remains the same. Indeed in many points the will shows itself still more decided in age: thus, in the clinging to life, which, it is well known, increases; also in the firmness and persistency with regard to what it has once embraced, in obstinacy; which is explicable from the fact that the susceptibility of the intellect for other impressions, and thereby the movement of the will by motives streaming in upon it, has diminished. Hence the implacable nature of the anger and hate of old persons—
The young man's wrath is like light straw on fire,
But like red-hot steel is the old man's ire.
- —Old Ballad.
From all these considerations it becomes unmistakable to the more penetrating glance that, while the intellect has to run through a long series of gradual developments, but then, like everything physical, must encounter decay, the will takes no part in this, except so far as it has to contend at first with the imperfection of its tool, the intellect, and, again, at last with its worn-out condition, but itself appears perfect and remains unchanged, not subject to the laws of time and of becoming and passing away in it. Thus in this way it makes itself known as that which is metaphysical, not itself belonging to the phenomenal world.
9. The universally used and generally very well understood expressions heart and head have sprung from a true feeling of the fundamental distinction here in question; therefore they are also apt and significant, and occur in all languages. Nec cor nec caput habet, says Seneca of the Emperor Claudius (Ludus de morte Claudii Cæsaris, c. 8). The heart, this primum mobile of the animal life, has with perfect justice been chosen as the symbol, nay, the synonym, of the will, as the primary kernel of our phenomenon, and denotes this in opposition to the intellect, which is exactly identical with the head. All that, in the widest sense, is matter of the will, as wish, passion, joy, grief, goodness, wickedness, also what we are wont to understand under “Gemüth,” and what Homer expresses through φιλον ἠτορ, is attributed to the heart. Accordingly we say: He has a bad heart;—his heart is in the thing;—it comes from his heart;—it cut him to the heart;—it breaks his heart;—his heart bleeds;—the heart leaps for joy;—who can see the heart of man?—it is heart-rending, heart-crushing, heart-breaking, heart-inspiring, heart-touching;—he is good-hearted, hard-hearted, heartless, stout-hearted, faint-hearted, &c. &c. Quite specially, however, love affairs are called affairs of the heart, affaires de cœur; because the sexual impulse is the focus of the will, and the selection with reference to it constitutes the chief concern of natural, human volition, the ground of which I shall show in a full chapter supplementary to the fourth book. Byron in “Don Juan,” c. xi. v. 34, is satirical about love being to women an affair of the head instead of an affair of the heart. On the other hand, the head denotes everything that is matter of knowledge. Hence a man of head, a good head, a fine head, a bad head, to lose one's head, to keep one's head uppermost, &c. Heart and head signifies the whole man. But the head is always the second, the derived; for it is not the centre but the highest efflorescence of the body. When a hero dies his heart is embalmed, not his brain; on the other hand, we like to preserve the skull of the poet, the artist, and the philosopher. So Raphael's skull was preserved in the Academia di S. Luca at Rome, though it has lately been proved not to be genuine; in Stockholm in 1820 the skull of Descartes was sold by auction.
A true feeling of the real relation between will, intellect, and life is also expressed in the Latin language. The intellect is mens, νους; the will again is animus, which comes from anima, and this from ανεμων. Anima is the life itself, the breath, ψυχη; but animus is the living principle, and also the will, the subject of inclinations, intentions, passions, emotions; hence also est mihi animus,—fert animus,—for “I have a desire to,” also animi causa, &c.; it is the Greek θυμος, the German “Gemüth,” thus the heart but not the head. Animi perturbatio is an emotion; mentis perturbatio would signify insanity. The predicate immortalis is attributed to animus, not to mens. All this is the rule gathered from the great majority of passages; though in the case of conceptions so nearly related it cannot but be that the words are sometimes interchanged. Under ψυχη the Greeks appear primarily and originally to have understood the vital force, the living principle, whereby at once arose the dim sense that it must be something metaphysical, which consequently would not be reached by death. Among other proofs of this are the investigations of the relation between νους and ψυχη preserved by Stobæus (Ecl., Lib. i. c. 51, § 7, 8).
10. Upon what depends the identity of the person? Not upon the matter of the body; it is different after a few years. Not upon its form, which changes as a whole and in all its parts; all but the expression of the glance, by which, therefore, we still know a man even after many years; which proves that in spite of all changes time produces in him something in him remains quite untouched by it. It is just this by which we recognise him even after the longest intervals of time, and find the former man entire. It is the same with ourselves, for, however old we become, we yet feel within that we are entirely the same as we were when we were young, nay, when we were still children. This, which unaltered always remains quite the same, and does not grow old along with us, is really the kernel of our nature, which does not lie in time. It is assumed that the identity of the person rests upon that of consciousness. But by this is understood merely the connected recollection of the course of life; hence it is not sufficient. We certainly know something more of our life than of a novel we have formerly read, yet only very little. The principal events, the interesting scenes, have impressed themselves upon us; in the remainder a thousand events are forgotten for one that has been retained. The older we become the more do things pass by us without leaving any trace. Great age, illness, injury of the brain, madness, may deprive us of memory altogether, but the identity of the person is not thereby lost. It rests upon the identical will and the unalterable character of the person. It is it also which makes the expression of the glance unchangeable. In the heart is the man, not in the head. It is true that, in consequence of our relation to the external world, we are accustomed to regard as our real self the subject of knowledge, the knowing I, which wearies in the evening, vanishes in sleep, and in the morning shines brighter with renewed strength. This is, however, the mere function of the brain, and not our own self. Our true self, the kernel of our nature, is what is behind that, and really knows nothing but willing and not willing, being content and not content, with all the modifications of this, which are called feelings, emotions, and passions. This is that which produces the other, does not sleep with it when it sleeps, and in the same way when it sinks in death remains uninjured. Everything, on the contrary, that belongs to knowledge is exposed to oblivion; even actions of moral significance can sometimes, after years, be only imperfectly recalled, and we no longer know accurately and in detail how we acted on a critical occasion. But the character itself, to which the actions only testify, cannot be forgotten by us; it is now still quite the same as then. The will itself, alone and for itself, is permanent, for it alone is unchangeable, indestructible, not growing old, not physical, but metaphysical, not belonging to the phenomenal appearance, but to that itself which so appears. How the identity of consciousness also, so far as it goes, depends upon it I have shown above in chapter 15, so I need not dwell upon it further here.
11. Aristotle says in passing, in his book on the comparison of the desirable, “To live well is better than to live” (βελτιον του ζῃν το ευ ζῃν, Top. iii. 2). From this we might infer, by double contraposition, not to live is better than to live badly. This is also evident to the intellect; yet the great majority live very badly rather than not at all. This clinging to life cannot therefore have its ground in the object of life, since life, as was shown in the fourth book, is really a constant suffering, or at the least, as will be shown further on in the 28th chapter, a business which does not cover its expenses; thus that clinging to life can only be founded in the subject of it. But it is not founded in the intellect, it is no result of reflection, and in general is not a matter of choice; but this willing of life is something that is taken for granted: it is a prius of the intellect itself. We ourselves are the will to live, and therefore we must live, well or ill. Only from the fact that this clinging to a life which is so little worth to them is entirely a priori and not a posteriori can we explain the excessive fear of death that dwells in every living thing, which Rochefoucauld has expressed in his last reflection, with rare frankness and naïveté, and upon which the effect of all tragedies and heroic actions ultimately rest, for it would be lost if we prized life only according to its objective worth. Upon this inexpressible horror mortis is also founded the favourite principle of all ordinary minds, that whosoever takes his own life must be mad; yet not less the astonishment, mingled with a certain admiration, which this action always excites even in thinking minds, because it is so opposed to the nature of all living beings that in a certain sense we are forced to admire him who is able to perform it. For suicide proceeds from a purpose of the intellect, but our will to live is a prius of the intellect. Thus this consideration also, which will be fully discussed in chapter 28, confirms the primacy of the will in self-consciousness.
12. On the other hand, nothing proves more clearly the secondary, dependent, conditioned nature of the intellect than its periodical intermittance. In deep sleep all knowing and forming of ideas ceases. But the kernel of our nature, the metaphysical part of it which the organic functions necessarily presuppose as their primum mobile, must never pause if life is not to cease, and, moreover, as something metaphysical and therefore incorporeal, it requires no rest. Therefore the philosophers who set up a soul as this metaphysical kernel, i.e., an originally and essentially knowing being, see themselves forced to the assertion that this soul is quite untiring in its perceiving and knowing, therefore continues these even in deep sleep; only that we have no recollection of this when we awake. The falseness of this assertion, however, was easy to see whenever one had rejected that soul in consequence of Kant's teaching. For sleep and waking prove to the unprejudiced mind in the clearest manner that knowing is a secondary function and conditioned by the organism, just like any other. Only the heart is untiring, because its beating and the circulation of the blood are not directly conditioned by nerves, but are just the original manifestation of the will. Also all other physiological functions governed merely by ganglionic nerves, which have only a very indirect and distant connection with the brain, are carried on during sleep, although the secretions take place more slowly; the beating of the heart itself, on account of its dependence upon respiration, which is conditioned by the cerebral system (medulla oblongata), becomes with it a little slower. The stomach is perhaps most active in sleep, which is to be attributed to its special consensus with the now resting brain, which occasions mutual disturbances. The brain alone, and with it knowing, pauses entirely in deep sleep. For it is merely the minister of foreign affairs, as the ganglion system is the minister of the interior. The brain, with its function of knowing, is only a vedette established by the will for its external ends, which, up in the watch-tower of the head, looks round through the windows of the senses and marks where mischief threatens and where advantages are to be looked for, and in accordance with whose report the will decides. This vedette, like every one engaged on active service, is then in a condition of strain and effort, and therefore it is glad when, after its watch is completed, it is again withdrawn, as every watch gladly retires from its post. This withdrawal is going to sleep, which is therefore so sweet and agreeable, and to which we are so glad to yield; on the other hand, being roused from sleep is unwelcome, because it recalls the vedette suddenly to its post. One generally feels also after the beneficent systole the reappearance of the difficult diastole, the reseparation of the intellect from the will. A so-called soul, which was originally and radically a knowing being, would, on the contrary, necessarily feel on awaking like a fish put back into water. In sleep, when merely the vegetative life is carried on, the will works only according to its original and essential nature, undisturbed from without, with no diminution of its power through the activity of the brain and the exertion of knowing, which is the heaviest organic function, yet for the organism merely a means, not an end; therefore, in sleep the whole power of the will is directed to the maintenance and, where it is necessary, the improvement of the organism. Hence all healing, all favourable crises, take place in sleep; for the vis naturæ medicatrix has free play only when it is delivered from the burden of the function of knowledge. The embryo which has still to form the body therefore sleeps continuously, and the new-born child the greater part of its time. In this sense Burdach (Physiologie, vol. iii. p. 484) quite rightly declares sleep to be the original state.
With reference to the brain itself, I account to myself for the necessity of sleep more fully through an hypothesis which appears to have been first set up in Neumann's book, “Von den Krankheiten des Menschen,” 1834, vol. 4, § 216. It is this, that the nutrition of the brain, thus the renewal of its substance from the blood, cannot go on while we are awake, because the very eminent organic function of knowing and thinking would be disturbed or put an end to by the low and material function of nutrition. This explains the fact that sleep is not a purely negative condition, a mere pausing of the activity of the brain, but also shows a positive character. This makes itself known through the circumstance that between sleep and waking there is no mere difference of degree, but a fixed boundary, which, as soon as sleep intervenes, declares itself in dreams which are completely different from our immediately preceding thoughts. A further proof of this is that when we have dreams which frighten us we try in vain to cry out, or to ward off attacks, or to shake off sleep; so that it is as if the connecting-link between the brain and the motor nerves, or between the cerebrum and the cerebellum (as the regulator of movements) were abolished; for the brain remains in its isolation and sleep holds us fast as with brazen claws. Finally, the positive character of sleep can be seen in the fact that a certain degree of strength is required for sleeping. Therefore too great fatigue or natural weakness prevent us from seizing it, capere somnum. This may be explained from the fact that the process of nutrition must be introduced if sleep is to ensue: the brain must, as it were, begin to feed. Moreover, the increased flow of blood into the brain during sleep is explicable from the nutritive process; and also the position of the arms laid together above the head, which is instinctively assumed because it furthers this process: also why children, so long as their brain is still growing, require a great deal of sleep, while in old age, on the other hand, when a certain atrophy of the brain, as of all the parts, takes place, sleep is short; and finally why excessive sleep produces a certain dulness of consciousness, the consequence of a certain hypertrophy of the brain, which in the case of habitual excess of sleep may become permanent and produce imbecility: ανιη και πολυς ὑπνος (noxæ est etiam multus somnus), Od. 15, 394. The need of sleep is therefore directly proportionate to the intensity of the brain-life, thus to the clearness of the consciousness. Those animals whose brain-life is weak and dull sleep little and lightly; for example, reptiles and fishes: and here I must remind the reader that the winter sleep is sleep almost only in name, for it is not an inaction of the brain alone, but of the whole organism, thus a kind of apparent death. Animals of considerable intelligence sleep deeply and long. Men also require more sleep the more developed, both as regards quantity and quality, and the more active their brain is. Montaigne relates of himself that he had always been a long sleeper, that he had passed a large part of his life in sleeping, and at an advanced age still slept from eight to nine hours at a time (Liv. iii., chap. 13). Descartes also is reported to have slept a great deal (Baillet, Vie de Descartes, 1693, p. 288). Kant allowed himself seven hours for sleep, but it was so hard for him to do with this that he ordered his servant to force him against his will, and without listening to his remonstrances, to get up at the set time (Jachmann, Immanuel Kant, p. 162). For the more completely awake a man is, i.e., the clearer and more lively his consciousness, the greater for him is the necessity of sleep, thus the deeper and longer he sleeps. Accordingly much thinking or hard brain-work increases the need of sleep. That sustained muscular exertion also makes us sleepy is to be explained from the fact that in this the brain continuously, by means of the medulla oblongata, the spinal marrow, and the motor nerves, imparts the stimulus to the muscles which affects their irritability, and in this way it exhausts its strength.
The fatigue which we observe in the arms and legs has accordingly its real seat in the brain; just as the pain which these parts feel is really experienced in the brain; for it is connected with the motor nerves, as with the nerves of sense. The muscles which are not actuated from the brain—for example, those of the heart—accordingly never tire. The same grounds explain the fact that both during and after great muscular exertion we cannot think acutely. That one has far less energy of mind in summer than in winter is partly explicable from the fact that in summer one sleeps less; for the deeper one has slept, the more completely awake, the more lively, is one afterwards. This, however, must not mislead us into extending sleep unduly, for then it loses in intension, i.e., in deepness and soundness, what it gains in extension; whereby it becomes mere loss of time. This is what Goethe means when he says (in the second part of “Faust”) of morning slumber: “Sleep is husk: throw it off.” Thus in general the phenomenon of sleep most specially confirms the assertion that consciousness, apprehension, knowing, thinking, is nothing original in us, but a conditioned and secondary state. It is a luxury of nature, and indeed its highest, which it can therefore the less afford to pursue without interruption the higher the pitch to which it has been brought. It is the product, the efflorescence of the cerebral nerve-system, which is itself nourished like a parasite by the rest of the organism. This also agrees with what is shown in our third book, that knowing is so much the purer and more perfect the more it has freed and severed itself from the will, whereby the purely objective, the æsthetic comprehension appears. Just as an extract is so much the purer the more it has been separated from that out of which it is extracted and been cleared of all sediment. The opposite is shown by the will, whose most immediate manifestation is the whole organic life, and primarily the untiring heart.
This last consideration is related to the theme of the following chapter, to which it therefore makes the transition: yet the following observation belongs to it. In magnetic somnambulism the consciousness is doubled: two trains of knowledge, each connected in itself, but quite different from each other, arise; the waking consciousness knows nothing of the somnambulent. But the will retains in both the same character, and remains throughout identical; it expresses in both the same inclinations and aversions. For the function may be doubled, but not the true nature.
By objectification I understand the self-exhibition in the real corporeal world. However, this world itself, as was fully shown in the first book and its supplements, is throughout conditioned by the knowing subject, thus by the intellect, and therefore as such is absolutely inconceivable outside the knowledge of this subject; for it primarily consists simply of ideas of perception, and as such is a phenomenon of the brain. After its removal the thing in itself would remain. That this is the will is the theme of the second book, and is there proved first of all in the human organism and in that of the brutes.
The knowledge of the external world may also be defined as the consciousness of other things, in opposition to self-consciousness. Since we have found in the latter that its true object or material is the will, we shall now, with the same intention, take into consideration the consciousness of other things, thus objective knowledge. Now here my thesis is this: that which in self-consciousness, thus subjectively is the intellect, presents itself in the consciousness of other things, thus objectively, as the brain; and that which in self-consciousness, thus subjectively, is the will, presents itself in the consciousness of other things, thus objectively, as the whole organism.
To the evidence which is given in support of this proposition, both in our second book and in the first two chapters of the treatise “Ueber den Willen in der Natur,” I add the following supplementary remarks and illustrations.
Nearly all that is necessary to establish the first part of this thesis has already been brought forward in the preceding chapter, for in the necessity of sleep, in the alterations that arise from age, and in the differences of the anatomical conformation, it was proved that the intellect is of a secondary nature, and depends absolutely upon a single organ, the brain, whose function it is, just as grasping is the function of the hand; that it is therefore physical, like digestion, not metaphysical, like the will. As good digestion requires a healthy, strong stomach, as athletic power requires muscular sinewy arms, so extraordinary intelligence requires an unusually developed, beautifully formed brain of exquisitely fine texture and animated by a vigorous pulse. The nature of the will, on the contrary, is dependent upon no organ, and can be prognosticated from none. The greatest error in Gall's phrenology is that he assigns organs of the brain for moral qualities also. Injuries to the head, with loss of brain substance, affect the intellect as a rule very disadvantageously: they result in complete or partial imbecility or forgetfulness of language, permanent or temporary, yet sometimes only of one language out of several which were known, also in the loss of other knowledge possessed, &c., &c. On the other hand, we never read that after a misfortune of this kind the character has undergone a change, that the man has perhaps become morally worse or better, or has lost certain inclinations or passions, or assumed new ones; never. For the will has not its seat in the brain, and moreover, as that which is metaphysical, it is the prius of the brain, as of the whole body, and therefore cannot be altered by injuries of the brain. According to an experiment made by Spallanzani and repeated by Voltaire, a snail that has had its head cut off remains alive, and after some weeks a new head grows on, together with horns; with this consciousness and ideas again appear; while till then the snail had only given evidence of blind will through unregulated movements. Thus here also we find the will as the substance which is permanent, the intellect, on the contrary, conditioned by its organ, as the changing accident. It may be defined as the regulator of the will.
It was perhaps Tiedemann who first compared the cerebral nervous system to a parasite (Tiedemann und Trevirann's Journal für Physiologie Bd. i. § 62). The comparison is happy; for the brain, together with the spinal cord and nerves which depend upon it, is, as it were, implanted in the organism, and is nourished by it without on its part directly contributing anything to the support of the economy of the organism; therefore there can be life without a brain, as in the case of brainless abortions, and also in the case of tortoises, which live for three weeks after their heads have been cut off; only the medulla oblongata, as the organ of respiration, must be spared. Indeed a hen whose whole brain Flourens had cut away lived for ten months and grew. Even in the case of men the destruction of the brain does not produce death directly, but only through the medium of the lungs, and then of the heart (Bichat, Sur la Vie et la Mort, Part ii., art. ii. § 1). On the other hand, the brain controls the relations to the external world; this alone is its office, and hereby it discharges its debt to the organism which nourishes it, since its existence is conditioned by the external relations. Accordingly the brain alone of all the parts requires sleep, because its activity is completely distinct from its support; the former only consumes both strength and substance, the latter is performed by the rest of the organism as the nurse of the brain: thus because its activity contributes nothing to its continued existence it becomes exhausted, and only when it pauses in sleep does its nourishment go on unhindered.
The second part of our thesis, stated above, will require a fuller exposition even after all that I have said about it in the writings referred to. I have shown above, in chapter 18, that the thing in itself, which must lie at the foundation of every phenomenon, and therefore of our own phenomenal existence also, throws off in self-consciousness one of its phenomenal forms—space, and only retains the other—time. On this account it presents itself here more immediately than anywhere else, and we claim it as will, according to its most undisguised manifestation. But no permanent substance, such as matter is, can present itself in time alone, because, as § 4 of the first volume showed, such a substance is only possible through the intimate union of space and time. Therefore, in self-consciousness the will is not apprehended as the enduring substratum of its impulses, therefore is not perceived as a permanent substance; but only its individual acts, such as purposes, wishes, and emotions, are known successively and during the time they last, directly, yet not perceptibly. The knowledge of the will in self-consciousness is accordingly not a perception of it, but a perfectly direct becoming aware of its successive impulses. On the other hand, for the knowledge which is directed outwardly, brought about by the senses and perfected in the understanding, which, besides time, has also space for its form, which two it connects in the closest manner by means of the function of the understanding, causality, whereby it really becomes perception—this knowledge presents to itself perceptibly what in inner immediate apprehension was conceived as will, as organic body, whose particular movements visibly present to us the acts, and whose parts and forms visibly present to us the sustained efforts, the fundamental character, of the individually given will, nay, whose pain and comfort are perfectly immediate affections of this will itself.
We first become aware of this identity of the body with the will in the individual actions of the two, for in these what is known in self-consciousness as an immediate, real act of will, at the same time and unseparated, exhibits itself outwardly as movement of the body; and every one beholds the purposes of his will, which are instantaneously brought about by motives which just as instantaneously appear at once as faithfully copied in as many actions of his body as his body itself is copied in his shadow; and from this, for the unprejudiced man, the knowledge arises in the simplest manner that his body is merely the outward manifestation of his will, i.e., the way in which his will exhibits itself in his perceiving intellect, or his will itself under the form of the idea. Only if we forcibly deprive ourselves of this primary and simple information can we for a short time marvel at the process of our own bodily action as a miracle, which then rests on the fact that between the act of will and the action of the body there is really no causal connection, for they are directly identical, and their apparent difference only arises from the circumstance that here what is one and the same is apprehended in two different modes of knowledge, the outer and the inner. Actual willing is, in fact, inseparable from doing and in the strictest sense only that is an act of will which the deed sets its seal to. Mere resolves of the will, on the contrary, till they are carried out, are only intentions, and are therefore matter of the intellect alone; as such they have their place merely in the brain, and are nothing more than completed calculations of the relative strength of the different opposing motives. They have, therefore, certainly great probability, but no infallibility. They may turn out false, not only through alteration of the circumstances, but also from the fact that the estimation of the effect of the respective motives upon the will itself was erroneous, which then shows itself, for the deed is untrue to the purpose: therefore before it is carried out no resolve is certain. The will itself, then, is operative only in real action; hence in muscular action, and consequently in irritability. Thus the will proper objectifies itself in this. The cerebrum is the place of motives, where, through these, the will becomes choice, i.e., becomes more definitely determined by motives. These motives are ideas, which, on the occasion of external stimuli of the organs of sense, arise by means of the functions of the brain, and are also worked up into conceptions, and then into resolves. When it comes to the real act of will these motives, the workshop of which is the cerebrum, act through the medium of the cerebellum upon the spinal cord and the motor nerves which proceed from it, which then act upon the muscles, yet merely as stimuli of their irritability; for galvanic, chemical, and even mechanical stimuli can effect the same contraction which the motor nerve calls forth. Thus what was motive in the brain acts, when it reaches the muscle through the nerves, as mere stimulus. Sensibility in itself is quite unable to contract a muscle. This can only be done by the muscle itself, and its capacity for doing so is called irritability, i.e., susceptibility to stimuli. It is exclusively a property of the muscle, as sensibility is exclusively a property of the nerve. The latter indeed gives the muscle the occasion for its contraction, but it is by no means it that, in some mechanical way, draws the muscle together; but this happens simply and solely on account of the irritability, which is a power of the muscle itself. Apprehended from without this is a Qualitas occulta, and only self-consciousness reveals it as the will. In the causal chain here briefly set forth, from the effect of the motive lying outside us to the contraction of the muscle, the will does not in some way come in as the last link of the chain; but it is the metaphysical substratum of the irritability of the muscle: thus it plays here precisely the same part which in a physical or chemical chain of causes is played by the mysterious forces of nature which lie at the foundation of the process—forces which as such are not themselves involved as links in the causal chain, but impart to all the links of it the capacity to act, as I have fully shown in § 26 of the first volume. Therefore we would ascribe the contraction of the muscle also to a similar mysterious force of nature, if it were not that this contraction is disclosed to us by an entirely different source of knowledge—self-consciousness as will. Hence, as was said above, if we start from the will our own muscular movement appears to us a miracle; for indeed there is a strict causal chain from the external motive to the muscular action; but the will itself is not included as a link in it, but, as the metaphysical substratum of the possibility of an action upon the muscle through brain and nerve, lies at the foundation of the present muscular action also; therefore the latter is not properly its effect but its manifestation. As such it enters the world of idea, the form of which is the law of causality, a world which is entirely different from the will in itself: and thus, if we start from the will, this manifestation has, for attentive reflection, the appearance of a miracle, but for deeper investigation it affords the most direct authentication of the great truth that what appears in the phenomenon as body and its action is in itself will. If now perhaps the motor nerve that leads to my hand is severed, the will can no longer move it. This, however, is not because the hand has ceased to be, like every part of my body, the objectivity, the mere visibility, of my will, or in other words, that the irritability has vanished, but because the effect of the motive, in consequence of which alone I can move my hand, cannot reach it and act on its muscles as a stimulus, for the line of connection between it and the brain is broken. Thus really my will is, in this part, only deprived of the effect of the motive. The will objectifies itself directly, in irritability, not in sensibility. In order to prevent all misunderstandings about this important point, especially such as proceed from physiology pursued in a purely empirical manner, I shall explain the whole process somewhat more thoroughly. My doctrine asserts that the whole body is the will itself, exhibiting itself in the perception of the brain; consequently, having entered into its forms of knowledge. From this it follows that the will is everywhere equally present in the whole body, as is also demonstrably the case, for the organic functions are its work no less than the animal. But how, then, can we reconcile it with this, that the voluntary actions, those most undeniable expressions of the will, clearly originate in the brain, and thus only through the spinal cord reach the nerve fibres, which finally set the limbs in motion, and the paralysis or severing of which therefore prevents the possibility of voluntary movement? This would lead one to think that the will, like the intellect, has its seat only in the brain, and, like it, is a mere function of the brain. Yet this is not the case: but the whole body is and remains the exhibition of the will in perception, thus the will itself objectively perceived by means of the functions of the brain. That process, however, in the case of the acts of will, depends upon the fact that the will, which, according to my doctrine, expresses itself in every phenomenon of nature, even in vegetable and inorganic phenomena, appears in the bodies of men and animals as a conscious will. A consciousness, however, is essentially a unity, and therefore always requires a central point of unity. The necessity of consciousness is, as I have often explained, occasioned by the fact that in consequence of the increased complication, and thereby more multifarious wants, of an organism, the acts of its will must be guided by motives, no longer, as in the lower grades, by mere stimuli. For this purpose it had at this stage to appear provided with a knowing consciousness, thus with an intellect, as the medium and place of the motives. This intellect, if itself objectively perceived, exhibits itself as the brain, together with its appendages, spinal cord, and nerves. It is the brain now in which, on the occasion of external impressions, the ideas arise which become motives for the will. But in the rational intellect they undergo besides this a still further working up, through reflection and deliberation. Thus such an intellect must first of all unite in one point all impressions, together with the working up of them by its functions, whether to mere perception or to conceptions, a point which will be, as it were, the focus of all its rays, in order that that unity of consciousness may arise which is the the theoretical ego, the supporter of the whole consciousness, in which it presents itself as identical with the willing ego, whose mere function of knowledge it is. That point of unity of consciousness, or the theoretical ego, is just Kant's synthetic unity of apperception, upon which all ideas string themselves as on a string of pearls, and on account of which the “I think,” as the thread of the string of pearls, “must be capable of accompanying all our ideas.” This assembling-place of the motives, then, where their entrance into the single focus of consciousness takes place, is the brain. Here, in the non-rational consciousness, they are merely perceived; in the rational consciousness they are elucidated by conceptions, thus are first thought in the abstract and compared; upon which the will chooses, in accordance with its individual and immutable character, and so the purpose results which now, by means of the cerebellum, the spinal cord, and the nerves, sets the outward limbs in motion. For although the will is quite directly present in these, inasmuch as they are merely its manifestation, yet when it has to move according to motives, or indeed according to reflection, it requires such an apparatus for the apprehension and working up of ideas into such motives, in conformity with which its acts here appear as resolves: just as the nourishment of the blood with chyle requires a stomach and intestines, in which this is prepared, and then as such is poured into the blood through the ductus thoracicus, which here plays the part which the spinal cord plays in the former case. The matter may be most simply and generally comprehended thus: the will is immediately present as irritability in all the muscular fibres of the whole body, as a continual striving after activity in general. Now if this striving is to realise itself, thus to manifest itself as movement, this movement must as such have some direction; but this direction must be determined by something, i.e., it requires a guide, and this is the nervous system. For to the mere irritability, as it lies in the muscular fibres and in itself is pure will, all directions are alike; thus it determines itself in no direction, but behaves like a body which is equally drawn in all directions; it remains at rest. Since the activity of the nerves comes in as motive (in the case of reflex movements as a stimulus), the striving force, i.e., the irritability, receives a definite direction, and now produces the movements. Yet those external acts of will which require no motives, and thus also no working up of mere stimuli into ideas in the brain, from which motives arise, but which follow immediately upon stimuli, for the most part inward stimuli, are the reflex movements, starting only from the spinal cord, as, for example, spasms and cramp, in which the will acts without the brain taking part. In an analogous manner the will carries on the organic life, also by nerve stimulus, which does not proceed from the brain. Thus the will appears in every muscle as irritability, and is consequently of itself in a position to contract them, yet only in general; in order that some definite contraction should take place at a given moment, there is required here, as everywhere, a cause, which in this case must be a stimulus. This is everywhere given by the nerve which goes into the muscle. If this nerve is in connection with the brain, then the contraction is a conscious act of will, i.e., takes place in accordance with motives, which, in consequence of external impressions, have arisen as ideas in the brain. If the nerve is not in connection with the brain, but with the sympathicus maximus, then the contraction is involuntary and unconscious, an act connected with the maintenance of the organic life, and the nerve stimulus which causes it is occasioned by inward impressions; for example, by the pressure upon the stomach of the food received, or of the chyme upon the intestines, or of the in-flowing blood upon the walls of the heart, in accordance with which the act is digestion, or motus peristalticus, or beating of the heart, &c.
But if now, in this process, we go one step further, we find that the muscles are the product of the blood, the result of its work of condensation, nay, to a certain extent they are merely solidified, or, as it were, clotted or crystallised blood; for they have taken up into themselves, almost unaltered, its fibrin (cruor) and its colouring matter (Burdach's Physiologie, Bd. v. § 686). But the force which forms the muscle out of the blood must not be assumed to be different from that which afterwards moves it as irritability, upon nerve stimulus, which the brain supplies; in which case it then presents itself in self-consciousness as that which we call will. The close connection between the blood and irritability is also shown by this, that where, on account of imperfection of the lesser circulation, part of the blood returns to the heart unoxidised, the irritability is also uncommonly weak, as in the batrachia. Moreover, the movement of the blood, like that of the muscle, is independent and original; it does not, like irritation, require the influence of the nerve, and is even independent of the heart, as is shown most clearly by the return of the blood through the veins to the heart; for here it is not propelled by a vis a tergo, as in the case of the arterial circulation; and all other mechanical explanations, such as a power of suction of the right ventricle of the heart, are quite inadequate. (See Burdach's Physiologie, Bd. 4, § 763, and Rösch, Ueber die Bedeutung des Blutes, § II, seq.) It is remarkable to see how the French, who recognise nothing but mechanical forces, controvert each other with insufficient grounds upon both sides; and Bichat ascribes the flowing back of the blood through the veins to the pressure of the walls of the capillary tubes, and Magendie, on the other hand, to the continue action of the impulse of the heart (Précis de Physiologie par Magendie, vol. ii. p. 389). That the movement of the blood is also independent of the nervous system, at least of the cerebral nervous system, is shown by the fetus, which (according to Müller's Physiologie), without brain and spinal cord, has yet circulation of the blood. And Flourens also says: “Le mouvement du cœur, pris en soi, et abstraction faite de tout ce qui n'est pas essentiellement lui, comme sa durée, son énergie, ne dépend ni immédiatement, ni coinstantanément, du système nerveux central, et conséquemment c'est dans tout autre point de ce système que dans les centres nerveux eux-mêmes, qu'il faut chercher le principe primitif et immédiat de ce mouvement” (Annales des sciences naturelles p. Audouin et Brougniard, 1828, vol. 13). Cuvier also says: “La circulation survit à la déstruction de tout l'encéphale et de toute la moëlle épiniaire (Mém. de l'acad. d. sc., 1823, vol. 6; Hist. d. l'acad. p. Cuvier,” p. cxxx). “Cor primum vivens et ultimum moriens,” says Haller. The beating of the heart ceases at last in death. The blood has made the vessels themselves; for it appears in the ovum earlier than they do; they are only its path, voluntarily taken, then beaten smooth, and finally gradually condensed and closed up; as Kaspar Wolff has already taught: “Theorie der Generation,” § 30-35. The motion of the heart also, which is inseparable from that of the blood, although occasioned by the necessity of sending blood into the lungs, is yet an original motion, for it is independent of the nervous system and of sensibility, as Burdach fully shows. “In the heart,” he says, “appears, with the maximum of irritability, a minimum of sensibility” (loc. cit., § 769). The heart belongs to the muscular system as well as to the blood or vascular system; from which, however, it is clear that the two are closely related, indeed constitute one whole. Since now the metaphysical substratum of the force which moves the muscle, thus of irritability, is the will, the will must also be the metaphysical substratum of the force which lies at the foundation of the movement and the formations of the blood, as that by which the muscles are produced. The course of the arteries also determines the form and size of all the limbs; consequently the whole form of the body is determined by the course of the blood. Thus in general the blood, as it nourishes all the parts of the body, has also, as the primary fluidity of the organism, produced and framed them out of itself. And the nourishment which confessedly constitutes the principal function of the blood is only the continuance of that original production of them. This truth will be found thoroughly and excellently explained in the work of Rösch referred to above: “Ueber die Bedeutung des Blutes,” 1839. He shows that the blood is that which first has life and is the source both of the existence and of the maintenance of all the parts; that all the organs have sprung from it through secretion, and together with them, for the management of their functions, the nervous system, which appears now as plastic, ordering and arranging the life of the particular parts within, now as cerebral, controlling the relation to the external world. “The blood,” he says, p. 25, “was flesh and nerve at once, and at the same moment at which the muscle freed itself from it the nerve, severed in like manner, remained opposed to the flesh.” Here it is a matter of course that the blood, before those solid parts have been secreted from it, has also a somewhat different character from afterwards; it is then, as Rösch defines it, the chaotic, animated, slimy, primitive fluid, as it were an organic emulsion, in which all subsequent parts are implicite contained: moreover, it has not the red colour quite at the beginning. This disposes of the objection which might be drawn from the fact that the brain and the spinal cord begin to form before the circulation of the blood is visible or the heart appears. In this reference also Schultz says (System der Circulation, § 297): “We do not believe that the view of Baūmgärten, according to which the nervous system is formed earlier than the blood, can consistently be carried out; for Baūmgärten reckons the appearance of the blood only from the formation of the corpuscles, while in the embryo and in the series of animals blood appears much earlier in the form of a pure plasma.” The blood of invertebrate animals never assumes the red colour; but we do not therefore, with Aristotle, deny that they have any. It is well worthy of note that, according to the account of Justinus Kerner (Geschichte zweier Somnambulen, § 78), a somnambulist of a very high degree of clairvoyance, says: “I am as deep in myself as ever a man can be led; the force of my mortal life seems to me to have its source in the blood, whereby, through the circulation in the veins, it communicates itself, by means of the nerves, to the whole body, and to the brain, which is the noblest part of the body, and above the blood itself.”
From all this it follows that the will objectifies itself most immediately in the blood as that which originally makes and forms the organism, perfects it by growth, and afterwards constantly maintains it, both by the regular renewal of all the parts and by the extraordinary restoration of any part that may have been injured. The first productions of the blood are its own vessels, and then the muscles, in the irritability of which the will makes itself known to self-consciousness; but with this also the heart, which is at once vessel and muscle, and therefore is the true centre and primum mobile of the whole life. But for the individual life and subsistence in the external world the will now requires two assistant systems: one to govern and order its inner and outer activity, and another for the constant renewal of the mass of the blood; thus a controller and a sustainer. It therefore makes for itself the nervous and the intestinal systems; thus the functiones animales and the functiones naturales associate themselves in a subsidiary manner with the functiones vitales, which are the most original and essential. In the nervous system, accordingly, the will only objectifies itself in an indirect and secondary way; for this system appears as a mere auxiliary organ, as a contrivance by means of which the will attains to a knowledge of those occasions, internal and external, upon which, in conformity with its aims, it must express itself; the internal occasions are received by the plastic nervous system, thus by the sympathetic nerve, this cerebrum abdominale, as mere stimuli, and the will thereupon reacts on the spot without the brain being conscious; the outward occasions are received by the brain, as motives, and the will reacts through conscious actions directed outwardly. Therefore the whole nervous system constitutes, as it were, the antennæ of the will, which it stretches towards within and without. The nerves of the brain and spinal cord separate at their roots into sensory and motory nerves. The sensory nerves receive the knowledge from without, which now accumulates in the thronging brain, and is there worked up into ideas, which arise primarily as motives. But the motory nerves bring back, like couriers, the result of the brain function to the muscle, upon which it acts as a stimulus, and the irritability of which is the immediate manifestation of the will. Presumably the plastic nerves also divide into sensory and motory, although on a subordinate scale. The part which the ganglia play in the organism we must think of as that of a diminutive brain, and thus the one throws light upon the other. The ganglia lie wherever the organic functions of the vegetative system require care. It is as if there the will was not able by its direct and simple action to carry out its aims, but required guidance, and consequently control; just as when in some business a man's own memory is not sufficient, and he must constantly take notes of what he does. For this end mere knots of nerves are sufficient for the interior of the organism, because everything goes on within its own compass. For the exterior, on the other hand, a very complicated contrivance of the same kind is required. This is the brain with its feelers, which it stretches into the outer world, the nerves of sense. But even in the organs which are in communication with this great nerve centre, in very simple cases the matter does not need to be brought before the highest authority, but a subordinate one is sufficient to determine what is needed; such is the spinal cord, in the reflex actions discovered by Marshall Hall, such as sneezing, yawning, vomiting, the second half of swallowing, &c. &c. The will itself is present in the whole organism, since this is merely its visible form; the nervous system exists everywhere merely for the purpose of making the direction of an action possible by a control of it, as it were to serve the will as a mirror, so that it may see what it does, just as we use a mirror to shave by. Hence small sensoria arise within us for special, and consequently simple, functions, the ganglia; but the chief sensorium, the brain, is the great and skilfully contrived apparatus for the complicated and multifarious functions which have to do with the ceaselessly and irregularly changing external world. Wherever in the organism the nerve threads run together in a ganglion, there, to a certain extent, an animal exists for itself and shut off, which by means of the ganglion has a kind of weak knowledge, the sphere of which is, however, limited to the part from which these nerves directly come. But what actuates these parts to such quasi knowledge is clearly the will; indeed we are utterly unable to conceive it otherwise. Upon this depends the vita propria of each part, and also in the case of insects, which, instead of a spinal cord, have a double string of nerves, with ganglia at regular intervals, the capacity of each part to continue alive for days after being severed from the head and the rest of the trunk; and finally also the actions which in the last instance do not receive their motives from the brain, i.e., instinct and natural mechanical skill. Marshall Hall, whose discovery of the reflex movements I have mentioned above, has given us in this the theory of involuntary movements. Some of these are normal or physiological; such are the closing of the places of ingress to and egress from the body, thus of the sphincteres vesicæ et ani (proceeding from the nerves of the spinal cord); the closing of the eyelids in sleep (from the fifth pair of nerves), of the larynx (from N. vagus) if food passes over it or carbonic acid tries to enter; also swallowing, from the pharynx, yawning and sneezing, respiration, entirely in sleep and partly when awake; and, lastly, the erection, ejaculation, as also conception, and many more. Some, again, are abnormal and pathological; such are stammering, hiccoughing, vomiting, also cramps and convulsions of every kind, especially in epilepsy, tetanus, in hydrophobia and otherwise; finally, the convulsive movements produced by galvanic or other stimuli, and which take place without feeling or consciousness in paralysed limbs, i.e., in limbs which are out of connection with the brain, also the convulsions of beheaded animals, and, lastly, all movements and actions of children born without brains. All cramps are a rebellion of the nerves of the limbs against the sovereignty of the brain; the normal reflex movements, on the other hand, are the legitimate autocracy of the subordinate officials. These movements are thus all involuntary, because they do not proceed from the brain, and therefore do not take place in accordance with motives, but follow upon mere stimuli. The stimuli which occasion them extend only to the spinal cord or the medulla oblongata, and from there the reaction directly takes place which effects the movement. The spinal cord has the same relation to these involuntary movements as the brain has to motive and action, and what the sentient and voluntary nerve is for the latter the incident and motor nerve is for the former. That yet, in the one as in the other, that which really moves is the will is brought all the more clearly to light because the involuntarily moved muscles are for the most part the same which, under other circumstances, are moved from the brain in the voluntary actions, in which their primum mobile is intimately known to us through self-consciousness as the will. Marshall Hall's excellent book “On the Diseases of the Nervous System” is peculiarly fitted to bring out clearly the difference between volition and will, and to confirm the truth of my fundamental doctrine.
For the sake of illustrating all that has been said, let us now call to mind that case of the origination of an organism which is most accessible to our observation. Who makes the chicken in the egg? Some power and skill coming from without, and penetrating through the shell? Oh no! The chicken makes itself, and the force which carries out and perfects this work, which is complicated, well calculated, and designed beyond all expression, breaks through the shell as soon as it is ready, and now performs the outward actions of the chicken, under the name of will. It cannot do both at once; previously occupied with the perfecting of the organism, it had no care for without. But after it has completed the former, the latter appears, under the guidance of the brain and its feelers, the senses, as a tool prepared beforehand for this end, the service of which only begins when it grows up in self-consciousness as intellect, which is the lantern to the steps of the will, its ἡγεμονικον, and also the supporter of the objective external world, however limited the horizon of this may be in the consciousness of a hen. But what the hen is now able to do in the external world, through the medium of this organ, is, as accomplished by means of something secondary, infinitely less important than what it did in its original form, for it made itself.
We became acquainted above with the cerebral nervous system as an assistant organ of the will, in which it therefore objectifies itself in a secondary manner. As thus the cerebral system, although not directly coming within the sphere of the life-functions of the organism, but only governing its relations to the outer world, has yet the organism as its basis, and is nourished by it in return for its services; and as thus the cerebral or animal life is to be regarded as the production of the organic life, the brain and its function, knowledge, thus the intellect, belong indirectly and in a subordinate manner to the manifestation of the will. The will objectifies itself also in it, as will to apprehend the external world, thus as will to know. Therefore great and fundamental as is the difference in us between willing and knowing, the ultimate substratum of both is yet the same, the will, as the real inner nature of the whole phenomenon. But knowing, the intellect, which presents itself in self-consciousness entirely as secondary, is to be regarded not only as the accident of the will, but also as its work, and thus, although in a circuitous manner, is yet to be referred to it. As the intellect presents itself physiologically as the function of an organ of the body, metaphysically it is to be regarded as a work of the will, whose objectification or visible appearance is the whole body. Thus the will to know, objectively perceived, is the brain; as the will to go, objectively perceived, is the foot; the will to grasp, the hand; the will to digest, the stomach; the will to beget, the genitals, &c. This whole objectification certainly ultimately exists only for the brain, as its perception: in this the will exhibits itself as organised body. But so far as the brain knows, it is itself not known, but is the knower, the subject of all knowledge. So far, however, as in objective perception, i.e., in the consciousness of other things, thus secondarily, it is known, it belongs, as an organ of the body, to the objectification of the will. For the whole process is the self-knowledge of the will; it starts from this and returns to it, and constitutes what Kant has called the phenomenon in opposition to the thing in itself. Therefore that which is known, that which is idea, is the will; and this idea is what we call body, which, as extended in space and moving in time, exists only by means of the functions of the brain, thus only in it. That, on the other hand, which knows, which has that idea, is the brain, which yet does not know itself, but only becomes conscious of itself subjectively as intellect, i.e., as the knower. That which when regarded from within is the faculty of knowledge is when regarded from without the brain. This brain is a part of that body, just because it itself belongs to the objectification of the will, the will's will to know is objectified in it, its tendency towards the external world. Accordingly the brain, and therefore the intellect, is certainly conditioned immediately by the body, and this again by the brain, yet only indirectly, as spatial and corporeal, in the world of perception, not in itself, i.e., as will. Thus the whole is ultimately the will, which itself becomes idea, and is that unity which we express by I. The brain itself, so far as it is perceived—thus in the consciousness of other things, and hence secondarily—is only idea. But in itself, and so far as it perceives, it is the will, because this is the real substratum of the whole phenomenon; its will to know objectifies itself as brain and its functions. We may take the voltaic pile as an illustration, certainly imperfect, but yet to some extent throwing light upon the nature of the human phenomenon, as we here regard it. The metals, together with the fluid, are the body; the chemical action, as the basis of the whole effect, is the will, and the electric current resulting from it, which produces shock and spark, is the intellect. But omne simile claudicat.
Quite recently the physiatrica point of view has at last prevailed in pathology. According to it diseases are themselves a curative process of nature, which it introduces to remove, by overcoming its causes, a disorder which in some way has got into the organism. Thus in the decisive battle, the crisis, it is either victorious and attains its end, or else is defeated. This view only gains its full rationality from our standpoint, which shows the will in the vital force, that here appears as vis naturœ medicatrix, the will which lies at the foundation of all organic functions in a healthy condition, but now, when disorder has entered, threatening its whole work, assumes dictatorial power in order to subdue the rebellious forces by quite extraordinary measures and entirely abnormal operations (the disease), and bring everything back to the right track.
On the other hand, that the will itself is sick, as Brandis repeatedly expresses himself in his book, “Ueber die Anwendung der Kälte,” which I have quoted in the first part of my essay, “Ueber den Willen in der Natur,” is a gross misunderstanding. When I weigh this, and at the same time observe that in his earlier book, “Ueber die Lebenskraft,” of 1795, Brandis betrayed no suspicion that this force is in itself the will, but, on the contrary, says there, page 13: “It is impossible that the vital force can be that which we only know through our consciousness, for most movements take place without our consciousness. The assertion that this, of which the only characteristic known to us is consciousness, also affects the body without consciousness is at the least quite arbitrary and unproved;” and page 14: “Haller's objections to the opinion that all living movements are the effect of the soul are, as I believe, quite unanswerable;” when I further reflect that he wrote his book, “Ueber die Anwendung der Kälte,” in which all at once the will appears so decidedly as the vital force, in his seventieth year, an age at which no one as yet has conceived for the first time original fundamental thoughts; when, lastly, I bear in mind that he makes use of my exact expressions, “will and idea,” and not of those which are far more commonly used by others, “the faculties of desire and of knowledge,” I am now convinced, contrary to my earlier supposition, that he borrowed his fundamental thought from me, and with the usual honesty which prevails at the present day in the learned world, said nothing about it. The particulars about this will be found in the second (and third) edition of my work, “Ueber den Willen in der Natur,” p. 14.
Nothing is more fitted to confirm and illustrate the thesis with which we are occupied in this chapter than Bichat's justly celebrated book, “Sur la vie et la mort.” His reflections and mine reciprocally support each other, for his are the physiological commentary on mine, and mine are the philosophical commentary on his, and one will best understand us both by reading us together. This refers specially to the first half of his work, entitled “Recherches physiologiques sur la vie.” He makes the foundation of his expositions the opposition of the organic to the animal life, which corresponds to mine of the will to the intellect. Whoever looks at the sense, not at the words, will not allow himself to be led astray by the fact that he ascribes the will to the animal life; for by will, as is usual, he only understands conscious volition, which certainly proceeds from the brain, where, however, as was shown above, it is not yet actual willing, but only deliberation upon and estimation of the motives, the conclusion or product of which at last appears as the act of will. All that I ascribe to the will proper he ascribes to the organic life, and all that I conceive as intellect is with him the animal life: the latter has with him its seat in the brain alone, together with its appendages: the former, again, in the whole of the remainder of the organism. The complete opposition in which he shows that the two stand to each other corresponds to that which with me exists between the will and the intellect. As anatomist and physiologist he starts from the objective, that is, from the consciousness of other things; I, as a philosopher, start from the subjective, self-consciousness; and it is a pleasure to see how, like the two voices in a duet, we advance in harmony with each other, although each expresses something different. Therefore, let every one who wishes to understand me read him; and let every one who wishes to understand him, better than he understood himself, read me. Bichat shows us, in article 4, that the organic life begins earlier and ends later than the animal life; consequently, since the latter also rests in sleep, has nearly twice as long a duration; then, in articles 8 and 9, that the organic life performs everything perfectly, at once, and of its own accord; the animal life, on the other hand, requires long practice and education. But he is most interesting in the sixth article, where he shows that the animal life is completely limited to the intellectual operations, therefore goes on coldly and indifferently, while the emotions and passions have their seat in the organic life, although the occasions of them lie in the animal, i.e., the cerebral, life. Here he has ten valuable pages which I wish I could quote entire. On page 50 he says: “Il est sans doute étonnant, que les passions n'ayent jamais leur terme ni leur origine dans les divers organs de la vie animale; qu'au contraire les parties servant aux fonctions internes, soient constamment affectées par elles, et même les déterminent suivant l'état où elles se trouvent. Tel est cependant ce que la stricte observation nous prouve. Je dis d'abord que l'effet de toute espèce de passion, constamment étranger à la vie animale, est de faire naître un changement, une altération quelconque dans la vie organique.” Then he shows in detail how anger acts on the circulation of the blood and the beating of the heart, then how joy acts, and lastly how fear; next, how the lungs, the stomach, the intestines, the liver, glands, and pancreas are affected by these and kindred emotions, and how grief diminishes the nutrition; and then how the animal, that is, the brain life, is untouched by all this, and quietly goes on its way. He refers to the fact that to signify intellectual operations we put the hand to the head, but, on the contrary, we lay it on the heart, the stomach, the bowels, if we wish to express our love, joy, sorrow, or hatred; and he remarks that he must be a bad actor who when he spoke of his grief would touch his head, and when he spoke of his mental effort would touch his heart; and also that while the learned make the so-called soul reside in the head, the common people always indicate the well-felt difference between the affections of the intellect and the will by the right expression, and speak, for example, of a capable, clever, fine head; but, on the other hand, say a good heart, a feeling heart, and also “Anger boils in my veins,” “Stirs my gall,” “My bowels leap with joy,” “Jealousy poisons my blood,” &c. “Les chants sont le langage des passions, de la vie organique, comme la parole ordinaire est celui de l'entendement, de la vie animale: la déclamation, tient le milieu, elle anime la langue froide du cerveau par la langue expressive des organes intérieurs, du cœur, du foie, de l'estomac,” &c. His conclusion is: “La vie organique est le terme où aboutissent, et le centre d'où partent les passions.” Nothing is better fitted than this excellent and thorough book to confirm and bring out clearly that the body is only the embodied (i.e., perceived by means of the brain functions, time, space, and causality) will itself, from which it follows that the will is the primary and original, the intellect, as mere brain function, the subordinate and derived. But that which is most worthy of admiration, and to me most pleasing, in Bichat's thought is, that this great anatomist, on the path of his purely physiological investigations, actually got so far as to explain the unalterable nature of the moral character from the fact that only the animal life, thus the functions of the brain, are subject to the influence of education, practice, culture, and habit, but the moral character belongs to the organic life, i.e., to all the other parts, which cannot be modified from without. I cannot refrain from giving the passage; it occurs in article 9, § 2: “Telle est donc la grande différence des deux vies de l'animal” (cerebral or animal and organic life) “par rapport à l'inégalité de perfection des divers systèmes de fonctions, dont chacune résulte; savoir, que dans l'une la prédominance ou l'infériorité d'un système relativement aux autres, tient presque toujours à l'activité ou à l'inertie plus grandes de ce système, à l'habitude d'agir ou de ne pas agir; que dans l'autre, au contraire, cette prédominance ou cette infériorité sont immédiatement liées a la texture des organes, et jamais à leur éducation. Voilà pourquoi le tempérament physique et le charactère moral ne sont point susceptible de changer par l'éducation, qui modifie si prodigieusement les actes de la vie animale; car, comme nous l'avons vu, tous deux appartiennent à la vie organique. La charactère est, si je puis m'exprimer ainsi, la physionomie des passions; le tempérament est celle des fonctions internes: or les unes et les autres étant toujours les mêmes, ayant une direction que l'habitude et l'exercice ne dérangent jamais, il est manifeste que le tempérament et le charactère doivent être aussi soustraits à l'empire de l'éducation. Elle peut modérer l'influence du second, perfectionner assez le jugement et la réflection, pour rendre leur empire supérieur au sien, fortifier la vie animal afin qu'elle résiste aux impulsions de l'organique. Mais vouloir par elle dénaturer le charactère, adoucir ou exalter les passions dont il est l'expression habituelle, agrandir ou resserrer leur sphère, c'est une entreprise analogue a celle d'un médecin qui essaierait d'élever ou d'abaisser de quelque degrés, et pour toute la vie, la force de contraction ordinaire au cœur dans l'état de santé, de précipiter ou de ralentir habituellement le mouvement naturel aux artères, et qui est nécessaire à leur action, etc. Nous observerions à ce médecin, que la circulation, la respiration, etc., ne sont point sous le domaine de la volonté (volition), quelles ne peuvent être modifiées par l'homme, sans passer à l'état maladif, etc. Faisons la même observation à ceux qui croient qu'on change le charactère, et par-là, même les passions, puisque celles-ci sont un produit de l'action de tous les organes internes, ou qu'elles y ont au moins spécialement leur siège.” The reader who is familiar with my philosophy may imagine how great was my joy when I discovered, as it were, the proof of my own convictions in those which were arrived at upon an entirely different field, by this extraordinary man, so early taken from the world.
A special authentication of the truth that the organism is merely the visibility of the will is also afforded us by the fact that if dogs, cats, domestic cocks, and indeed other animals, bite when violently angry, the wounds become mortal; nay, if they come from a dog, may cause hydrophobia in the man who is bitten, without the dog being mad or afterwards becoming so. For the extremest anger is only the most decided and vehement will to annihilate its object; this now appears in the assumption by the saliva of an injurious, and to a certain extent magically acting, power, and springs from the fact that the will and the organism are in truth one. This also appears from the fact that intense vexation may rapidly impart to the mother's milk such a pernicious quality that the sucking child dies forthwith in convulsions (Most, Ueber sympathetische Mittel, p. 16).
Note On What Has Been Said About Bichat.
Bichat has, as we have shown above, cast a deep glance into human nature, and in consequence has given an exceedingly admirable exposition, which is one of the most profound works in the whole of French literature. Now, sixty years later, M. Flourens suddenly appears with a polemic against it in his work, “De la vie et de l'intelligence,” and makes so bold as to declare without ceremony that all that Bichat has brought to light on this important subject, which was quite his own, is false. And what does he oppose to him in the field? Counter reasons? No, counter assertions and authorities, indeed, which are as inadmissible as they are remarkable—Descartes and Gall! M. Flourens is by conviction a Cartesian, and to him Descartes, in the year 1858, is still “le philosophe par excellence.” Now Descartes was certainly a great man, yet only as a forerunner. In the whole of his dogmas, on the other hand, there is not a word of truth; and to appeal to these as authorities at this time of day is simply absurd. For in the nineteenth century a Cartesian in philosophy is just what a follower of Ptolemy would be in astronomy, or a follower of Stahl in chemistry. But for M. Flourens the dogmas of Descartes are articles of faith. Descartes has taught, les volontés sont des pensées: therefore this is the case, although every one feels within himself that willing and thinking are as different as white and black. Hence I have been able above, in chapter 19, to prove and explain this fully and thoroughly, and always under the guidance of experience. But above all, according to Descartes, the oracle of M. Flourens, there are two fundamentally different substances, body and soul. Consequently M. Flourens, as an orthodox Cartesian, says: “Le premier point est de séparer, même par les mots, ce qui est du corps de ce qui est de l'âme” (i. 72). He informs us further that this “âme réside uniquement et exclusivement dans le cerveau” (ii. 137); from whence, according to a passage of Descartes, it sends the spiritus animales as couriers to the muscles, yet can only itself be affected by the brain; therefore the passions have their seat (siège) in the heart, which is altered by them, yet their place (place) in the brain. Thus, really thus, speaks the oracle of M. Flourens, who is so much edified by it, that he even utters it twice after him (i. 33 and ii. 135), for the unfailing conquest of the ignorant Bichat, who knows neither soul nor body, but merely an animal and an organic life, and whom he then here condescendingly informs that we must thoroughly distinguish the parts where the passions have their seat (siègent) from those which they affect. According to this, then, the passions act in one place while they are in another. Corporeal things are wont to act only where they are, but with an immaterial soul the case may be different. But what in general may he and his oracle really have thought in this distinction of place and siège, of sièger and affecter? The fundamental error of M. Flourens and Descartes springs really from the fact that they confound the motives or occasions of the passions, which, as ideas, certainly lie in the intellect, i.e., in the brain, with the passions themselves, which, as movements of the will, lie in the whole body, which (as we know) is the perceived will itself. M. Flourens' second authority is, as we have said, Gall. I certainly have said, at the beginning of this twentieth chapter (and already in the earlier edition): “The greatest error in Gall's phrenology is, that he makes the brain the organ of moral qualities also.” But what I censure and reject is precisely what M. Flourens praises and admires, for he bears in his heart the doctrine of Descartes: “Les volontés sont des pensées.” Accordingly he says, p. 144: “Le premier service que Gall a rendu à la physiologie (?) a éte de rammener le moral à l'intellectuel, et de faire voir que les facultés morales et les facultés intellectuelles sont du même ordre, et de les placer toutes, autant les unes que les autres, uniquement et exclusivement dans le cerveau.” To a certain extent my whole philosophy, but especially the nineteenth chapter of this volume, consists of the refutation of this fundamental error. M. Flourens, on the contrary, is never tired of extolling this as a great truth and Gall as its discoverer; for example, p. 147: “Si j'en étais à classer les services que nous a rendu Gall, je dirais que le premier a été de rammener les qualités morales au cerveau;”—p. 153: “Le cerveau seul est l'organe de l'âme, et de l'âme dans toute la plénitude de ses fonctions” (we see the simple soul of Descartes still always lurks in the background, as the kernel of the matter); “il est le siège de toutes les facultés intellectuelles.... Gall a rammené le moral a l'intellectuel, il a rammené les qualités morales au même siège, au même organe, que les facultés intellectuelles.” Oh how must Bichat and I be ashamed of ourselves in the presence of such wisdom! But, to speak seriously, what can be more disheartening, or rather more shocking, than to see the true and profound rejected and the false and perverse extolled; to live to find that important truths, deeply hidden, and extracted late and with difficulty, are to be torn down, and the old, stale, and late conquered errors set up in their place; nay, to be compelled to fear that through such procedure the advances of human knowledge, so hardly achieved, will be broken off! But let us quiet our fears; for magma est vis veritatis et prævalebit. M. Flourens is unquestionably a man of much merit, but he has chiefly acquired it upon the experimental path. Just those truths, however, which are of the greatest importance cannot be brought out by experiments, but only by reflection and penetration. Now Bichat by his reflection and penetration has here brought a truth to light which is of the number of those which are unattainable by the experimental efforts of M. Flourens, even if, as a true and consistent Cartesian, he tortures a hundred more animals to death. But he ought betimes to have observed and thought something of this: “Take care, friend, for it burns.” The presumption and self-sufficiency, however, such as is only imparted by superficiality combined with a false obscurity, with which M. Flourens undertakes to refute a thinker like Bichat by counter assertions, old wives' beliefs, and futile authorities, indeed to reprove and instruct him, and even almost to mock at him, has its origin in the nature of the Academy and its fauteuils. Throned upon these, and saluting each other mutually as illustre confrère, gentlemen cannot avoid making themselves equal with the best who have ever lived, regarding themselves as oracles, and therefore fit to decree what shall be false and what true. This impels and entitles me to say out plainly for once, that the really superior and privileged minds, who now and then are born for the enlightenment of the rest, and to whom certainly Bichat belongs, are so “by the grace of God,” and accordingly stand to the Academy (in which they have generally occupied only the forty-first fauteuil) and to its illustres confrères, as born princes to the numerous representatives of the people, chosen from the crowd. Therefore a secret awe should warn these gentlemen of the Academy (who always exist by the score) before they attack such a man,—unless they have most cogent reasons to present, and not mere contradictions and appeals to placita of Descartes, which at the present day is quite absurd.
- This chapter is connected with § 18 of the first volume.
- This chapter is connected with § 19 of the first volume.
- It is remarkable that Augustine already knew this. In the fourteenth book, “De Civ. Dei,” c. 6, he speaks of the affectionibus animi, which in the preceding book he had brought under four categories, cupiditas, timor, lætitia, tristitia, and says: “Voluntas est quippe in omnibus, imo omnes nihil aliud, quam voluntates sunt: nam quid est cupiditas et lætitia, nisi voluntas in eorum consensionem, quæ volumus? et quid est metus atque tristitia, nisi voluntas in dissensionem ab his, quæ nolumus? cet.”
- By those who place mind and learning above all other human qualities this man will be reckoned the greatest of his century. But by those who let virtue take precedence of everything else his memory can never be execrated enough. He was the cruelest of the citizens in persecuting, putting to death, and banishing.
- The Times of 18th October 1845; from the Athenæum.
- This chapter is connected with § 20 of the first volume.
- Spallanzani, Risultati di esperienze sopra la riproduzione della testa nelle lumache terrestri: in the Memorie di matematica e fisica della Società Italiana, Tom. i. p. 581. Voltaire, Les colimaçons du révérend père l'escarbotier.
- Cf. Ch. 22.
- « Tout ce qui est relatif à l'entendement appartient à la vie animale, » dit Bichat, et jusque-là point de doute; « tout ce qui est relatif aux passions appartient à la vie organique, »—et ceci est absolument faux. Indeed!—decrevit Florentius magnus.