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r.MVKHSITY LIBRARY

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THE

WORLD'S HISTORY

AND ITS MAKERS



15Y

EDGAR SANDERSON, A. M.

AUTHOR "HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE"

J. P. LAMBERTON, A. M.

AUTHOR " UlSPORIC CHARACTKRS AND FAMOUS KVKNTS," "LITERATURE
OF ALL NATIONS," ETC.

JOHN McGOVERN

LEGACY," " THE TOILERS' DIAD
CAN STATESMEN," ETC.

OLIVER H. G. LEIGH



AND THE FOLLOWING EMINENT AMERICAN EDITORS AND WRITERS:

JOSEPH M. ROGERS. A. M. ; LAURENCE E. GREENE; M. A. LANE;

G. SENKCA JONES, A M. ; 1'KKDKKiCK LOGAN;

WILLIAM MATTHEWS HANDY.

INTRODUCTION BY

MARSHALL S. SNOW, A. M.

PROFESSOR OF HISTORY WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY AND DEAN OF THE COLLEGE;
AUTHOR "CITY GOVERNMENT," "POLITICAL STUDIES," ETC., ETC.

TEN VOLUriES

VOL. IV

GREAT I'HILOSOI IIKRS,



NEW YORK CHICAGO



E. R. DU MONT



1902



COPYRIGHT, 1899

BY
EARL 14. DuMONT



CONTENTS

PAGE

THE ORIENTALS . i

THE EARLY GREEKS ....- 31

SOCRATES AND PLATO ..... 63

THE CYNICS ...- 88

ARISTOTLE ....... 103

EPICURUS, ZENO, PYRRHO - - - - 124

THE ALEXANDRIANS ....- 149

RETROSPECT ....... 153

AVERROES AND AL GAZALI - 157

THE SCHOLASTICS - - 169

GIORDANO BRUNO ...... 187

BACON ....... 204

DESCARTES ....... 228

HOBBES AND LOCKE . - - 239

SPINOZA ... - - 263

BERKELEY AND HUME .- 273

THE GERMANS ... - 299

KANT - 299

FICHTE 319

SCHELLINQ - 326

HEGEL .. 330

CONDILLAC - 335

EMERSON .. 338

COMTE ....-. 345

SPENCER . 359



PHOTOGRAVURES



VOLUME IV.

PACT.

BUDDHA AND FIVE ASCETICS i

LORD BACON , 205

DESCARTES 232

DAVID HUME.. . 288



WORLD'S GREAT PHILOSOPHERS

THE ORIENTALS

It is the purpose of this volume to sketch briefly the
lives and doctrines of those men who have been most
eminent in that field of thought which is described gen-
erally by the word philosophy.

There is some difficulty, when the subject is treated
historically, in separating philosophy from science on the
one hand, and from theology on the other. For in the
early growth and development of human knowledge these
three instruments of progress are so intertwined and inter-
dependent, have such closely related causal connections,
and are made one, at least functionally, by nexi which can-
not be severed without fatality to all, that we are perforce
required to take account of all when examining each.

But while this is without doubt true, it is by no means
impossible to follow the stream of speculative thought
through the centuries, recognizing its scientific aspects
when such aspects are present and not disregarding its
theological significance when it seems to disappear in the-
ology. Inasmuch as these sketches shall be biographical
mainly, no attempt will be made at an exposition of doc-
trines in any manner adequate for the purposes of a history
of philosophy. That field has been well tilled, if not too
veil tilled already. There is but one other biographical
history of philosophy in the English language and the com-
plaint is made against it that it is dominated by the con-
cepts of one latter day philosopher, whose followers have
Voi.. 41



2 GREAT PHILOSOPHERS

degenerated into a perfervid emotionality bordering upon
the fanaticism of religion. The work referred to is that of
the late Mr. Lewes and the philosophy that of Auguste
Comte. The present work shall aim not at a critical ex-
amination of systems, or at an historical consideration of
the evolution of thought, but rather at the disclosure of the
personalities of the men whose names are written broad
and large upon the record of man's intellectual liberty.

Who, then, are the Philosophers? We may better
arrive at a satisfactory answer to this query by in turn
asking, What is Philosophy? It would be useless to
weary the reader by leading him through the maze of
definitions which have been made or attempted by writers
almost without number. ''By philosophy," says Windel-
band, "present usage understands the scientific treatment
of the general questions relating to the universe and human
life." This definition is weak, or incomplete, in that its
exclusion is too narrow. By a little stretching the same
definition could be applied to the science of sociology, a
fact brought out by recent claims for the universality of
social science as the scicntia scientiarum. For a detailed
list of definitions of philosophy given by philosophers
themselves, the reader may be referred to "Ueberweg's
History of Philosophy." Windelband's definition ob-
viously suggests that which has been worked out by Air.
Herbert Spencer and it may be w r ell to let the reader see
the latter at first hand. "Knowledge of the lowest kind,"
says the great evolutionist, " is nminified knowledge;
science is partially unified knowledge; philosophy is com-
pletely unified knowledge" a very different matter from
"the scientific treatment of general questions relating to
the universe and human life."

Philosophy, to make use of a somewhat worn phrase,
has ever speculated upon the origin and destiny of the



THE ORIENTALS 3

universe, and, inclusively, of man. Theology has dog-
matized. Science has investigated. The earliest phi-
losophers were partly scientific men, partly specula-
tors. The more remote their time the more general was
their thought. The processes of differentiation and
specialization went on until inquiry was diverted into as
many lines as there were philosophers. And this move-
ment continued until, in our own day, the entire cobweb of
metaphysical guesswork was swept away to give place to
the generalization, as high as may be, of the facts which
Science, working quietly and patiently, had digged in the
dark. Metaphysics to-day is a "surmounted category"
of the history of human thought. But he would be an
unthinking man who did not accord to metaphysics its
proper place as an instrument of intellectual progress,
while if we look backward we may see in many places the
anticipation of living truths at which man has arrived with
certainty after centuries of toil and waiting.

Let us, therefore, regard as philosophers such as have
earnestly and honestly striven to interpret nature in the
light of truth. Any mind that has in any way stimulated
the desire for knowing, and knowing rightly, is a mind
philosophic, and of such there are many. But the limita-
tions of this work require us to conform, with a few ex-
ceptions, to academic traditions, and to treat only of those
philosophers that are readily accorded the right to the
name.

The earliest philosophers of whom there is record were
the men who wrote the Vedas. It is idle to contend that
the Brahministic system is a theogony. There is but one
bolder and nobler attempt of the human mind to uprear a
connected and systematic theory of all things. That at-
tempt is to be found in the system of Gautama, the archi-
tect of Buddhism. The writers of the Vedas were the



4 GREAT PHILOSOPHERS

first among men to evolve a rational theory of the universe,
and some account of what they thought is precisely neces-
sary to any conception at all of the important speculations
of the reformer of Brahminism, the prince of the Great
Renunciation. Fortunately, science has come to our aid
as the "handmaid of philosophy," and the Orientalists have
given us glimpses of the thoughts that stirred the Hindu
mind in time when the borderland of history melts into
the inscrutable haze of antiquity.

To say now that the universe is in process of ceaseless
change; to say that all processes of nature are but parts
of one universal process; to say that as beginning is incon-
ceivable and end unthinkable, there was no beginning and
there can be no end; that rhythms and cycles follow
rhythms and cycles sweeping in eternity through infinity
to say these things to-day is commonplace and we have an
undefined consciousness that in some way modern physical
science has so informed us.

Yet this thought is the pivot upon which the Brahmin
philosophy swings. The Brahmin system is a philosophy
so all-inclusive as to transcend human understanding. In
whatsoever manner we state it, analysis will lead us to the
conviction that the words have only a symbolic value, and
the seeming ideas involved in the statement are not true
ideas, but, in Spencer's way of saying, are merely symbols
of ideas. The world was not made by God, but comes out
of God emanates from God. Matter is everywhere per-
meated with spirit, and matter and spirit are God. There
can be but one God, because He is all that is. The spirit of
the universe moves the matter of the universe, but there
is here no question of duality; there is only unity. There
are cycles within cycles, activities within activities. But
periods of activity imply periods of inactivity the Hindu
observation of the law of motion that action and reaction



THE ORIENTALS 5

are equal and opposite. If there be a beginning at all it
is only the beginning of a period of activity or the begin-
ning of a period of rest. The familiar phenomena of
everyday life found in sleeping and waking, day and night,,
summer and winter, the Brahmins extended to the uni-
verse : infinite matter and spirit, the one and the all. func-
tioning in the macrocosm as in the microcosm, only on
an inconceivably large scale. The universe manifests
itself to itself; rests for an eternity, is roused for an eter-
nity. Such ideas, when subjected to analysis, seem to be
pseud-ideas. But what must we say of the "heathen"
minds that evolved them ?

Briefly stated, the Hindu cosmogony, if we call this
daring attempt to map out eternity a cosmogony at all, is
this : The universe has no beginning and no end. It is
ruled by a rhythm of activity and of rest. Brahm, in the
active state, is in the state we now see. Cycles, infinite in
number, correlative to eternity in duration, swing forward
and back, gaining always a little toward the relative end.
During the active state every atom of matter throbs, every
atom changes. The substance remains, the form is never
the same. The Future is beginning just as the Past is
ending. There is only the Present. Energy at work
everywhere, at all times, builds up the cosmos and breaks it
down. At last all energy wanes, consistency crumbles,
growth lapses into decay and the universe sinks back into
God. The day of Brahm has changed into night; his
waking into sleeping; his activity into rest. The period
of rest is the equal in time of the period of activity. God
sleeps. He sleeps until He is refreshed, until the tired
universe is restored, and then He awakes to another period
of activity, another cycle of ceaseless change, another day
of transformation, manifestation, and sentiency. The
period of activity is called Mnnvantara ; the period of rest,



6 GREAT PHILOSOPHERS

Pralaya. To this action and reaction there has been no
beginning, there will be no end. Such is the speculation
of the Brahmin.

Through whatever avenues of thought the Hindu in-
tellect reached these startling conclusions, it must be con-
fessed that the scheme is one which makes the mind recoil
upon itself and forces it almost to expel from consciousness
the feeling generated. But it is interesting to know that
the greatest generalizer of science has been led to the same
end by methods that are unquestionably as scientific as the
most exacting could desire. The reader may judge for
himself how far Herbert Spencer has agreed with the
Brahmins in his final conclusion as to these processes that
are going on in nature. He says, in summing up his
reasoning, based upon facts that have been accumulated by
scientific observation :

"We find reason for thinking that after the com-
pletion of these various equilibrations which bring
to a close all the forms of evolution, we have con-
templated there must be an equilibration of a far wider
kind. When that integration everywhere in progress
throughout our solar system has reached its climax, there
will remain to the effected the immeasurably greater in-
tegration of our solar system with other such systems.
There must then reappear in molecular motion what is lost
in the motion of the masses, and the inevitable transforma-
tion of this motion of masses into molecular motion can-
not take place without reducing the masses to a nebulous
form. Thus we arc led to the conclusion that the entire
process of tilings as displayed in the aggregate of the
visible universe is analogous to the entire process of things
as displayed in the smallest aggregates." A conclusion
that had been reached thousands of years ago by the phi-
losophers of the Orient. This was the system the writers



THE ORIENTALS 7

of the Vedas thought out. It is not credible that men
whose fearlessness of mind led them so far could have
seriously considered the absurd theogony that is not with-
out warrant laid at the doors of Brahminism, unless we
take refuge in the apology, applied nowadays to all sacred
writ, that seeming statements of fact must be sprinkled
with the salt of allegory. However, with degenerate
Brahminism we have nothing to do.

The antiquity of the Brahmin philosophy is very great.
Nearly a thousand centuries before the awakenment of
thought in Greece, the Hindus speculated with much in-
genuity on the source and the destiny of man and the cos-
mos. As early as 1400 B.C., Vyasa founded the Vedanta
School, and even he saw before him an already established
school the Mimansa. The Vedanta School produced an
incredible quantity of literature. After Vyasa came the
logical school, with a system so closely resembling that of
Aristotle as to lead many commentators to the belief that
Aristotle borrowed from the Aryans a belief justified by
the similarity of the Oriental logicians, even in details, to
the work of the Greek. Another ancient school, that of
Kanade, dealt with a theory of atoms, which centuries
later reappears in Greek thought. The school of Kapila
departed from the others in that it was atheistic. Lastly
there came Patanjali with a philosophy founded on
Theism.

These are the six great schools of which so much
has been said and so little in any manner that can be
called satisfactory. The Orientals were masters of meta-
physics. Most of what they have left behind and the
quantity is voluminous remains untranslated, although
every year brings valuable additions to the stocks now
available for those who are not philologists. But even
with such as we have the difficulties are very great. The



8 GREAT PHILOSOPHERS

closest study often fails in arriving at a comprehension of
the terms used, and fresh obstacles present themselves at
every step. It is manifestly impossible to supply the
equivalent in any of the modern languages say rather
in any of the Occidental languages of terms for which
no corresponding ideas exist in the Occidental mind.
With such terms the Indian philosophy is replete. Even
the comparatively modern Buddhist term, Dharma, has
been a source of perturbation to the translators. It is
rendered "the Law," but this is an inadequate transla-
tion. It has likewise been used as meaning "righteous-
ness," but this is even a less satisfying term. The best
that can be done is to master, in so far as possible, the
concept of the philosopher, and then make use of the
original symbol itself.

This practice has been followed in the use of the term
Karma with good results. Karma is now a Western
word, perfect as a vehicle of thought, and quite beyond
the power of the interpreter to do into any Western tongue.
And the same is true in less degree, of the term Nirvana.

The Pre-Buddhists gave to mankind a lofty conception
of the universe. They even went to the extreme of divid-
ing their periods of universal activity and rest into subor-
dinate cycles, with specific lengths in time measured by
terrestrial years. But the most useful end served by them
was the preparation of the way for the founder of
Buddhism.

The life of Gautama is second in thrilling interest only
to the life and work of Jesus, who came centuries after
him. Both were Orientals the one Aryan, the other
Semite. Both strove with an earnestness that is not
less than pathetic to show the way of salvation to
men. Both despised the goods of the world and lived
in personal poverty, subsisting on the gifts of those who



THE ORIENTALS 9

listened, enraptured, to their words. Both were preceptors
and maximists. Both built anew on the religion which
they found ready at hand among their own people. They
spoke in parables, drawing their illustrations from the
simple things around them, using the birds of the air, the
flowers of the field, the harvest, the housewife, the mustard
seed, the fig tree to inculcate some great ethical lesson.
The parallel between the two, so far as their personal lives
and their presentations of ethical doctrine are concerned,
is perfect. But here the lines diverge. Gautama, left a
system ; Jesus none. The metaphysics of the Aryan sage
is the refinement of the contemplation of highest things.
It exhausts the possibilities of speculation. It 1-iaps at
conclusions to which the metaphysicians of the West have
not arrived thousands of years later. And it is only, one
may say, in the present day we have learned to know that
Gautama's theory of consciousness anticipates by nearly
30 centuries the highest results of modern scientific
psychology. But more of this hereafter.

Gautama was born about 500 years before Christ. It
is interesting to note that what is considered the most
valuable archaeological discovery of the year 1898 has left
without doubt the accuracy of the history in which is pre-
served the records of his life. The books agree in saying
that Gautama was born at Kapilavastu, a town about one
hundred miles east and north of the sacred City of Ben-
ares. Kapilavastu is now a mass of brick ruins, over-
grown and buried in part with thick jungle. The city
was destroyed even in the lifetime of the Great Teacher. It
was a mere ruin in the jungle when the first Chinese pil-
grim visited the place in 410 A.D. But there has been
found there a pillar erected and inscribed in the Third.
Century B.C., which sets at rest all questions as to the pre-
cise place where and date when Gautama was born. At



10

the present time excavations, being pushed forward as
rapidly as possible, disclose buildings of greater antiquity
than have been found as yet in India. It is even believed
that the ashes of India's most illustrious son will be found
in the place where they were laid 2,400 years ago.

Gautama sprang from the tribe of the Sakyas, Aryans
who had settled in the pleasant valley of the River Rohini
in the shadows of the great Himalayas on the borderland
of Nepaul. His father was Suddhodana, the Raja of the
Sakyas, and his mother the daughter of the Raja of the
Koliyans, a cousin tribe of the Sakyas who dwelt on the
other side of the river. The sister of Gautama's mother
was also the w 7 ife of Suddhodana, and when the mother
died, seven days after parturition, the babe was cared for
tenderly by his aunt and foster mother.

Various names are indiscriminately and unwisely ap-
plied to the founder of Buddhism, and he is not exceptional
in respect of this. The parallel here is again perfect be-
tween Jesus and the Indian philosopher. His own true
name was Gautama. He is called "Sakya-Muni," or, in
the way of English pronunciation, "Chakia-Mooni,"
which means simply "the sage of the Sakyas ;" he is called
"Sattha, the teacher;" "Bhagava, the Blessed;" "Loka-
Xatha, the Prince of the \Yorld" (a title assumed
by Jesus); "Sakya-Sinha, the lion of the Sakyas;"
"Dharma-Raja, the king of the law," and many others
which disclose the wealth and exuberance of the Oriental
imagination. But the title by which he is most widely
known is that of Buddha, "the enlightened One." This
title he chose for himself as Jesus chose "Christ," or "Im-
manuel." "the Annointed," and by the names "Buddhists"
and "Christians" are their followers known to-day. The
Buddha is frequently called Siddhartha, bnt this is a mere
title, meaning "he that hath accomplished his purpose."



THE ORIENTALS u

It is not unnatural that the pious and zealous biog-
raphers of Gautama should have indulged in extravagant
stories of the childhood of their beloved teacher, and there
are legends in which are recounted the miracles and mar-
vels that preceded and accompanied his birth, which, by the
way, is said to have been a miracle of itself in as much as
the child was heaven-descended.

The son of a king, Gautama was reared in all the
manly arts that befitted his station in life. We are told
that he surpassed all his fellows in athletic feats, in skill
with the bow, and in those physical accomplish-
ments so dear to the ambition of healthy young
manhood. In a tournament to which he invited
all the youth of equal age in his tribe, he excelled
them all, and the chroniclers have been at pains to leave
details of these events so minute as to be absurd. It is not
improbable, however, that Gautama, in youth, was well
trained, for he passed through much fasting, trial, and
self-inflicted punishment to live to the extreme of old age
and to have been possessed of every faculty to the very
last. Apart from the story of his performances in the lists
of the time, and his marriage at the age of nineteen with
his cousin, Yasodhaha, the record of Gautama's youth
is bare. The books leave him there for the reason that
the writers who came after his death and at a time when
his influence began to be really and widely felt, were lack-
ing in data. There are no apocryphal gospels in Bud-
dhism and the student of the Buddhist books is spared the
pain of beholding a noble character marred and made gro-
tesque by the childish hand of superstition. The legends
and miracles of Buddha are all tempered with dignity, and
it would be strange indeed had not the warm color of the
Orient been thrown around the life of the strong and lov-
ing heart.



12 GREAT PHILOSOPHERS

Gautama disappears, then, in the records, for a time.
How he lived, what he did, what were his boyish joys and
sorrows, the influences that fashioned his mind and pre-
pared him for his future, we do not know. He reappears
in his thirtieth year as a teacher and savior of men. His
precocious, all-embracing love for his fellows must have
been ill assorted with the scenes of idleness and luxury he
saw about the court of his father. He was puzzled with
questions thrust upon him by the observation of things
around him. Why was he a Prince, his fellow a paralytic ?
Why was the scheme of life wrought out by torture ; men
born in pain only to die in fear; love but the prelude to
death; plant, animal, man, reproducing themselves only
to grow that they might decay, and through it all running
the fire of desire, consuming but never consummated?
\Ve can imagine such questions as these perturbing the
supersensitive brain of the young Aryan until sick with
the pearls and the gold and the fine fabrics of royalty he
flung these aside and went out from them into a world that
was throbbing with pain. In that world, close to that
woe, lay his mission.

It is related that thus to prepare himself for his minis-
try Gautama sought the placid peace of solitude and gave
himself up to meditation that he might learn the secret of
the sorrows of humanity, and learning the cause, so pro-
vide the cure. Such delusions as this spring up only in
emotional natures, but there is rarely found in such natures
the combination of the largeness of sympathy with the
keenness of intellect that we find in Gautama. An obstacle
of great gravity presents itself in the birth of a son, but
Gautama, having consecrated himself to the one purpose,
resignedly relinquishes the joys of fatherhood, and, after
a visit to Kapilavasta, steals away in the night, while



THE ORIENTALS 13

Yasodhara sleeps and returns to his caves with Chauna,
his charioteer, as his only companion.

Passing by the legend in which is related how the
Devil, Mara, tempts him and how he triumphs over the
powers of evil, we find Gautama sitting at the feet of cer-
tain Brahmin sages, specifically, Udraka and Alara, im-
bibing ail that these masters knew of the complex theories
of the Hindus, only to rise unsatisfied and unconsoled.
He retired to the jungle and for six years subjected him-
self to the most severe punishment of his body. In this
way he attracted numerous followers and admirers who,
though \vell fed themselves, attended the "holy man" and



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