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2020-09-20 10:14:49


There is no reason to believe that Hippias used his distinction between Nature and convention as an argument for despotism. It would rather appear that, if anything, he and his school desired to establish a more complete equality among men. Others, however, both rhetoricians and practical statesmen, were not slow to draw an opposite conclusion. They saw that where no law was recognised, as between different nations, nothing but violence and the right of the stronger prevailed. It was once believed that aggressions which human law could not reach found no favour with the gods, and dread of the divine displeasure may have done something towards restraining them. But religion had partly been destroyed by the new culture, partly perverted into a sanction for wrong-doing. By what right, it was asked, did Zeus himself reign? Had he not unlawfully dethroned his father, Cronos, and did he not now hold power simply by virtue of superior strength? Similar reasonings were soon applied to the internal government of each state. It was alleged that the ablest citizens could lay claim to uncontrolled supremacy by a title older than any social fiction. Rules of right meant nothing but a permanent conspiracy of the weak to withdraw themselves from the legitimate dominion of their born master, and to bamboozle him into a voluntary surrender of his natural privileges. Sentiments bearing a superficial resemblance to these have occasionally found utterance among ourselves. Nevertheless, it would be most unjust to compare Carlyle and Mr. Froude with Critias and Calliclês. We believe that their preference of despotism to representative government is an entire mistake. But we know that with them as with us the good of the governed is the sole end desired. The gentlemen of Athens sought after supreme power only as a means for gratifying their worst passions without let or hindrance; and for that purpose they were ready to ally themselves with every foreign enemy in turn, or to flatter the caprices of the Dêmos, if that policy85 promised to answer equally well. The antisocial theories of these ‘young lions,’ as they were called by their enemies and sometimes by themselves also, do not seem to have been supported by any public teacher. If we are to believe Plato, P?lus, a Sicilian rhetor, did indeed regard Archelaus, the abler Louis Napoleon of his time, with sympathy and envious admiration, but without attempting to justify the crimes of his hero by an appeal to natural law. The corruption of theoretical morality among the paid teachers took a more subtle form. Instead of opposing one principle to another, they held that all law had the same source, being an emanation from the will of the stronger, and exclusively designed to promote his interest. Justice, according to Thrasymachus in the Republic, is another’s good, which is true enough, and to practise it except under compulsion is foolish, which, whatever Grote may say, is a grossly immoral doctrine.


But a profounder analysis of experience is necessary before we can come to the real roots of Plato’s scheme. It must be remembered that our philosopher was a revolutionist of the most thorough-going description, that he objected not to this or that constitution of his time, but to all existing consti254tutions whatever. Now, every great revolutionary movement, if in some respects an advance and an evolution, is in other respects a retrogression and a dissolution. When the most complex forms of political association are broken up, the older or subordinate forms suddenly acquire new life and meaning. What is true of practice is true also of speculation. Having broken away from the most advanced civilisation, Plato was thrown back on the spontaneous organisation of industry, on the army, the school, the family, the savage tribe, and even the herd of cattle, for types of social union. It was by taking some hints from each of these minor aggregates that he succeeded in building up his ideal polity, which, notwithstanding its supposed simplicity and consistency, is one of the most heterogeneous ever framed. The principles on which it rests are not really carried out to their logical consequences; they interfere with and supplement one another. The restriction of political power to a single class is avowedly based on the necessity for a division of labour. One man, we are told, can only do one thing well. But Plato should have seen that the producer is not for that reason to be made a monopolist; and that, to borrow his own favourite example, shoes are properly manufactured because the shoemaker is kept in order by the competition of his rivals and by the freedom of the consumer to purchase wherever he pleases. Athenian democracy, so far from contradicting the lessons of political economy, was, in truth, their logical application to government. The people did not really govern themselves, nor do they in any modern democracy, but they listened to different proposals, just as they might choose among different articles in a shop or different tenders for building a house, accepted the most suitable, and then left it to be carried out by their trusted agents.

How much of the complete system known in later times under this name was due to Zeno himself, we do not know; for nothing but a few fragments of his and of his immediate successors’ writings is left. The idea of combining Antisthenes with Heracleitus, and both with Socrates, probably belongs9 to the founder of the school. His successor, Cleanthes, a man of character rather than of intellect, was content to hand on what the master had taught. Then came another Cypriote, Chrysippus, of whom we are told that without him the Stoa would not have existed;16 so thoroughly did he work out the system in all its details, and so strongly did he fortify its positions against hostile criticism by a framework of elaborate dialectic. ‘Give me the propositions, and I will find the proofs!’ he used to say to Cleanthes.17 After him, nothing of importance was added to the doctrines of the school; although the spirit by which they were animated seems to have undergone profound modifications in the lapse of ages.Both the Theaetêtus and the Cratylus contain allusions to mathematical reasoning, but its full significance is first exhibited in the Meno. Here the old question, whether virtue can be taught, is again raised, to be discussed from an entirely new point of view, and resolved into the more general question, Can anything be taught? The answer is, Yes and No. You may stimulate the native activity of the intellect, but you cannot create it. Take a totally uneducated man, and, under proper guidance, he shall discover the truths of geometry for himself, by virtue of their self-evident clearness. Being independent of any traceable experience, the elementary principles of this science, of all science, must have been acquired in some antenatal period, or rather they were never acquired at all, they belong to the very nature of the soul herself. The doctrine here unfolded had a great future before it; and it has never, perhaps, been discussed with so much eagerness as during the last half-century among ourselves. The masters of English thought have placed the issue first raised by Plato in the very front of philosophical controversy; and the general public have been brought to feel that their dearest interests hang on its decision. The subject has, however, lost much of its adventitious interest to those who know that the à priori position was turned, a hundred years ago, by Kant. The philosopher of K?nigsberg showed that, granting knowledge to be composed of two elements, mind adds nothing to outward experience but its own forms, the system of connexions according to which it groups phenomena. Deprive these forms of the content given to them by feeling, and the soul will be left beating her wings in a vacuum. The doctrine that knowledge is not a212 dead deposit in consciousness or memory, but a living energy whereby phenomena are, to use Kant’s words, gathered up into the synthetic unity of apperception, has since found a physiological basis in the theory of central innervation. And the experiential school of psychology have simultaneously come to recognise the existence of fixed conditions under which consciousness works and grows, and which, in the last analysis, resolve themselves into the apprehension of resemblance, difference, coexistence, and succession. The most complex cognition involves no more than these four categories; and it is probable that they all co-operate in the most elementary perception.

With Bacon, experience was the negation of mere authority, whether taking the form of natural prejudice, of individual prepossession, of hollow phrases, or of established systems. The question how we come by that knowledge which all agree to be the most certain, is left untouched in his logic; either of the current answers would have suited his system equally well; nor is there any reason for believing that he would have sided with Mill rather than with Kant respecting the origin of mathematical axioms. With Locke, experience meant the analysis of notions and judgments into the simple data of sense and self-consciousness; and the experientialists of the present day are beyond all doubt his disciples; but the parentage of his philosophy, so far as it is simply a denial of innate ideas, must be sought, not in the Novum Organum, nor in any other modern work, but in the old Organon of Aristotle, or in the comments of the396 Schoolmen who followed Aristotle in protesting against the Platonism of their time, just as Locke protested against the Platonism of Descartes and Malebranche.

It is in this last conversation that the historical Socrates most nearly resembles the Socrates of Plato’s Apologia. Instead, however, of leaving Euthydêmus to the consciousness of his ignorance, as the latter would have done, he proceeds, in Xenophon’s account, to direct the young man’s studies according to the simplest and clearest principles; and we have another conversation where religious truths are instilled by the same catechetical process.92 Here the erotetic method is evidently a mere didactic artifice, and Socrates could easily have written out his lesson under the form of a regular demonstration. But there is little doubt that in other cases he used it as a means for giving increased precision to his own ideas, and also for testing their validity, that, in a word, the habit of oral communication gave him a familiarity with logical processes which could not otherwise have been acquired. The same cross-examination that acted as a spur on the mind of the respondent, reacted as a bridle on the mind of the interrogator, obliging him to make sure beforehand of every assertion that he put forward, to study the mutual bearings of his beliefs, to analyse them into their component elements, and to examine the relation in which they collectively stood to the opinions generally accepted. It has already been stated that Socrates gave the erotetic method two new applications; we now see in what direction they tended. He made it a vehicle for positive instruction, and he also made it an instrument for self-discipline, a help to fulfilling the Delphic precept, ‘Know thyself.’ The second application was even more important than the first. With us literary training—that is, the practice of continuous reading and composition—is so widely diffused, that conversation has become142 rather a hindrance than a help to the cultivation of argumentative ability. The reverse was true when Socrates lived. Long familiarity with debate was unfavourable to the art of writing; and the speeches in Thucydides show how difficult it was still found to present close reasoning under the form of an uninterrupted exposition. The traditions of conversational thrust and parry survived in rhetorical prose; and the crossed swords of tongue-fence were represented by the bristling chevaux de frise of a laboured antithetical arrangement where every clause received new strength and point from contrast with its opposing neighbour.

Still more important than these observations themselves is the great truth he derives from them—since rediscovered and worked out in detail by Von Baer—that in the development of each individual the generic characters make their appearance before the specific characters.211 Nor is this a mere accidental or isolated remark, but, as we shall show in the next chapter, intimately connected with one of the philosopher’s metaphysical theories. Although not an evolutionist, he has made other contributions to biology, the importance of which has been first realised in the light of the evolution theory. Thus he notices the antagonism between individuation and reproduction;212 the connexion of increased size with increased vitality;213 the connexion of greater mobility,214 and of greater intelligence,215 with increased complexity of structure; the physiological division of labour in the higher animals;216 the formation of heterogeneous organs out of homogeneous tissues;217 the tendency towards greater centralisation in the higher organisms218—a remark connected with his two great anatomical discoveries, the central position of the heart in the vascular system, and the possession of a backbone by all red-blooded animals;219 the resemblance of animal intelligence to a rudimentary human intelligence, especially as manifested in children;220 and, finally, he attempts to trace a continuous series of gradations connecting the inorganic with the organic world, plants with animals, and the lower animals with man.221

Nor was this all. As the world of sense was coming back into favour, the world of reason was falling into disrepute. Just as the old physical philosophy had been decomposed by the Sophisticism of Protagoras and Gorgias, so also the dialectic of Socrates was corrupted into the sophistry of Eubulides and Euthydêmus. Plato himself discovered that by reasoning deductively from purely abstract premises, contradictory conclusions could be established with apparently323 equal force. It was difficult to see how a decision could be arrived at except by appealing to the testimony of sense. And a moral reform could hardly be effected except by similarly taking into account the existing beliefs and customs of mankind.

Institute of Plasma Physics, Hefei Institutes of Physical Science (ASIPP, HFIPS) undertakes the procurement package of superconducting conductors, correction coil, superconducting feeder, power supply and diagnosis, accounting for nearly 80% of China's ITER procurement package.

"I am so proud of our team and it’s a great pleasure for me working here," said BAO Liman, an engineer from ASIPP, HFIPS, who was invited to sit near Chinese National flay on the podium at the kick-off ceremony to represent Chinese team. BAO, with some 30 ASIPP engineers, has been working in ITER Tokamak department for more than ten years. Due to the suspended international traveling by COVID-19, most of the Chinese people who are engaged in ITER construction celebrated this important moment at home through live broadcasting.

One of ASIPP’s undertakes, the number 6 poloidal field superconducting coil (or PF6 coil) , the heaviest superconducting coil in the world, was completed last year, and arrived at ITER site this June. PF6 timely manufacturing and delivery made a solid foundation for ITER sub-assembly, it will be installed at the bottom of the ITER cryostat.

Last year, a China-France Consortium in which ASIPP takes a part has won the bid of the first ITER Tokamak Assembly task, TAC-1, a core and important part of the ITER Tokamak assembly.

Exactly as Bernard BIGOT, Director-General of ITER Organization, commented at a press conference after the ceremony, Chinese team was highly regarded for what they have done to ITER project with excellent completion of procurement package.


The kick-off ceremony for ITER assembly (Image by Pierre Genevier-Tarel-ITER Organization) 


the number 6 poloidal field superconducting coil (Image by ASIPP, HFIPS) 


ITER-TAC1 Contract Signing Ceremony (Image by ASIPP, HFIPS)

World dignitaries celebrate a collaborative achievement

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