脱贫滋味比糕甜(新春走基层·脱贫攻坚一线见闻)

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“平均分怎么算小学”IntheopeningchapterofthisworkweendeavouredtoexplainhowthePythagoreanphilosophyaroseoutoftheintoxicateddelightinspiredbyafirstacquaintancewiththemanifoldpropertiesofnumberandfigure.IfwewouldenterintothespiritofPlatonism,wemustsimilarlythrowourselvesbackintothetimewhentheideaofauniversalclassificationfirstdawnedonmen’sminds.WemustrememberhowitgratifiedtheGreekloveofordercombinedwithindividuality;whatunboundedopportunitiesforaskingandansweringquestionsitsupplied;andwhatpromisesofpracticalregenerationitheldout.Notwithoutashadeofsadnessforsomanybaffledeffortsandsomanyblightedhopes,yetalsowithagratefulrecollectionofallthatreasonhasaccomplished,andwithsomethingofhisownhighintellectualenthusiasm,shallwelistentoPlato’spropheticwords—wordsofdeeperimportthantheirownauthorknew— ‘IfIfindanymanwhoisabletoseeaOneandManyinNature,himIfollowandwalkinhisstepsasifhewereagod.’137

Therulesfordistinguishingbetweentruthandfalsehood98aregiveninthefamousEpicureanCanon.Onreceivinganimageintothemind,weassociateitwithsimilarimagesformerlyimpressedonusbysomerealobject.Iftheassociationoranticipation(πρ?ληψι?)isconfirmedornotcontradictedbysubsequentexperience,itistrue;false,ifcontradictedornotconfirmed.187Thestresslaidonabsenceofcontradictoryevidenceillustratesthegreatpartplayedbysuchnotionsaspossibility,negation,andfreedomintheEpicureansystem.Inethicsthisclassofconceptionsisrepresentedbypainlessness,conceivedfirstasthecondition,andfinallyastheessenceofhappiness;inphysicsbytheinfinitevoid,theinaneprofundumofwhichLucretiusspeakswithalmostreligiousunction;andinlogicbytheabsenceofcontradictionconsideredasaproofofreality.Here,perhaps,wemaydetecttheParmenideanabsoluteunderanewform;only,byacuriousreversal,whatParmenideshimselfstrovealtogethertoexpelfromthoughthasbecomeitssupremeobjectandcontent.188

Asauniversalphilosophy,thetheoryofDevelopment,428likeeveryothermodernidea,hasonlybeenpermittedtomanifestitselfincombinationwithdifferentformsoftheoldscholasticism.Thewholespeculativemovementofourcenturyismadeupofsuchhybridsystems;andthree,inparticular,stilldividethesuffragesofmanythinkingmenwhohavenotbeenableentirelytoshakeofftheinfluenceofreactionaryideas.ThesearethesystemsofHegel,ofComte,andofMr.HerbertSpencer.Ineach,thelogicandmetaphysicsinheritedfromGreekthoughtarevariouslycompoundedwiththenewscience.Andeach,forthatveryreason,servestofacilitatethetransitionfromonetotheother;apartanalogoustothatplayedamongtheGreeksthemselvesbythevastconstructionsofPlatoandAristotle,or,inanageoflessproductivity,bytheStoicandAlexandrianphilosophies.

Theimmortalityofthesoulisasubjectonwhichidealisticphilosophershabituallyexpressthemselvesintermsofapparentlystudiedambiguity,andthisisespeciallytrueofPlotinus.Here,aselsewhere,herepeatstheopinionsandargumentsofPlato,butwithcertaindevelopmentswhichmakehisadhesiontothepopularbeliefinapersonaldurationafterdeathconsiderablymoredoubtfulthanwasthatofhismaster.OnegreatdifficultyinthewayofPlato’sdoctrine,ascommonlyunderstood,isthatitattributesapermanencetoindividuals,which,ontheprinciplesofhissystem,shouldbelongonlytogeneralideas.Now,atfirstsight,Plotinusseemstoevadethisdifficultybyadmittingeverlastingideasofindividualsnolessthanofgenerictypes.514Acloserexamination,however,showsthatthisviewisevenmoreunfavourablethanPlato’stothehopeofpersonalimmortality.Foreitherourrealselfisindependentofourempiricalconsciousness,whichisjustwhatwewishtohavepreserved,or,asseemsmoreprobable,theeternalexistencewhichitenjoysisofanaltogetheridealcharacter,likethatwhichSpinozaalsoattributedtothe346humansoul,andwhich,inhisphilosophy,certainlyhadnothingtodowithaprolongationofindividualconsciousnessbeyondthegrave.AsMadamedeSta?lobservesofasimilarviewheldatonetimebySchelling,‘cetteimmortalité-làressembleterriblementàlamort.’Andwhen,inadditiontohisowntheoryofindividualideas,wefindPlotinusadoptingthetheoryoftheStoics,thatthewholecourseofmundaneaffairsperiodicallyreturnstoitsstarting-pointandisrepeatedinthesameorderasbefore,515wecannothelpconcludingthathumanimmortalityinthepopularsensemusthaveseemedasimpossibletohimasitdidtothem.Wemust,therefore,supposethatthedoctrineofmetempsychosisandfutureretributionswhichheunquestionablyprofesses,appliesonlytocertaindeterminatecyclesofpsychiclife;orthatitwastohim,whatithadprobablybeentoPlato,onlyafigurativewayofexpressingtheessentialunityofallsouls,andthetranscendentcharacterofethicaldistinctions.516

Inlikemanner,Lucretiusrejectsthetheorythatlivingbodiesaremadeupofthefourelements,muchasheadmires110itsauthor,Empedocles.Itseemedtohimablindconfusionoftheinorganicwiththeorganic,thecomplexharmoniesoflifeneedingamuchmoresubtleexplanationthanwasaffordedbysuchacrudeintermixtureofwarringprinciples.IfthetheoryofAnaxagorasfaresnobetterinhishands,itisfortheconversereason.Helooksonitasanattempttocarrybackpurelyvitalphenomenaintotheinorganicworld,toreadintotheultimatemoleculesofmatterwhatnoanalysiscanmakethemyield—thatis,somethingwithpropertieslikethoseofthetissuesoutofwhichanimalbodiesarecomposed.

OwingtotheslightimportancewhichAristotleattachestojudgmentsascomparedwithconcepts,hedoesnotgoverydeeplyintothequestion,howdoweobtainourpremises?Hesays,inremarkablyemphaticlanguage,thatallknowledgeisacquiredeitherbydemonstrationorbyinduction;orrather,wemayadd,inthelastresortbythelatteronly,sincedemon388strationrestsongeneralswhicharediscoveredinductively;buthisgeneralsmeandefinitionsandabstractpredicatesorsubjects,ratherthansyntheticpropositions.If,however,hisattentionhadbeencalledtothedistinction,wecannotsupposethathewould,onhisownprinciples,haveadoptedconclusionsessentiallydifferentfromthoseofthemodernexperientialschool.Mr.Wallacedoes,indeed,claimhimasasupporterofthetheorythatnoinferencecanbemadefromparticularstoparticularswithouttheaidofageneralproposition,andashavingrefuted,byanticipation,Mill’sassertiontothecontrary.WequotetheanalysiswhichissupposedtoprovethisinMr.Wallace’sownwords:—

AnothertermoccupyingaverylargeplaceinAristotle’sphilosophywaswelladaptedtomediatebetweenandeventuallytounitethetwospeculativeextremes.ThiswasSubstance;inlogicthesubjectofpredication,inmetaphysicsthesubstratumofqualities,theο?σ?αorBeingoftheTenCategories.NowFirstMattermightfairlyclaimthepositionofauniversalsubjectorsubstance,sinceitwasinvestedwitheverysensiblequalityinturn,andeven,asthecommonelementofallForms,witheverythinkablequalityaswell.AristotlehimselfhadfinallypronouncedfortheindividualcompoundofFormandMatterasthetruesubstance.Yethealsospeaksasiftheessentialdefinitionofathingconstitutedthethingitself;inwhichcaseFormalonecouldbethetruesubject;andasimilarclaimmightbeputforwardonbehalfofthePlotinianOne.561

Itisafamiliarfact,firstbroughttolightbyLessing,andgeneralisedbyhimintoalawofallgoodliterarycomposition,thatHomeralwaysthrowshisdescriptionsintoanarrativeform.Wearenottoldwhataherowore,buthowheputonhisarmour;whenattentionisdrawntoaparticularobjectwearemadeacquaintedwithitsoriginandpasthistory;eventhereliefsonashieldareinvestedwithlifeandmovement.Homerwasnotimpelledtoadoptthismethodeitherbyconsciousreflectionorbyaprofoundpoeticinstinct.Atacertainstageofintellectualdevelopment,everyGreekwouldfinditfareasiertoarrangethedataofexperienceinsuccessivethanincontemporaneousorder;theoneisfixed,theotheradmitsofindefinitevariation.Pictorialandplasticartalsobeginwithserialpresentations,andonlyarriveattheconstructionoflargecentralisedgroupsmuchlateron.Wehavenexttoobservethat,whileGreekreflectionatfirstfollowedtheorderoftime,itturnedbypreferencenottopresentorfuture,buttopasttime.NothinginHellenicliteratureremindsusofHebrewprophecy.ToaGreekalldistinctprevisionwasmergedinthegloomofcomingdeathorthegloryofanticipatedfame.Ofcourse,ateverygreatcrisisofthenationalfortunesmuchcuriosityprevailedamongthevulgarastowhatcourseeventswouldtake;butitwassedulouslydiscouragedbythenoblestminds.Herodotusand46Sophocleslookonevendivinepredictionsaspurposelyambiguousandmisleading.Pindaroftendwellsonthehopelessuncertaintyoflife.35Thucydidestreatsallvaticinationasutterlydelusive.So,whenabeliefinthesoul’sseparateexistencefirstobtainedacceptanceamongtheGreeks,itinterestedthemfarlessasapledgeofnever-endinglifeandprogresshereafter,thanasinvolvingapossiblerevelationofpasthistory,ofthewondrousadventureswhicheachindividualhadpassedthroughbeforeassuminghispresentform.HencethepeculiarforceofPindar’scongratulationtothepartakerintheEleusinianmysteries;afterdeathheknowsnotonly‘theendoflife,’butalso‘itsgod-givenbeginning.’36Eventhepresentwasnotintelligibleuntilithadbeenprojectedbackintothepast,orinterpretedbythelightofsomeancienttale.Sappho,inherfamousodetoAphroditê,recallstheincidentsofaformerpassionpreciselysimilartotheunrequitedlovewhichnowagitatesherheart,anddescribesatlengthhowthegoddessthencametoherreliefassheisnowimploredtocomeagain.Moderncriticshavespokenofthiscuriousliteraryartificeasasignofdelicacyandreserve.WemaybesurethatSapphowasanutterstrangertosuchfeelings;sheranherthoughtsintoapredeterminedmouldjustasabeebuildsitswaxintohexagonalcells.Curtius,theGermanhistorian,hassurmisedwithmuchplausibilitythattheentirelegendofTroyowesitsorigintothishabitofthrowingbackcontemporaryeventsintoadistantpast.Accordingtohisview,thecharactersandscenesrecordedbyHomer,althoughunhistoricalastheynowstand,hadreallyaplaceintheAchaeancolonisationofAsiaMinor.37But,apartfromanydisguisedallusions,oldstorieshadaninexhaustiblecharmfortheGreekimagination.EvenduringthestirringeventsofthePeloponnesianwar,elderlyAthenian47citizensintheirhoursofrelaxationtalkedofnothingbutmythology.38Whenaknowledgeofreadingbecameuniversallydiffused,andbookscouldbehadatamoderateprice,ancientlegendsseemtohavebeenthefavouriteliteratureofthelowerclasses,justasamongourselvesinCaxton’stime.Stillmoremustthesametastehaveprevailedacenturyearlier.AstudentwhoopensPindar’sepinicianodesforthefirsttimeissurprisedtofindsolittleaboutthevictoriouscombatantsandthestrugglesinwhichtheytookpart,somuchaboutmythicaladventuresseeminglyunconnectedwiththeostensiblesubjectofthepoem.Furthermore,wefindthatgenealogiesweretheframeworkbywhichthesedistantrecollectionswereheldtogether.Mostnoblefamiliestracedtheirdescentbacktoagodortoagod-likehero.Theentireintervalseparatingthehistoricalperiodfromtheheroicagewasfilledupwithmoreorlessfictitiouspedigrees.Aman’sancestrywasmuchthemostimportantpartofhisbiography.ItislikelythatHerodotushadjustasenthusiasticanadmirationaswecanhaveforLeonidas.YetonefanciesthatahistorianoflaterdatewouldhaveshownhisappreciationoftheSpartankinginaratherdifferentfashion.Weshouldhavebeentoldsomethingaboutthehero’spersonalappearance,andperhapssomecharacteristicincidentsfromhisearliercareerwouldhavebeenrelated.NotsowithHerodotus.HepausesinthestoryofThermopylaetogiveusthegenealogyofLeonidasuptoHeraclês;nomoreandnoless.Thatwasthehighestcomplimenthecouldpay,anditisrepeatedforPausanias,thevictorofPlataea.39Thegenealogicalmethodwascapableofwideextension,andcouldbeappliedtootherthanhumanoranimalrelationships.Hesiod’sTheogonyisagenealogyofheavenandearth,andallthatinthemis.AccordingtoAeschylus,gainisbredfromgain,slaughterfromslaughter,woefromwoe.Insolencebearsachildlikeuntoherself,andthisinturngivesbirthto48astillmorefatalprogeny.40ThesamepoetterminateshisenumerationoftheflamingsignalsthatspedthemessageofvictoryfromTroytoArgos,bydescribingthelastbeaconas‘notungrandsiredbytheIdaeanfire.’41Now,whentheGreekgeniushadbeguntomoveinanydirection,itrushedforwardwithoutpausinguntilarrestedbyanimpassablelimit,andthenturnedbacktoretraverseatleisurethewholeintervalseparatingthatlimitfromitspointofdeparture.Thus,theascendinglinesofancestrywerefollowedupuntiltheyledtoacommonfatherofall;everyseriesofoutrageswastracedthroughsuccessivereprisalsbacktoaninitialcrime;andmoregenerallyeveryeventwasaffiliatedtoaprecedingevent,untilthewholechainhadbeenattachedtoanultimateself-existingcause.Hencetherecordsoforigination,invention,spontaneitywerelongsoughtafterwithaneagernesswhichthrewalmosteveryotherinterestintotheshade.‘Glorybetotheinventor,’singsPindar,inhisaddresstovictoriousCorinth;‘whencecamethegracesofthedithyrambichymn,whofirstsetthedoubleeagleonthetemplesofthegods?’42ThePrometheusofAeschylustellshowcivilisationbegan,andthetrilogytowhichitbelongswasprobablyintendedtoshowhowthesupremacyofZeuswasfirstestablishedandsecured.AgreatpartoftheAgamemnondealswitheventslonganteriortotheopeningofthedrama,butconnectedasultimatecauseswiththeterriblecatastrophewhichitrepresents.IntheEumenidesweseehowthefamily,asitnowexists,wasfirstconstitutedbythesubstitutionofpaternalformaternalheadship,andalsohowtheworshipoftheAvengingGoddesseswasfirstintroducedintoAthens,aswellashowtheAreopagitetribunalwasfounded.ItisveryprobablethatSophocles’searliestwork,theTriptolemus,representedtheoriginofagricultureunderadramaticform;andifthesamepoet’slaterpieces,aswellasallthoseofEuripides,49standonquitedifferentground,occupiedastheyarewithsubjectsofcontemporaneous,orratherofeternalinterest,wemustregardthisasaproofthatthewholecurrentofGreekthoughthadtakenanewdirection,correspondingtothatsimultaneouslyimpressedonphilosophybySocratesandtheSophists.WemaynotefurtherthattheAeginetansculptures,executedsoonafterSalamis,thoughevidentlyintendedtocommemoratethatvictory,representaconflictwagedlongbeforebythetutelaryheroesofAeginaagainstanAsiaticfoe.WemayalsoseeinourownBritishMuseumhowthebirthofAthênêwasrecordedinamarblegroupononepedimentoftheParthenon,andthefoundationofherchosencityontheother.Theverytemplewhichthesemajesticsculpturesonceadornedwasapetrifiedmemorialofantiquity,and,bythemereformofitsarchitecture,musthavecarriedbackmen’sthoughtstotheearliestHellenichabitation,thesimplestructureinwhichagabledroofwassupportedbycross-beamsonarowofuprightwoodenposts.

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  • 雨花郡主8DwmB

    Nevertheless,ineachcase,subjectiveidealismhadtheeffectofconcentratingspeculation,properlysocalled,onethicalandpracticalinterests.Lockestruckthekeynoteofeighteenthcenturyphilosophywhenhepronouncedmoralitytobe‘theproperscienceandbusinessofmankindingeneral.’574Andnosoonerhadmoralitycometothefrontthanthesignificanceofancientthoughtagainmadeitselfapparent.Whetherthroughconsciousimitation,orbecausethesamecausesbroughtaboutthesameeffects,ethicalenquiriesmovedalongthelinesoriginallylaiddownintheschoolsofAthens.Whenrulesofconductwerenotdirectlyreferredtoadivinerevelation,theywerebasedeitheronasupposedlawofNature,oronthenecessitiesofhumanhappiness,oronsomecombinationofthetwo.Nothingismorecharacteristicof422theeighteenthcenturythanitsworshipofNature.Eventhetheologyoftheageisdeeplycolouredbyit;andwiththemajorityofthosewhorejectedtheologyitbecameanewreligion.ButthissentimentisdemonstrablyofGreekorigin,andfounditsmostelaborate,thoughnotitsmostabsolute,expressioninStoicism.TheStoicshadinheriteditfromtheCynics,whoheldthefaithingreaterpurity;andthese,again,sofaraswecanjudge,fromacertainSophisticschool,somefragmentsofwhoseteachinghavebeenpreservedbyXenophonandPlato;whilethefirstwhogavewidecurrencytothisfamousabstractionwas,inallprobability,Heracleitus.TotheStoics,however,isduethatintimateassociationofnaturalismwithteleologywhichmeetsusagaininthephilosophyofthelastcentury,andevennowwhereverthedoctrineofevolutionhasnotbeenthoroughlyaccepted.Itwasassumed,intheteethofallevidence,thatNaturebearsthemarksofauniformlybeneficentdesign,thatevilisexclusivelyofhumanorigin,andthatevenhumannatureisessentiallygoodwhenunspoiledbyartificialrestrictions.

     TheexperienceofHobbesdiffersbothinoriginandapplicationfromeitherofthese.Withhim,sensibleimpressionsarenotacourtofappealagainsttraditionaljudgments,noryetaretheytheultimateelementsintowhichallideasmaybeanalysed;theyarethechannelsthroughwhichpulsatingmovementsareconveyedintothemind;andthesemovements,again,representtheactionofmechanicalforcesorthewillofaparamountauthority.Andheholdsthisdoctrine,partlyasalogicalconsequenceofhismaterialism,partlyasasafeguardagainstthetheologicalpretensionswhich,inhisopinion,areaconstantthreattosocialorder.TheauthorityofthepoliticalsovereignismenacedontheonehandbyPapalinfallibility,andontheotherbyrebellioussubjectsputtingforwardaclaimtosupernaturalinspiration.TothePope,Hobbessays:‘YouareviolatingthelawofNaturebyprofessingtoderivefromGodwhatisreallygivenonlybytheconsentofmen,andcanonlybegivenbythemtotheirtemporalhead,—therighttoimposeaparticularreligion.‘TothePuritan,hesays:‘Yourinwardilluminationisasuperstitiousdream,andyouhavenorighttouseitasapretextforbreakingtheking’speace.Religionhasreallynothingtodowiththesupernatural;itisonlyaparticularwayofinculcatingobediencetothenaturalconditionsofsocialunion.’

  • 雪灵芝xG4ZY

  • 如萱紫儿AfHMm

    ThisdogmaofuniversaldeterminismwascombinedintheStoicalsystemwithanequallyoutspokenmaterialism.Thecapacityforeitheractingorbeingactedonwas,accordingtoPlato,theoneconvincingevidenceofrealexistence;andhehadendeavouredtoprovethatthereissuchathingasmindapartfrommatterbyitspossessionofthischaracteristicmark.28TheStoicssimplyreversedhisargument.Whateveractsorisactedon,theysaid,mustbecorporeal;thereforethesoulisakindofbody.29Heretheyonlyfollowedthecommonopinionofallphilosopherswho13believedinanexternalworld,exceptPlatoandAristotle,whiletoacertainextentanticipatingthescientificautomatismfirsttaughtinmoderntimesbySpinoza,andsimultaneouslyrevivedbyvariousthinkersinourownday.Toacertainextentonly;fortheydidnotrecognisetheindependentrealityofaconsciousnessinwhichthemechanicalprocessesareeitherreflected,orrepresentedunderadifferentaspect.Andtheyfurthergavetheirtheoryasomewhatgrotesqueexpressionbyinterpretingthosequalitiesandattributesofthings,whichothermaterialistshavebeencontenttoconsiderasbelongingtomatter,asthemselvesactualbodies.Forinstance,thevirtuesandviceswere,accordingtothem,somanygaseouscurrentsbywhichthesoulispenetratedandshaped—amaterialisticrenderingofPlato’stheorythatqualitiesaredistinctandindependentsubstances.30

  • 但法国xjSDL

     Twopreceptsstandoutbeforeallothers,which,trivialastheymayseem,areutteredfromtheverysoulofGreek62experience,‘Bemoderate,’and,‘Knowthyself.’TheirjointobservanceconstitutesthecharacteristicvirtueofS?phrosynê,whichmeansallthatweunderstandbytemperance,andagreatdealmorebesides;somuch,infact,thatverycleverGreekswerehardsettodefineit,andverywiseGreekscouldprayforitasthefairestgiftofthegods.48Letussupposethateachindividualhasasphereofactivitymarkedoutforhimbyhisownnatureandhisspecialenvironment;thentodiscernclearlythelimitsofthatsphereandtokeepwithinthemwouldbeS?phrosynê,whilethediscernment,takenalone,wouldbewisdom.Thesameself-restraintoperatingasacheckoninterferencewithothersphereswouldbejustice;whiletheexpansiveforcebywhichamanfillsuphisentiresphereandguardsitagainstaggressionsmaybecalledcourage.Thusweareenabledtocomprehendthemany-sidedsignificanceofS?phrosynê,toseehowitcouldstandbothforaparticularvirtueandforallvirtuousnesswhatever.WeneedonlyglanceatHomer’spoems,andinparticularattheIliad—amuchdeeperaswellasamorebrilliantworkthantheOdyssey—toperceivehowveryearlythisdemandformoderationcombinedwithself-knowledgehadembodieditselfinGreekthought.AgamemnonviolatestherightsofAchillesundertheinfluenceofimmoderatepassion,andthroughignoranceofhowlittlewecanaccomplishwithoutthehero’sassistance.Achilles,again,carrieshisvindictivenesstoofar,andsuffersinconsequence.Buthisself-knowledgeisabsolutelyperfect;consciousthatheisfirstinthefieldwhileothersarebetterincouncil,heneverundertakesatasktowhichhispowersarenotfullyadequate;nordoesheenteronhisfinalworkofvengeancewithoutaclearconsciousnessofthespeedydeathwhichitscompletionwillentailonhimself.Hector,too,notwithstandingominousforebodings,knowshisdutyanddoesit,butwithmuchlessjustanestimateofhisownpowers,leadinghimtopursuehissuccesstoofar,andthen,whenthe63tidehasturned,notpermittinghimtomakeatimelyretreatwithinthewallsofTroy.Sowiththesecondarycharacters.Patroclusalsooverstepsthelimitsofmoderation,andpaysthepenaltywithhislife.DiomedsilentlybearstheunmeritedrebukeofAgamemnon,butafterwardsrecallsitatamosteffectivemoment,whenrisingtoopposethecravencounselsofthegreatking.ThistheGreekscalledobservingopportunity,andopportunismwaswiththem,aswithFrenchpoliticians,aformofmoderation.49DownattheverybottomofthescaleThersitesandDolonaresignalexamplesofmenwhodonotknowtheirsphereandsufferfortheirfolly.IntheOdyssey,Odysseusisanearlyperfecttypeofwisdomjoinedwithself-control,erring,ifwerememberrightly,onlyonce,whenheinsultsPolyphemusbeforetheshipisoutofdanger;whilehiscomradesperishfromwantofthesesamegifts.

  • 大笨蛋Q05K3

    v

  • 扒皮成TtA28

     Inviewofsuchextensivelabours,wemightalmostimagineourselvestransportedbacktothetimeswhenChaucercoulddescribeastudentasbeingmadeperfectlyhappybyhaving

  • 草莓果cBMIX

    ‘WithoutChrysippusIshouldnothavebeen.’233

     XII.527

  • 绿卡纸SL9nB

     WithregardtotheNicomacheanEthics,IthinkTeichmüllerhasprovedthismuch,thatitwaswrittenbeforeAristotlehadreadtheLawsorknewofitsexistence.ButthisdoesnotprovethathewroteitduringPlato’slifetime,sincetheLawswasnotpublisheduntilafterPlato’sdeath,possiblynotuntilseveralyearsafter.And,publishedornot,AristotlemayverywellhaveremainedignorantofitsexistenceuntilhisreturntoAthens,which,accordingtothetradition,tookplaceabout336B.C.Teichmüllerdoes,indeed,supposethatAristotlespentsometimeinAthensbetweenhisflightfromMitylênêandhisengagementastutortoAlexander(LiterarischeFehden,p.261).Butthistheory,besidesitspurelyconjecturalcharacter,wouldstillallowthepossibilityofAristotle’shavingremainedunacquaintedwiththeLawsuptotheageofforty.AnditisobviousthatthepassageswhichTeichmüllerinterpretsasrepliestoAristotle’scriticismsadmitofmorethanonealternativeexplanation.TheymayhaveoriginatedindoubtsanddifficultieswhichspontaneouslysuggestedthemselvestoPlatointhecourseofhisindependentreflections;or,grantingthatthereisapolemicreference,itmayhavebeenprovokedbysomeothercritic,orbythespokencriticismsofAristotlehimself.ForthesuppositionthatAristotlewrotehisEthicsattheearlyageofthirty-twoorthirty-threeseemstomesoimprobablethatweshouldnotacceptitexceptunderpressureofthestrongestevidence.Thataworkofsuchmaturedthoughtandobservationshouldhavebeenproducedbysoyoungamanis,sofarasIknow,aphenomenonunparalleledinthexxiihistoryofliterature.AndtothiswemustaddthefurthercircumstancethattheGreekmindwasnotparticularlyremarkableforprecocityinanyfieldexceptwarandstatesmanship.Wedo,indeed,findinstancesofcomparativelyjuvenileauthorship,butnone,Ibelieve,ofaGreekwriter,whetherpoet,historian,orphilosopher,whoreachedthefullmaturityofhispowersbeforeaconsiderablyadvancedperiodofmiddleage.ThattheEthicsisveryimperfectIfullyadmit,andhaveexpresslymaintainedagainstitsnumerousadmirersinthecourseofthiswork.But,althoughimperfect,itisnotcrude.ItcontainsasgoodadiscussionofthesubjectundertakenasAristotlewasevercapableofgiving,anditslimitationsarenotthoseofanunripeintellect,butofanintellectatalltimescomparativelyunsuitedforthetreatmentofpracticalproblems,andnarrowedstillfurtherbytherequirementsofanelaboratespeculativesystem.NowtoworkoutthissystemmusthavedemandedconsiderablymorelabourandindependentthoughtthanonecansupposeevenanAristotletohavefoundtimeforbeforethirty-three;whiletheexperienceoflifeshownintheEthicsissuchasstudy,sofarfromsupplying,would,onthecontrary,havedelayed.Moreover,theRhetoric,whichwasconfessedlywrittenbeforetheEthics,exhibitsthesamequalitiesinaboutanequaldegree,andtherefore,onTeichmüller’stheory,testifiestoastillmoreextraordinaryprecocity.AndthereisthefurthercircumstancethatwhileAristotleisknowntohavebegunhispubliccareerasateacherofrhetoric,hisearliestproductionsseemtohavebeenofaratherdiffuseanddeclamatorycharacter,quiteopposedtothesevereconcisionwhichmarksthestylebothoftheRhetoricandoftheEthics.Inadditiontothesegeneralconsiderations,onemaymentionthatinaxxiiiwell-knownpassageoftheEthics,referringtoaquestionoflogicalmethod(I.,iv.),Platoisspokenofintheimperfecttense,whichwouldseemtoimplythathewasnolongerlivingwhenitwaswritten.Speakingfrommemory,IshouldevenbeinclinedtodoubtwhetherthementionofalivingwriterbynameatallisconsistentwithAristotle’sstandardofliteraryetiquette.

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