战斗在党和人民最需要的地方——记奋战湖北抗疫一线的人民警察

3z5zG-news 发布时间: 2020-07-10 07:29:46

“【BuF】华人分分彩注册代理”Nothing,asFriedl?nderobserves,showssowellwhatintensecredulityprevailedatthistime,withreferencetophenomenaofamarvellousdescription,asthesuccessobtainedbyacelebratedimpostor,AlexanderofAbonuteichus,whoseadventurouscareermaystillbestudiedinoneofLucian’sliveliestpieces.Hereitwillbeenoughtomention225thatAlexanderwasaclevercharlatanofimposingfigure,winningmanners,andboundlesseffrontery,whoestablishedhimselfinAbonuteichus,asmalltowninPaphlagonia,onthesouthernshoreoftheBlackSea,wherehemadeatradeofgivingoraclesinthenameofAsclêpius.Thegodofhealingwasrepresentedfortheoccasionbyalargetameserpentfittedwithahumanheadmadeofpaintedcanvasandworkedbyhorsehairstrings.Sometimestheoracularresponsesweredeliveredbythemouthofthegodhimself.Thiswasmanagedwiththehelpofaconfederatewhospokethroughatubeconnectedwiththefalsehead.Suchdirectcommunicationswere,however,onlygrantedasanexceptionalfavourandforahighprice.Inmostinstancestheanswerwasgiveninwriting,andthefeechargedforitonlyamountedtoashillingofourmoney.AlexanderhadoriginallyfixedonAbonuteichus,whichwashisnativeplaceandthereforewellknowntohim,astheseatofhisoperations,onaccountoftheextraordinarysuperstitionofitsinhabitants;butthepeopleoftheadjacentprovincessoonshowedthemselvestobenowisebehindhisfellow-townsmenintheircredulity.ThefameoftheneworaclespreadoverallAsiaMinorandThrace;andvisitorsthrongedtoitinsuchnumbersassometimestoproduceascarcityofprovisions.Theprophet’sgrossreceiptsrosetoanaverageof3,000l.ayear,andtheofficeofinterpretinghismoreambiguousresponsesbecamesolucrativethatthetwoexegêtesemployedforthispurposepaideachatalentayear(240l.)fortheprivilegeofexercisingit.

ToexplainhowtheNouscouldbeidenticalwithanumberofdistinctideaswasadifficultproblem.WeshallhavetoshowatamoreadvancedstageofourexpositionhowPlotinusendeavouredtosolveitwiththehelpofPlato’sSophist.Intheessaywherehistheoryisfirstputforward,hecutstheknotbyassertingthateachideavirtuallycontainseveryother,whileeachinitsactualandseparateexistenceis,sotospeak,anindependentNous.Butcorrelationisnotidentity;andtosaythateachideathinksitselfisnottoexplainhowthesamesubjectcanthink,andinthinkingbeidenticalwithall.Thepersonalidentityofthethinkingsubjectstillstandsinunreconciledoppositiontothemultitudeofthoughtswhichitentertains,whethersuccessivelyorinasingleintuition.Oftwothingsone:eithertheunityoftheNousorthediversityofitsideasmustbesacrificed.Plotinusevadesthealternativebyakindofthree-cardtrick.Sometimeshisidealunityistobefoundunderthenotionofconvergencetoacommoncentre,sometimesunderthenotionofparticipationinacommonproperty,sometimesunderthenotionofmutualequivalence.Thestyleofpolemicsadoptedonthisoccasion,whateverelsemaybeitsvalue,willserveexcellentlytoillustratethegeneraldialecticmethodofattack.WhenPlatoparticularlydislikedaclassofpersons,oraninstitution,oranart,oratheory,orastateofconsciousness,hetriedtoprovethatitwasconfused,unstable,andself-contradictory;besidestakingfulladvantageofanydiscreditpopularlyattachedtoit.Alltheseobjectionsarebroughttobearwithfullforceagainstpleasure.Somepleasuresaredelusive,sincetherealityofthemfallsfarshortoftheanticipation;allpleasureisessentiallytransitory,aperpetualbecoming,neverafixedstate,andthereforenotanendofaction;pleasureswhichensueonthesatisfactionofdesiresarenecessarilyaccompaniedbypainsanddisappearsimultaneouslywiththem;themostintense,andforthatreasonthemosttypical,pleasures,areassociatedwithfeelingsofshame,andtheirenjoymentiscarefullyhiddenoutofsight.

III.Withregardtoethics,thereis,ofcourse,agreatdifferencebetweentheinnovating,creativegeniusoftheGreekandthereceptivebuttimidintelligenceoftheRoman.Yettheuncertaintywhich,intheonecase,wasduetotheabsenceofanyfixedsystem,isequallypresentintheother,owingtotheembarrassmentofhavingsomanysystemsamongwhichtochoose.ThreeethicalmotiveswereconstantlypresenttothethoughtsofSocrates:theutilityofvirtue,fromamaterialpointofview,totheindividual;itssocialnecessity;anditsconnexionwiththedualconstitutionofmanasabeingcomposedoftwoelementswhereoftheoneisinfinitelysuperiortotheother;butheneverwasable,orneverattemptedtoco-ordinatethemunderasingleprinciple.Hissuccessorstriedtodiscoversuchaprincipleintheideaofnaturallaw,butcouldneitherestablishnorapplyitinasatisfactorymanner.CiceroreproducestheSocraticelements,sometimesintheiroriginaldispersionandconfusion,sometimeswiththeadditionalcomplicationandperplexityintroducedbytheideathroughwhichithadbeenhopedtosystematiseandreconcilethem.Tohim,indeed,thatideawasevenmoreimportantthantotheGreekmoralists;forhelookedonNatureasthecommongroundwherephilosophyanduntrainedexperiencemightmeetformutualconfirmationandsupport.274Wehaveseenhowheadoptedthetheory—asyetnotveryclearlyformulated—ofamoralsense,orgeneralfacultyofintuition,fromPhilo.Tostudyandobeythedictatesofthisfaculty,asdistinguishedfromthedepravinginfluenceofcustom,washismethodofarrivingattruthandright.Butif,whenproperlyconsulted,italwaysgavethesameresponse,asimilarunanimitymightbeexpectedinthedoctrinesofthevariousphilosophicalschools;andtheadhesionofAcademicians,Peripatetics,andStoicstotheprecept,FollowNature,seemedtodemonstratethatsuchanagreementactuallyexisted.HenceCicerooverandoveragainlabourstoprove173thattheirdisputesweremerelyverbal,andthatStoicisminparticularhadborroweditsethicswholesalefromhisownfavouritesect.Yetfromtimetotimetheirdiscrepancieswouldforcethemselvesonhisnotice;andbynonehavethedifferencesseparatingStoicismfromitsrivalsbeenstatedwithmoreclearness,concision,andpoint.275Theserelatetotheabsoluteself-sufficingnessofvirtue,itsunity,andtheincompatibilityofemotionwithitsexercise.ButCiceroseemstohaveregardedthetheoryofpreferenceandrejectionasaconcessiontocommonsenseamountingtoasurrenderofwhateverwasparodoxicalandexclusiveintheStoicstandpoint.276Andwithrespecttothequestionroundwhichcontroversyragedmostfiercely,namely,whethervirtuewasthesoleormerelythechiefconditionofhappiness,Cicero,asamanoftheworld,consideredthatitwaspracticallyofnoconsequencewhichsideprevailed.277Itwouldbeunfairtoblamehimfornotseeing,whatthestricterschoolfeltratherthansaw,thatthehappinessassociatedwithgoodnesswasnotofanindividualbutofasocialcharacter,andthereforecouldnotproperlybecomparedwithobjectsofpurelyindividualdesire,suchashealth,wealth,friends,andworldlyfame.

SoalsowithAristotle.Asanaturalist,heis,indeed,purelyobjective;butwhenheoffersageneralexplanationoftheworld,thesubjectiveelementintroducedbyProtagorasandSocratesatoncereappears.Simpleabsoluteself-consciousnessisforhimthehighestgood,theanimatingprincipleofNature,themostcompletereality,andtheonlyonethatwouldremain,weretheelementofnonentitytodisappearfromthisworld.Theuttermisconceptionofdynamicphenomenawhichmarkshisphysicsandastronomycanonlybeaccountedforbyhisdesiretogivelifethepriorityovermechanicalmotion,andreasonthepriorityoverlife.ThushismetaphysicalmethodisessentiallyidenticalwiththeintrospectivemethodrecommendedbyPlotinus,and,iffullyworkedout,mighthaveledtothesameresults.

AtthesametimeLucretiusisresolvedthatnofalseanalogyshallobscurethedistinctionbetweenlifeandtheconditionsoflife.Itisforattempting,ashesupposes,toeffacethisdistinctionthathesosharplycriticisestheearlierGreekthinkers.HescoffsatHeracleitusforimaginingthatallformsofexistencecanbededucedfromthesingleelementoffire.Theideaofevolutionandtransformationseems,undersomeofitsaspects,utterlyalientoourpoet.HisintimacywiththeworldoflivingformshadaccustomedhimtoviewNatureasavastassemblageoffixedtypeswhichmightbebrokenupandreconstructed,butwhichbynopossibilitycouldpassintooneanother.Yetthisrigidretentionofcharacteristicdifferencesinformpermitsacertainplayandvarietyofmovement,anindividualspontaneityforwhichnolawcanbeprescribed.ThefoederaNaturai,asProf.Sellaraptlyobserves,areopposedtothefoederafati.206And109thisisjustwhatmightbeexpectedfromaphilosophybasedonthecontemplationoflife.For,whilethereisnocapriciousnessatallaboutthestructureofanimals,thereisapparentlyagreatdealofcapriciousnessabouttheiractions.Ontheotherhand,theStoics,whoderivedtheirphysicsingreatpartfromHeracleitus,camenearerthanLucretiustothestandpointofmodernscience.Withthem,aswiththemostadvancedthinkersnow,itisthefoederaNaturai—theuniformitiesofco-existence—whichareliabletoexceptionandmodification,whilethefoederafati—thelawsofcausation—arenecessaryandabsolute.42

409

In347Platodied,leavinghisnephewSpeusippustosucceedhimintheheadshipoftheAcademy.AristotlethenleftAthens,accompaniedbyanotherPlatonist,Xenocrates,acircumstancetendingtoprovethathisrelationswiththeschoolcontinuedtobeofacordialcharacter.ThetwosettledinAtarneus,attheinvitationofitstyrantHermeias,anoldfellow-studentfromtheAcademy.Hermeiaswasaeunuchwhohadrisenfromthepositionofaslavetothatofvizier,andthen,afterhismaster’sdeath,tothepossessionofsupremepower.Threeyearssubsequentlyastillmoreabruptturnoffortunebroughthisadventurouscareertoaclose.LikePolycrates,hewastreacherouslyseizedandcrucifiedbyorderofthePersianGovernment.Aristotle,whohadmarriedPythias,hisdeceasedpatron’sniece,fledwithhertoMitylênê.Alwaysgrateful,andsingularlyenthusiasticinhisattachments,hecelebratedthememoryofHermeiasinamannerwhichgavegreatoffencetothereligioussentimentofHellas,bydedicatingastatuetohimatDelphi,andcomposinganelegy,stillextant,inwhichhecomparestheeunuch-despottoHeracles,theDioscuri,Achilles,andAjax;andpromiseshimimmortalityfromtheMusesinhonourofXenianZeus.

ThesubstantialformsofAristotle,combiningastheydothenotionofadefinitionwiththatofamovingcauseandafulfilledpurpose,areevidentlyderivedfromthePlatonicIdeas;areflectionwhichatonceleadsustoconsidertherelationinwhichhestandstothespiritualismofPlatoandtothemathematicalidealismoftheNeo-Pythagoreans.Heagreeswiththeminthinkingthatgeneralconceptionsarethesoleobjectofknowledge—thesoleenduringrealityinaworldofchange.Hediffersfromtheminmaintainingthatsuchconceptionshavenoexistenceapartfromtheparticularsinwhichtheyreside.IthasbeenquestionedwhetherAristotleeverreallyunderstoodhismaster’steachingonthesubject.Amongrecentcritics,M.BarthélemySaint-Hilaireasserts,336withconsiderablevehemence,thathedidnot.ItiscertainthatinsomerespectsAristotleisnotjusttothePlatonictheory,thatheexaggeratesitsabsurdities,ignoresitsdevelopments,andoccasionallybringschargesagainstitwhichmightberetortedwithatleastequaleffectagainsthisownphilosophy.Butonthemostimportantpointofall,whetherPlatodidordidnotascribeaseparateexistencetohisIdeas,wecouldhardlybelieveadiscipleoftwentyyears’standing229tobemistaken,evenifthemasterhadnotleftonrecordadecisivetestimonytotheaffirmativesideinhisParmenides,andonescarcelylessdecisiveinhisTimaeus.230Andsofarasthecontroversyreducesitselftothisparticularissue,Aristotleisentirelyright.Hismostpowerfulargumentsarenot,indeed,original,havingbeenanticipatedbyPlatohimself;butastheywereleftunansweredhehadaperfectrighttorepeatthem,andhisdialecticalskillwasgreatenoughtomakehimindependentoftheirsupport.Theextrememinutenessofhiscriticismiswearisometous,whocanhardlyconceivehowanotheropinioncouldeverhavebeenheld.YetsuchwasthefascinationexercisedbyPlato’sidealism,thatnotonlywasitupheldwithconsiderableacrimonybyhisimmediatefollowers,231butunderoneformoranotherithasbeenrevivedoverandoveragain,inthelongperiodwhichhaselapsedsinceitsfirstpromulgation,andoneveryoneoftheseoccasionstheargumentsofAristotlehavebeenraisedupagaintomeetit,eachtimewithtriumphantsuccess.Ockham’srazor,Entianonsuntsinenecessitatemultiplicanda,isborrowedfromtheMetaphysics;Locke’sprincipalobjectiontoinnateideascloselyresemblesthesarcasticobservationin337thelastchapterofthePosteriorAnalytics,that,accordingtoPlato’stheory,wemusthavesomeverywonderfulknowledgeofwhichwearenotconscious.232AndtheweaponswithwhichTrendelenburgandothershavewagedwaronHegelareavowedlydrawnfromtheAristotelianarsenal.233

ToexplainhowtheNouscouldbeidenticalwithanumberofdistinctideaswasadifficultproblem.WeshallhavetoshowatamoreadvancedstageofourexpositionhowPlotinusendeavouredtosolveitwiththehelpofPlato’sSophist.Intheessaywherehistheoryisfirstputforward,hecutstheknotbyassertingthateachideavirtuallycontainseveryother,whileeachinitsactualandseparateexistenceis,sotospeak,anindependentNous.Butcorrelationisnotidentity;andtosaythateachideathinksitselfisnottoexplainhowthesamesubjectcanthink,andinthinkingbeidenticalwithall.Thepersonalidentityofthethinkingsubjectstillstandsinunreconciledoppositiontothemultitudeofthoughtswhichitentertains,whethersuccessivelyorinasingleintuition.Oftwothingsone:eithertheunityoftheNousorthediversityofitsideasmustbesacrificed.Plotinusevadesthealternativebyakindofthree-cardtrick.Sometimeshisidealunityistobefoundunderthenotionofconvergencetoacommoncentre,sometimesunderthenotionofparticipationinacommonproperty,sometimesunderthenotionofmutualequivalence.

ZenohadmoredelicacyorlessfortitudethanHipparchia;andtheverymeagreintellectualfareprovidedbyCratesmusthavelefthisinquisitivemindunsatisfied.AccordinglywefindhimleavingthisratherdisappointingsubstituteforSocrates,tostudyphilosophyunderStilpotheMegariandialecticianandPolemotheheadoftheAcademy;14whileweknowthathemusthavegonebacktoHeracleitusforthephysicalbasisfromwhichcontemporaryspeculationhadbythistimecutitselfcompletelyfree.Atlength,aboutthebeginningofthethirdcenturyB.C.,Zeno,afterhavingbeenalearnerfortwentyyears,openedaschoolonhisownaccount.Asiftomarkthepracticalbearingofhisdoctrinehechoseoneofthemostfrequentedresortsinthecityforitspromulgation.TherewasatAthensaporticocalledthePoecileStoa,adornedwithfrescoesbyPolygn?tus,thegreatestpainteroftheCimonianperiod.Itwasamongthemonumentsofthatwonderfulcity,atoncewhattheLoggiadeiLanziistoFlorence,andwhatRaphael’sStanzearetoRome;while,likethePlacedelaConcordeinParis,itwasdarkenedbytheterribleassociationsofarevolutionaryepoch.AcenturybeforeZeno’stimefourteenhundredAtheniancitizenshadbeenslaughteredunderitscolonnadesbyorderoftheThirty.‘IwillpurifytheStoa,’saidtheCypriotestranger;15andthefeelingsstillassociatedwiththewordStoicismprovehownoblyhispromisewasfulfilled.

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网友评论

  • 雨花郡主uUF12

    LetitberememberedthatthegodsofwhomPlatoisspeakingarethesun,moon,andstars;thattheatheistswhomhedenouncesonlytaughtwhatwehavelongknowntobetrue,whichisthatthoseluminariesarenomoredivine,nomoreanimated,nomorecapableofacceptingoursacrificesorrespondingtoourcriesthanistheearthonwhichwetread;andthatheattemptstoprovethecontrarybyargumentswhich,eveniftheywerenotinconsistentwithallthatweknowaboutmechanics,wouldstillbeutterlyinadequatetothepurposeforwhichtheyareemployed.

     ThefascinationexercisedbyPlotinuswasnotonlyintellectual,butpersonal.Singularlyaffable,obliging,andpatient,hewasalwaysreadytoanswerthequestionsofhisfriends,evenlayingasidehisworkinordertodiscussthedifficultieswhichtheybroughttohimforsolution.HislecturesweregiveninGreek;andalthoughthisalwaysremainedtohimaforeignlanguage,thepronunciationandgrammarofwhichhenevercompletelymastered,hisexpressionsfrequentlywonadmirationbytheirfelicityandforce;andtheeffectofhiseloquencewasstillfurtherheightenedbytheglowingenthusiasmwhichirradiatedhiswholecountenance,naturallyaverypleasingone,duringthedeliveryofthemoreimpressivepassages.410

  • 雪灵芝ZhmXm

    Afterconsideringbywhatagenciestheseedsofreligiousbeliefwerecarriedfromplacetoplace,wehavetoexamine,whatwasevenmoreimportant,thequalityofthesoilonwhichtheyfell.Andhere,tocontinuethemetaphor,weshallfindthattheRomanploughhadnotonlybrokenthroughthecrustofparticularistprejudice,buthadturnedupnewsocialstrataeminentlyfittedtoreceiveandnourishthegermsscatteredovertheirsurfacebyeverybreezeandeverybirdofpassage,orplantedandwateredbyaspiritualsower’shand.Alongwiththepositivecheckofanestablishedworship,thenegativecheckofdissolvingcriticismhad,toagreatextent,disappearedwiththedestructionoftherégimewhichhadbeenmostfavourabletoitsexerciseduringtheearlystagesofprogress.Theoldcityaristocracieswerenotmerelyopposedonpatrioticgroundstofree-tradeinreligion,but,asthemosteducatedandindependentclassinthecommunity,theywerethefirsttoshakeoffsupernaturalbeliefsofeverykind.Wehavegrownsoaccustomedtoseeingthosebeliefsupheldbythepartisansofpoliticalprivilegeandattackedinthenameofdemocraticprinciples,thatweareapttoforgethowverymodernistheassociationoffree-thoughtwiththesupremacyofnumbers.ItonlydatesfromtheFrenchRevolution,andevennowitisfarfromobtainingeverywhere.Athenswasthemostperfectlyorganiseddemocracyofantiquity,andinthecourseofthisworkwehaverepeatedlyhadoccasiontoobservehowstrongwasthespiritofreligiousbigotryamongtheAthenianpeople.Ifwewantrationalisticopinionswemustgotothegreatnoblesandtheirfriends,toaPericles,aCritias,oraProtagoras.Theremustalsohavebeenperfectintellectuallibertyamong205theRomannobleswhotookupHellenicculturewithsucheagernesstowardsthemiddleofthesecondcenturyB.C.,andamongthosewho,atalaterperiod,listenedwithequanimityorapprovaltoCaesar’sprofessionofEpicureanisminacrowdedsenatorialdebate.ItwasasmuchinorderthattheDeRerumNaturashouldhavebeenwrittenbyamemberofthisclassasthattheAeneidshouldproceedfromthepenofamodestprovincialfarmer.Inpositiveknowledge,VirgilgreatlyexcelledLucretius,buthisbeliefswereinevitablydeterminedbythetraditionsofhisignorantneighbours.Whencivilwar,proscription,delation,and,perhapsmorethananyothercause,theirowndeliriousextravagance,hadwroughttheruinoftheRomanaristocracy,theirplacesweretakenbyrespectableprovincialswhobroughtwiththemtheconvictionswithoutthegeniusoftheMantuanpoet;andthenceforwardthetideofreligiousreactionneverceasedrisinguntiltheCrusades,whichwereitssupremeexpression,unexpectedlybroughtaboutafirstrevivalofHellenicculture.Onthatoccasion,also,thefirstsymptomsofrevoltmanifestedthemselvesamongthenobles;takingtheformofGnosticisminthebrilliantcourtsofLanguedoc,and,atalaterperiod,ofEpicureanismintheGhibellinecirclesofFlorentinesociety;while,conversely,whentheCiompiorpoorerartisansofFlorenceroseinrevoltagainsttherichtraders,oneofthefirstdemandsmadebythesuccessfulinsurgentswas,thatapreachingfriarshouldbesenttogivethemreligiousinstruction.Atastilllaterperiod,thesameoppositionofintellectualinterestscontinuestobedefinedbythesamesocialdivisions.Twodistinctcurrentsofthoughtco-operatedtobringabouttheProtestantReformation.One,whichwasreligiousandreactionary,proceededfromthepeople.Theother,whichwassecularising,scholarly,andscientific,representedthetendenciesoftheupperclassesandofthosewholookedtothemforencouragementandsupport.Throughoutthesixteenthandseventeenthcenturies,manynoblenamesaretobefound206amongthechampionsofreason;andwhilespeculativelibertyisassociatedwiththeascendencyofthearistocraticparty,superstitionandintoleranceareassociatedwiththetriumphofthepeople,whetherundertheformofademocracyorofalevellingdespotism.So,also,thegreatemancipatingmovementoftheeighteenthcenturywasfosteredbythedescendantsoftheCrusaders,and,untilaftertheRevolution,metwithnoresponseamongthebourgeoisieorthepeople;indeedthereactioninfavourofsupernaturalismwasbegunbyachildofthepeople,Rousseau.Allthis,aswehavealreadyobserved,hasbeenreversedinmorerecenttimes;butthefactsquotedareenoughtoprovehownaturalitwasthatintheancientworlddecayofclassprivilegesshouldbeequivalenttoastrengtheningoftheinfluenceswhichmadeforsupernaturalismandagainstenlightenedcriticism.

  • 如萱紫儿X2qf9

  • 但法国iOGdt

     

  • 大笨蛋glxwZ

    v

  • 扒皮成iOYOV

    Anunrighteousgain.

     ModernagnosticismoccupiesthesamepositionwithregardtothepresentfoundationandpossiblefutureextensionofhumanknowledgeaswasoccupiedbytheancientScepticswithregardtothepossibilityofallknowledge.Itsconclusionsalsoarebasedonaveryinsufficientexperienceofwhatcanbeeffectedbyexperience,andonananalysisofcognitionlargelyadoptedfromthesystemwhichitseekstooverthrow.LikeScepticismalso,whenlogicallythoughtout,ittendstoissueinaself-contradiction,atonetimeaffirmingtheconsciousnessofwhatis,bydefinition,beyondconsciousness;andatanothertimedogmaticallydeterminingthepointsonwhichwemustremainforeverignorant.Itmaybethatsomeproblems,asstatedbymodernthinkers,areinsoluble;butperhapswemayfindourwayourofthembytransformingthequestiontobesolved.

  • 草莓果TWmMD

    Werethevinesrankedandtrimmedwithpruning-knives,

     

  • 绿卡纸TRMfD

    Invindicatinghumanfreedom,Plotinushadtoencounteradifficultyexceedinglycharacteristicofhisage.Thiswastheastrologicalsuperstitionthateverythingdependedonthestars,andthatthefuturefateofeverypersonmightbepredictedbyobservingtheirmovementsandconfigurationsatthetimeofhisbirth.Philosophersfounditmucheasiertodemolishthepretensionsofastrologybyanabstractdemonstrationoftheirabsurdity,thantogetridofthesupposedfactswhichwerecurrentlyquotedintheirfavour.Thatfortunescouldbeforetoldonthestrengthofastronomicalcalculationswithasmuchcertaintyaseclipses,seemstohavebeenanacceptedarticleofbeliefinthetimeofPlotinus,andonewhichhedoesnotventuretodispute.Heisthereforeobligedtosatisfyhimselfwithmaintainingthatthestarsdonotcause,butmerelyforeshowthefuture,inthesamemannerastheflightofbirds,tothepropheticvirtueofwhich299healsoattachesimplicitcredence.AllpartsofNatureareconnectedbysuchanintimatesympathy,thateachservesasacluetotherest;and,onthisprinciple,thestarsmayberegardedasthelettersofascriptureinwhichthesecretsoffuturityarerevealed.443

     Inmodernparlance,thewordscepticismisoftenusedtodenoteabsoluteunbelief.This,however,isamisapplication;124and,properlyspeaking,itshouldbereserved,asitwasbytheGreeks,forthosecasesinwhichbeliefissimplywithheld,orinwhich,asitsetymologyimplies,thementalstateconnotedisadesiretoconsiderofthematterbeforecomingtoadecision.But,ofcourse,thereareoccasionswhen,eitherfromprudenceorpoliteness,absoluterejectionofapropositionisveiledundertheappearanceofsimpleindecisionorofademandforfurtherevidence;andatatimewhentobelieveincertaintheologicaldogmaswaseitherdangerousordiscreditable,thenamescepticmayhavebeenacceptedonallhandsasaconvenienteuphemisminspeakingaboutpersonswhodidnotdoubt,butdeniedthemaltogether.Again,takeninitsoriginalsense,thenamescepticisapplicabletotwoentirelydifferent,orratherdiametricallyoppositeclasses.Thetruephilosopherismoreslowtobelievethanothermen,becauseheisbetteracquaintedthantheyarewiththerulesofevidence,andwiththeapparentlystrongclaimsonourbeliefoftenpossessedbypropositionsknowntobefalse.Tothatextent,allphilosophersaresceptics,andarerightlyregardedassuchbythevulgar;althoughtheiracceptanceofmanyconclusionswhichtheunlearnedrejectwithoutexamination,hasthecontraryeffectofgivingthemareputationforextraordinarycredulityoreveninsanity.Andthisleadsustoanotheraspectofscepticism—anaspectunderwhich,sofarfrombeinganelementofphilosophy,itisoneofthemostdangerousenemiesthatphilosophyhastoface.Insteadofregardingthedifficultieswhichbesetthepathofenquiryasawarningagainstprematureconclusions,andastimulustomorecarefulresearch,itispossibletomakethemapretextforabandoningenquiryaltogether.Anditisalsopossibletoregardthedivergentanswersgivenbydifferentthinkerstothesameproblem,notasmaterialsforcomparison,selectionorcombination,norevenasindicationsofthevariousdirectionsinwhichasolutionisnottobesought,butasaproofthat125theproblemaltogetherpassesthepowerofhumanreasontosolve.

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