History of Modern Philosophy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 841 pages of information about History of Modern Philosophy.
in which two different factors are included:  Always do that toward which thou findest thyself inwardly moved, and that to which thou findest thyself required from without.  Instead of following further the wearisome schematism of Schleiermacher’s ethics, we may notice, finally, a fundamental thought which our philosopher also discussed by itself:  The sharp contraposition of natural and moral law, advocated by Kant, is unjustifiable; the moral law is itself a law of nature, viz., of rational will.  It is true neither that the moral law is a mere “ought” nor that the law of nature is a mere “being,” a universally followed “must.”  For, on the one hand, ethics has to do with the law which human action really follows, and, on the other, there are violations of rule in nature also.  Immorality, the imperfect mastery of the sensuous impulses by rational will, has an analogue in the abnormalities—­deformities and diseases—­in nature, which show that here also the higher (organic) principles are not completely successful in controlling the lower processes.  The higher law everywhere suffers disturbances, from the resistance of the lower forces, which cannot be entirely conquered.  It is Schleiermacher’s determinism which leads him, in view of the parallelism of the two legislations, to overlook their essential distinction.

Adherents of Schleiermacher are Vorlaender (died 1867), George (died 1874), the theologian, Richard Rothe (died 1867; cf.  Nippold, 1873 seq.), and the historians of philosophy, Brandis (died 1867) and H. Ritter (died 1869).[1]

[Footnote 1:  W. Dilthey (born 1834), the successor of Lotze in Berlin, is publishing a life of Schleiermacher (vol. i. 1867-70).  Cf. also Dilthey’s briefer account in the Allgemeine deutsche Biographie, and Haym’s Romantische Schule, 1870.  Further, Aus Schleiermachers Leben, in Briefen, 4 vols., 1858-63.]



Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was born at Stuttgart on August 27, 1770.  He attended the gymnasium of his native city, and, from 1788, the Tuebingen seminary as a student of theology; while in 1793-1800 he resided as a private tutor in Berne and Frankfort-on-the-Main.  In the latter city the plan of his future system was already maturing.  A manuscript outline divides philosophy, following the ancient division, logic, physics, and ethics, into three parts, the first of which (the fundamental science, the doctrine of the categories and of method, combining logic and metaphysics) considers the absolute as pure Idea, while the second considers it as nature, and the third as real (ethical) spirit.  Hegel habilitated in 1801 at Jena, with a Latin dissertation On the Orbits of the Planets, in which, ignorant of the discovery of Ceres, he maintained that on rational grounds—­assuming that the number-series given in Plato’s Timaeus is the true order of nature—­no additional

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History of Modern Philosophy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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