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dbaidunews · 发布时间: 2020-10-21 12:21:20

《分分快三属于自营彩种》Apart, however, from abstract speculation, the ideal156 method seems to have exercised an immediate and powerful influence on Art, an influence which was anticipated by Socrates himself. In two conversations reported by Xenophon,102 he impresses on Parrhasius, the painter, and Cleito, the sculptor, the importance of so animating the faces and figures which they represented as to make them express human feelings, energies, and dispositions, particularly those of the most interesting and elevated type. And such, in fact, was the direction followed by imitative art after Pheidias, though not without degenerating into a sensationalism which Socrates would have severely condemned. Another and still more remarkable proof of the influence exercised on plastic representation by ideal philosophy was, perhaps, not foreseen by its founder. We allude to the substitution of abstract and generic for historical subjects by Greek sculpture in its later stages, and not by sculpture only, but by dramatic poetry as well. For early art, whether it addressed itself to the eye or to the imagination, and whether its subjects were taken from history or from fiction, had always been historical in this sense, that it exhibited the performance of particular actions by particular persons in a given place and at a given time; the mode of presentment most natural to those whose ideas are mainly determined by contiguous association. The schools which came after Socrates let fall the limitations of concrete reality, and found the unifying principle of their works in association by resemblance, making their figures the personification of a single attribute or group of attributes, and bringing together forms distinguished by the community of their characteristics or the convergence of their functions. Thus Aphroditê no longer figured as the lover of Arês or Anchisês, but as the personification of female beauty; while her statues were grouped together with images of the still more transparent abstractions, Love, Longing, and Desire. Similarly Apollo became a personification of musical enthusiasm, and Dionysus157 of Bacchic inspiration. So also dramatic art, once completely historical, even with Aristophanes, now chose for its subjects such constantly-recurring types as the ardent lover, the stern father, the artful slave, the boastful soldier, and the fawning parasite.103The distinctive features of Epicureanism have, in truth, never been copied, nor are they ever likely to be copied, by any modern system. It arose, as we have seen, from a combination of circumstances which will hardly be repeated in the future history of thought. As the heat and pressure of molten granite turn sandstone into slate, so also the mighty systems of Plato and Aristotle, coming into contact with the irreligious, sensual, empirical, and sceptical side of Attic thought, forced it to assume that sort of laminated texture which characterises the theoretical philosophy of Epicurus. And, at the very same moment, the disappearance of all patriotism and public spirit from Athenian life allowed the older elements of Athenian character, its amiable egoism, its love of frugal gratifications, its aversion from purely speculative interests, to create a new and looser bond of social union among those who were indifferent to the vulgar objects of ambition, but whom the austerer doctrines of Stoicism had failed to attract.

The glowing enthusiasm of Plato is, however, not entirely derived from the poetic traditions of his native city; or perhaps we should rather say that he and the great writers who preceded him drew from a common fount of inspiration. Mr. Emerson, in one of the most penetrating criticisms ever written on our philosopher,129 has pointed out the existence of two distinct elements in the Platonic Dialogues—one dispersive, practical, prosaic; the other mystical, absorbing, centripetal. The American scholar is, however, as we think, quite mistaken when he attributes the second of these tendencies to Asiatic influence. It is extremely doubtful whether Plato ever travelled farther east than Egypt; it is probable that his stay in that country was not of long duration; and it is certain that he did not acquire a single metaphysical idea from its inhabitants. He liked their rigid conservatism; he liked their institution of a dominant priesthood; he liked their system of popular education, and the place which it gave to mathematics made him look with shame on the ‘swinish ignorance’ of his own countrymen in that respect;130 but on the whole he classes them among the races exclusively devoted to money-making, and in aptitude for philosophy he places them far below the Greeks. Very different were the impressions brought home from his visits to Sicily and204 Southern Italy. There he became acquainted with modes of thought in which the search after hidden resemblances and analogies was a predominant passion; there the existence of a central unity underlying all phenomena was maintained, as against sense and common opinion, with the intensity of a religious creed; there alone speculation was clothed in poetic language; there first had an attempt been made to carry thought into life by associating it with a reform of manners and beliefs. There, too, the arts of dance and song had assumed a more orderly and solemn aspect; the chorus received its final constitution from a Sicilian master; and the loftiest strains of Greek lyric poetry were composed for recitation in the streets of Sicilian cities or at the courts of Sicilian kings. Then, with the rise of rhetoric, Greek prose was elaborated by Sicilian teachers into a sort of rhythmical composition, combining rich imagery with studied harmonies and contrasts of sense and sound. And as the hold of Asiatic civilisation on eastern Hellas grew weaker, the attention of her foremost spirits was more and more attracted to this new region of wonder and romance. The stream of colonisation set thither in a steady flow; the scenes of mythical adventure were rediscovered in Western waters; and it was imagined that, by grasping the resources of Sicily, an empire extending over the whole Mediterranean might be won. Perhaps, without being too fanciful, we may trace a likeness between the daring schemes of Alcibiades and the more remote but not more visionary kingdom suggested by an analogous inspiration to the idealising soul of Plato. Each had learned to practise, although for far different purposes, the royal art of Socrates—the mastery over men’s minds acquired by a close study of their interests, passions, and beliefs. But the ambition of the one defeated his own aim, to the destruction of his country and of himself; while the other drew into Athenian thought whatever of Western force and fervour was needed for the accomplishment of its205 imperial task. We may say of Plato what he has said of his own Theaetêtus, that ‘he moves surely and smoothly and successfully in the path of knowledge and inquiry; always making progress like the noiseless flow of a river of oil’;131 but everywhere beside or beneath that placid lubricating flow we may trace the action of another current, where still sparkles, fresh and clear as at first, the fiery Sicilian wine.

The other great ethical method of the eighteenth century, its hedonism, was closely connected with the sceptical movement in speculative philosophy, and, like that, received an entirely new significance by becoming associated with the idea of law. Those who isolate man from the universe are necessarily led to seek in his interests as such the sole regulator of his actions, and their sole sanction in the opinion of his fellows. Protagoras went already so far, notwithstanding his unwillingness to recognise pleasure as the supreme end; and in the system of his true successor, Aristippus, the most extreme hedonism goes hand in hand with the most extreme idealism; while with Epicurus, again, both are tempered by the influence of naturalism, imposing on him its conceptions of objective law alike in science and in practice. Still his system leaned heavily to the side of self-gratification pure and simple; and it was reserved for modern thought to establish a complete equilibrium between the two competing tendencies of Greek ethics. This has been effected in Utilitarianism; and those critics are entirely mistaken who, like M. Guyau, regard that system as a mere reproduction of Epicureanism. It might with full as much reason be called a modern version of Stoicism. The idea of humanity is essentially Stoic; to work for the good of humanity was a424 Stoic precept; and to sacrifice one’s own pleasure for that higher good is a virtue which would have satisfied the most rigorous demands of a Cleanthes, an Epictêtus, or an Aurelius.VIII.

In the opening chapter of this work we endeavoured to explain how the Pythagorean philosophy arose out of the intoxicated delight inspired by a first acquaintance with the manifold properties of number and figure. If we would enter into the spirit of Platonism, we must similarly throw ourselves back into the time when the idea of a universal classification first dawned on men’s minds. We must remember how it gratified the Greek love of order combined with individuality; what unbounded opportunities for asking and answering questions it supplied; and what promises of practical regeneration it held out. Not without a shade of sadness for so many baffled efforts and so many blighted hopes, yet also with a grateful recollection of all that reason has accomplished, and with something of his own high intellectual enthusiasm, shall we listen to Plato’s prophetic words—words of deeper import than their own author knew—‘If I find any man who is able to see a One and Many in Nature, him I follow and walk in his steps as if he were a god.’137

301

Meanwhile the scepticism of Protagoras had not been entirely absorbed into the systems of his rivals, but continued to exist as an independent tradition, or in association with a simpler philosophy. The famous school of Megara, about which, unfortunately, we have received very little direct136 information, was nominally a development of the Socratic teaching on its logical side, as the Cynic and Cyrenaic schools were on its ethical side, but like them also, it seems to have a more real connexion with the great impulse previously given to speculation by the Sophists. At any rate, we chiefly hear of the Megarians as having denied the possibility of definition, to which Socrates attached so much importance, and as framing questions not susceptible of a categorical answer,—an evident satire on the Socratic method of eliciting the truth by cross-examination.224 What they really derived from Socrates seems to have been his mental concentration and independence of external circumstances. Here they closely resembled the Cynics, as also in their contempt for formal logic; but while Antisthenes found a sanction for his indifference and impassivity in the order of nature, their chief representative, Stilpo, achieved the same result by pushing the sceptical principle to consequences from which even the Cyrenaics would have shrunk. Denying the possibility of attaching a predicate to a subject, he seems, in like manner, to have isolated the mind from what are called its affections, or, at least, to have made this isolation his ideal of the good. Even the Stoics did not go to such a length; and Seneca distinguishes himself from the followers of Stilpo by saying, ‘Our sage feels trouble while he overcomes it, whereas theirs does not feel it at all.’225

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