In 1872 he was elected master of conferences at the Ecole Normale, and was made doctor of philosophy in recognition of his two treatises, Platonis Hippias Minor sive Socratica contra liberum arbitrium argumenta and La Liberte et le determinisme.
This national disaster opened the eyes of many Polish patriots to the necessity of changing radically the old order of things, and an attempt was made by them to remove some of the more glaring absurdities of the existing constitution: the throne was declared to be hereditary, the liberum veto by which any petty noble could annul the most important decision of the national assembly was abolished, the royal authority was greatly strengthened, and the towns were empowered to send deputies to the Diet (1791).
She waited, however, until a deputation of the malcontents, who regretted the loss of liberum veto and who were afraid that the party of reform might undertake the emancipation of the serfs, came to St Petersburg and asked for support in defence of the ancient liberties.
Such an absolute continuity is sometimes assumed without warrant; but Descartes already recognized that the world was no continuous process, " Tria mirabilia fecit Dominus; res ex nihilo, liberum arbitrium et hominem Deum."
MARE CLAUSUM and Mare Liberum (Lat.
But the flighty and ignorant szlachta not only were incapable of any sustained political action, but they themselves unconsciously played into the hands of the enemies of their country by making the so-called liberum veto an integral part of the Polish constitution.
The liberum veto was based on the assumption of the absolute political equality of every Polish gentleman, with the inevitable corollary that every measure introduced into the Polish diet must be adopted unanimously.
The liberum veto seems to have been originally devised to cut short interminable debates in times of acute crisis, but it was generally used either by highly placed criminals, anxious to avoid an inquiry into their misdeeds,' or by malcontents, desirous of embarrassing the executive.
The origin of the liberum veto is obscure, but it was first employed by the deputy Wiadislaus Sicinski, who dissolved the diet of 1652 by means of it, and before the end of the 17th century it was used so frequently and recklessly that all business was frequently brought to a standstill.
Thus wealth, position, court influence and ability combined gave the Czartoryscy a commanding position in Poland, and, to their honour be it said, they had determined from the first to save the Republic, whose impending ruin in existing circumstances they clearly foresaw, by a radical constitutional reconstruction which was to include the abolition of the liberum veto and the formation of a standing army.
First they attempted to abolish the liberum veto with the assistance of the Saxon court where they were supreme, but fear of foreign complications and the opposition of the Potoccy prevented anything being done.
The sejm of 1766 not only rejected the dissident bill, but repealed all the Czartoryscian reforms and insisted on the retention of the liberum veto as the foundation of the national liberties.
The liberum veto and all the other ancient abuses were now declared unalterable parts of the Polish constitution, which was placed under the guarantee of Russia.
The most mischievous of the ancient abuses, the elective monarchy and the liberum veto, were of course retained.
The liberum veto and all the intricate and obstructive machinery of the anomalous old system were for ever abolished.
Dr Joseph Casimir Plebanski, besides editing the Biblioteka warszawska, a very valuable literary journal which stands at the head of all works of the kind in Poland, has also written a dissertation (in Latin) on the liberum veto, which puts that institution in a new light.
A short treatise which was printed in 1609, Grotius says without his permission, under the title of Mare liberum, is nothing more than a chapter - the 12th - of the De jure praedae.
Moreover the classics bear evidence to the sanctity with which sentiment surrounded the last kiss; Cicero, in his speech against Verres, saying "iliatres ab extremo complexu liberum exclusae: quae nihil aliud orabant nisi ut filiorum extremum spiritism ore excipere sibi liceret."
It is the extreme antithesis of Indeterminism or Indifferentism, the doctrine that a man is absolutely free to choose between alternative courses (the liberum arbitrium indiferentiae).
It has been held in various forms. In its extreme form it maintains that the individual is absolutely free to chose this or that action indifferently (the liberum arbitrium indifferentiae), but most libertarians admit that acquired tendencies, environment and the like, exercise control in a greater or less degree.
An example of this theory is the doctrine of the liberum arbitrium indifferentiae ("liberty of indifference"), according to which the choice of two or more alternative possibilities is affected neither by contemporaneous data of an ethical or prudential kind nor by crystallized habit (character).
Hoc enim adjicitur, ut intelligatur alterum populum superiorem esse: non ut intelligatur alterum non esse liberum " (Marquardt, Romische Staatsverwaltung, 2nd ed., vol.