- (Dr Bridges.) The first and greatest aim of the Positive Philosophy is to advance the study of society into the third of the three stages, - to remove social phenomena from the sphere of theological and metaphysical conceptions, and to introduce among them the same scientific observation of their laws which has given us physics, chemistry, physiology.
Here he " woke up to the interest of moral and metaphysical speculations."
Neither by geometrical, nor physical, nor metaphysical principles had he succeeded in reaching and grasping the infinite and the spiritual, or in elucidating their relation to man and man's organism, though he had caught glimpses of facts and methods which he thought only required confirmation and development.
To endow the universal substance with moral attributes, to maintain that it is more than the metaphysical ground of everything, to say it is the perfect realization of the holy, the beautiful and the good, can only have a meaning for him who feels within himself what real not imaginary values are clothed in those expressions.
The strictures of a critic in the Monthly Review of July 1763 drew from him a pamphlet called Man in Quest of Himself, by Cuthbert Comment (reprinted in Parr's Metaphysical Tracts, 1837), "a defence of the individuality of the human mind or self."
" The metaphysical truths," he says, " styled eternal have been established by God, and, like the rest of his creatures, depend entirely upon him.
It seems impossible to deny that the tendency of his principles and his arguments is mainly in the line of a metaphysical absolute, as the necessary completion and foundation of all being and knowledge.
After all, the metaphysical theology of Descartes, however essential in his own eyes, serves chiefly as the ground for constructing his theory of man and of the universe.
For an account of the metaphysical doctrines of Descartes, in their connexions with Malebranche and Spinoza, see Cartesianism.
In earlier life he had been a zealous student of Kant and Hegel, and to the end he never ceased to cultivate the philosophic spirit; but he had little confidence in metaphysical systems, and sought rather to translate philosophy into the wisdom of life.
In stating constructively the doctrine of immortality we must assign altogether secondary importance to the metaphysical arguments from the nature of the soul.
The pre-Socratics may be classed as naïve materialists in this sense; though, as at that early period the contrast between matter and spirit had not been' fully realized and matter was credited with properties that belong to life, it is usual to apply the term hylozoism to the earliest stage of Greek metaphysical theory.
The strain of the next three years' continuous work undermined his health and his eyesight, and he was compelled to retire from his professorship. During these years he had published works on Plato and Socrates and a history of philosophy (1875); but after his retirement he further developed his philosophical position, a speculative eclecticism through which he endeavoured to reconcile metaphysical idealism with the naturalistic and mechanical standpoint of science.
Yet the correspondence between Mill's conclusion and what Kant had alleged to be implied in the underlying metaphysical position is very striking indeed.
Yet on the whole Aristotle leans to a teleological theory of evolution, which he interprets dualistually by means of certain metaphysical distinctions.
He may be said to furnish a further contribution to a metaphysical conception of evolution in his view of all finite individual things as the infinite variety to which the unlimited productive power of the universal substance gives birth.
We see how different this metaphysical conception is from that scientific notion of cosmic evolution in which the lower stages are the antecedents and conditions of the higher.
As conditioned in time by lower forms. In this respect it resembles Leibnitz's idea of the world as a development; the idea of evolution is in each case a metaphysical as distinguished from a scientific one.
Hegel gives a place in his metaphysical system to the mechanical and the teleological views; yet in his treatment of the world as an evolution the idea of end or purpose is the predominant one.
He says Lamarck's original animal is something metaphysical, not physical, namely, the will to live.
" Every species (according to Schopenhauer) has of its own will, and according to the circumstances under which it would live, determined its form and organization, - yet not as something physical in time, but as something metaphysical out of time."
The full implications of the group of ideas require, and are likely to receive, much attention in the immediate future of biological investigation, but it is enough at present to point out that until the more obvious lines of inquiry have been opened out much more fully, we cannot be in a position to guess at the existence of a residuum, for which such a metaphysical conception as bathmism would serve even as a convenient disguise for ignorance.
The Pythagorean school of philosophers adopted the theory of a spherical earth, but from metaphysical rather than scientific reasons; their convincing argument was that a sphere being the most perfect solid figure was the only one worthy to circumscribe the dwellingplace of man.
It should be noticed that this (very common) psychological interpretation of "conception" differs from the metaphysical or general philosophical definition given above, in so far as it includes mental presentations in which the universal is not specifically distinguished from the particulars.
Dr Park's sermon, "The Theology of the Intellect and that of the Feelings," delivered in 1850 before the convention of the Congregational ministers of Massachusetts, and published in the Bibliotheca sacra of July 1850, was the cause of a long and bitter controversy, metaphysical rather than doctrinal, with Charles Hodge.
He also dealt with the condemnation of Pope Honorius, carried on a controversial correspondence with John Stuart Mill, and took a leading part in the discussions of the Metaphysical Society, founded by Mr James Knowles, of which Tennyson, Huxley and Martineau were also prominent members.
The essays in the fourth volume of his Dissertations - on endowments, on land, on labour, on metaphysical and psychological questions - were written for the Fortnightly Review at intervals after his short parliamentary career.
Both his logical and his metaphysical studies were thus undertaken as the pre-requisites of a practical theory of human development.
On the one hand there has arisen a school of thinkers of the type of Thomas Hill Green, who have brought to bear on his metaphysical views the idealism of modern German thinkers.
In the commentary on the treatise De Trinitate (erroneously attributed to Boetius) he proceeds from the metaphysical notion that pure or abstract being is prior in nature to that which is.
The conception of the Unconscious, by which von Hartmann describes his ultimate metaphysical principle, is not at bottom as paradoxical as it sounds, being merely a new and mysterious designation for the Absolute of German metaphysicians.
There he came under the influence of Kant, who was just then passing from physical to metaphysical problems. Without becoming a disciple of Kant, young Herder was deeply stimulated to fresh critical inquiry by that thinker's revolutionary ideas in philosophy.
Of Herder's properly metaphysical speculations little needs to be said.
This wise suggestion, still unfulfilled, was at first welcomed, according to Comte's own account, by Guizot's philosophic instinct, and then repulsed by his " metaphysical rancour."
`O cwv eur VTaXrciv µe 7rpos vµas, understands it in the more metaphysical sense of God's absolute being.
The former is divided into two sections: the first, of a metaphysical character, contains a sort of practical cosmography, chiefly based on Avicenna's theories, but frequently intermixed both with the freer speculations of the well-known philosophical brotherhood of Basra, the Ikhwan-es-safa'i, and purely Shiite or Isma`ilite ideas; the second, or ethical section of the poem, abounds in moral maxims and ingenious thoughts on man's good and bad qualities, on the necessity of shunning the company of fools and double-faced friends, on the deceptive allurements of the world and the secret snares of ambitious craving for rank and wealth.
Thus Candide attacks religious and philosophical optimism, L'Homme aux quarante ecus certain social and political ways of the time, Zadig and others the received forms of moral and metaphysical orthodoxy, while some are mere lampoons on the Bible, the unfailing source of Voltaire's wit.
This phase is most clearly developed in Archibald Pitcairne (1652-1713), who, though a determined opponent of metaphysical explanations, and of the chemical doctrines, gave to his own rude mechanical explanations of life and disease almost the dogmatic completeness of a theological system.
Even the nature of the universals is no longer discussed from a purely logical or metaphysical point of view, but becomes connected with psychological questions.
The remark overlooks two facts - firstly that the main objects of theology and philosophy are identical, though the td°f ogyod method of treatment is different, and secondly that logical discussion commonly leads up to metaphysical problems, and that this was pre-eminently the case with the logic of the Schoolmen.
John the Scot was still E acquainted with Greek, seeing that he translated the work of the pseudo-Dionysius; and his speculative genius achieved the fusion of Christian doctrine and Neoplatonic thought in a system of quite remarkable metaphysical completeness.
Anselm's natural element was theology, and the high metaphysical questions which are as it were the obverse of theology.