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LOTUS-EATERS—LOTZE


in south Europe with fruits as large as sloes, containing a mealy substance which can be used for making bread and also a fer- mented drink. In ancient times the fruits were an important article of food among the poor; whence " lotophagi " or lotus- eaters. Zizyphus is a member of the natural order Rhamnaceae to which belongs the British buckthorn. The Egyptian lotus was a water-lily, Nymphaea Lotus; as also is the sacred lotus of the Hindus, Nelumbium speciosum. The lotus tree, known to the Romans as the Libyan lotus, and planted by them for shade, was probably Celtis australis, the nettle-tree (q.v.), a southern European tree, a native of the elm family, with fruits like small cherries, which are first red and then black. Lotus of botanists is a genus of the pea-family (Leguminosae) , containing a large number of species of herbs and undershrubs widely distributed in the temperate regions of the old world. It is represented in Britain by L. corniculatus, bird's foot trefoil, a low-growing herb, common in pastures and waste places, with clusters of small bright yellow pea-like flowers, which are often streaked with crimson; the popular name is derived from the pods which when ripe spread like the toes of a bird's foot.


LOTUS-EATERS (Gr. Λωτοφάγοι) , a Libyan tribe known to the Greeks as early as the time of Homer. Herodotus (iv. 177) describes their country as in the Libyan district bordering on the Syrtes, and says that a caravan route led from it to Egypt. Victor Bérard identifies it with the modern Jerba. When Odysseus reached the country of the Lotophagi, many of his sailors after eating the lotus lost all wish to return home. Both Greeks and Romans used the expression " to eat the lotus " to denote forgetfulness (cf. Tennyson's poem " The Lotus- Eaters ").

There has been considerable discussion as to the identification of the Homeric lotus. Some have held that it is a prickly shrub, Zizyphus Lotus, which bears a sweet-tasting fruit, and still grows in the old home of the Lotophagi. It is eaten by the natives, who also make a kind of wine from the juice. P. Champault (Phéniciens et Grecs en Italie d'après I'Odyssée, p. 400, note 2), however, maintains that the lotus was a date; Victor Bérard (Les Phéniciens et I'Odyssée, 1902-1903, ii. 102) is doubtful, but contends that it was certainly a tree-fruit. If either of these be correct, then the lotus of Od. iv. 603-604 is quite a different plant, a kind of clover. Now Strabo (xvii. 829a) calls the lotus πόαν τινὰ καὶ ῥίζαν. Putting these two references together with Sulpicius Severus, Dialogi i. 4. 4, R. M. Henry suggests that the Homeric lotus was really the πόα of Strabo, i.e. a kind of clover (Classical Review, December 1906, p. 435).


Lotze, Rudolf Hermann (1817-1881), German philosopher, was born in Bautzen on the 21st May 1817, the son of a physician. He received his education in the gymnasium of Zittau under teachers who inspired him with an enduring love of the classical authors, as we see from his translation of the Antigone of Sophocles into Latin verse, published when he had reached middle life. He went to the university of Leipzig as a student of philosophy and natural sciences, but entered officially as a student of medicine. He was then only seventeen. It appears that thus early Lotze's studies were governed by two distinct interests. The first was scientific, based upon mathematical and physical studies under the guidance of E. H. Weber, W. Volckmann and G. T. Fechner. The other was his aesthetical and artistic interest, which was developed under the care of C. H. Weisse. To the former he owes his appreciation of exact investigation and a complete knowledge of the aims of science, to the latter an equal admiration for the great circle of ideas which had been diffused by the teaching of Fichte, Schelling and Hegel. Each of these influences, which early in life must have been familiar to him, tempered and modified the other. The true method of science which he possessed forced him to condemn as useless the entire form which Schelling's and Hegel's expositions had adopted, especially the dialectic method of the latter, whilst his love of art and beauty, and his appreciation of moral purposes, revealed to him the existence of a trans-phenomenal world of values into which no exact science could penetrate. It is evident how this initial position at once defined to him the tasks which philosophy had to perform. First there were the natural sciences, themselves only just emerging from a confused conception of their true method; especially those which studied the borderland of physical and mental phenomena, the medical sciences; and pre-eminently that science which has since become so popular, the science of biology.

Lotze's first essay was his dissertation De futurae biologiae principibus philosophicis, with which he gained (1838) the degree of doctor of medicine, after having only four months previously got the degree of doctor of philosophy. Then, secondly, there arose the question whether the methods of exact science sufficed to explain the connexion of phenomena, or whether for the explanation of this the thinking mind was forced to resort to some hypothesis not immediately verifiable by observation, but dictated by higher aspirations and interests. And, if to satisfy these we were forced to maintain the existence of a world of moral standards, it was, thirdly, necessary to form some opinion as to the relation of these moral standards of value to the forms and facts of phenomenal existence. These different tasks, which philosophy had to fulfil, mark pretty accurately the aims of Lotze's writings, and the order in which they were published. He laid the foundation of his philosophical system very early in his Metaphysik (Leipzig, 1841) and his Logik (1843), short books published while he was still a junior lecturer at Leipzig, from which university he migrated to Göttingen, succeeding Herbart in the chair of philosophy. But it was only during the last decade of his life that he ventured, with much hesitation, to present his ideas in a systematic and final form. The two books mentioned remained unnoticed by the reading public, and Lotze first became known to a larger circle through a series of works which aimed at establishing in the study of the physical and mental phenomena of the human organism in its normal and diseased states the same general principles which had been adopted in the investigation of inorganic phenomena. These works were his Allgemeine Pathologie und Therapie als mechanische Naturwissenschaften (Leipzig, 1842, 2nd ed., 1848), the articles "Lebenskraft" (1843) and "Seele and Seelenleben" (1846) in Rud. Wagner's Handwörterbuch der Physiologie, his Allgemeine Physiologie des Körperlichen Lebens (Leipzig, 1851), and his Medizinische Psychologie oder Physiologie der Seele (Leipzig, 1852).

When Lotze published these works, medical science was still much under the influence of Schelling's philosophy of nature. The mechanical laws, to which external things were subject, were conceived as being valid only in the inorganic world; in the organic and mental worlds these mechanical laws were conceived as being disturbed or overridden by other powers, such as the influence of final causes, the existence of types, the work of vital and mental forces. This confusion Lotze, who had been trained in the school of mathematical reasoning, tried to dispel. The laws which govern particles of matter in the inorganic world govern them likewise if they are joined into an organism. A phenomenon a, if followed by b in the one case, is followed by the same b also in the other case. Final causes, vital and mental forces, the soul itself can, if they act at all, only act through the inexorable mechanism of natural laws. As we therefore have only to do with the study of existing complexes of material and spiritual phenomena, the changes in these must be explained in science by the rule of mechanical laws, such as obtain everywhere in the world, and only by such. One of the results of these investigations was to extend the meaning of the word mechanism, and comprise under it all laws which obtain in the phenomenal world, not excepting the phenomena of life and mind. Mechanism was the unalterable connexion of every phenomenon a with other phenomena b, c, d, either as following or preceding it; mechanism was the inexorable form into which the events of this world are cast, and by which they are connected. The object of those writings was to establish the all-pervading rule of mechanism. But the mechanical view of nature is not identical with the materialistic. In the last of the above-mentioned works the question is discussed at great length how we have to consider mind, and the relation between mind and body; the answer is—we have to consider mind as an immaterial principle, its action, however, on the body and vice versa as purely mechanical, indicated