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LOTZE


appreciate and combine different and apparently opposite tendencies and interests, , in the sort of justice with which it weighs our manifold desires and aspirations, balancing them in due proportions, refusing to sacrifice to a one-sided princip e any truth or conviction which experience has proven to be useful and necessary. The investigations will then naturally divide themselves into three parts, the first of which deals with those to our mind inevitable forms in which we are obliged to think about things, if we think at all (metaphysics), the second being devoted to the great region of facts, trying to apply the results of metaphysics to these, specially the two great regions of external and mental phenomena (cosmology and psychology), the third dealing with those standards of value from which we pronounce our aesthetical or ethical approval or disapproval. In each department we shall have to aim first of all at yiews clear and consistent within themselves, but, secondly, we shall in the end wish to form some general idea or to risk an opinion how laws, facts and standards of value may be combined in one comprehensive view. Considerations of this latter kind will naturally present themselves in the two great departments of cosmology and psychology, or they may be delegated to an independent research under the name of religious philosophy. We have already mentioned the final conception in which Lotze's speculation culminates, that of a personal Deity, Himself the essence of all that merits existence for its own sake, who in the creation and government of a world has voluntarily chosen certain laws and forms through which His ends are to be realized. We may add that according to this view nothing is real but the living spirit of God and the world of living spirits which He has created; the things of this world have only reality in so far as they are the appearance of spiritual substance, which underlies everything. It is natural that Lotze, having this great and final conception always before him, works under its influence from the very beginning of his speculations, permitting us, as we progress, to gain every now and then a glimpse of that interpretation of things which to him contains the solution of our difficulties.

The key to Lotze's theoretical philosophy lies in his metaphysics, to the exposition of which important sub]ect the first and last of his larger publications have been devoted. To understand Lotze's philosophy, a careful and repeated perusal of these works is absol)utely necessary. The object of his metaphysics is so to remodel the current notions regarding the existence of things and their Connexions with which the usage of language supplies us as to make them consistent and thinkable. The further assumption, that the modified notions thus gained have an objective meaning, and that they somehow correspond to the real order of the existing world which of course they can never actually describe, depends upon a general confidence which we must have in our reasoning powers, and in the significance of a world in which we ourselves with all the necessary courses of our thoughts have a due place assigned. The principle therefore of these investigations is opposed to two attempts frequently repeated in the history of philosophy, viz.: (1) the attempt to establish general laws or forms, which the development of things must have obeyed, or which a Creator must have followed in the creation of a world (Hegel); and (2) the attempt to trace the genesis of our notions and decide as to their meaning and value (modern theories of knowledge). Neither of these attempts is practicable. The world of many things surrounds us; our notions, by which we manage correctly or incorrectly to describe it, are also ready made. What remains to be done is, not to explain how such a world manages to be what it is, nor how we came to form these notions, but merely this-to expel from the circle and totality of our conceptions those abstract notions which are inconsistent and jarring, or to remodel and define them so that they may constitute a consistent and harmonious view. In this endeavour Lotze discards as useless and untenable many favourite conceptions of the school, many crude notions of everyday life. The course of things and their connexion is only thinkable by the assumption of a plurality of existences, the reality of which (as distinguished from our knowledge of them) can be conceived only as a multitude of relations. This quality of standing in relation to other things is that which gives to a thing its reality. And the nature of this reality again can neither be consistently represented as a fixed and hard substance nor as an unalterable something, but only as a fixed order of recurrence of continually changing events or impressions. But, further, every attempt to think clearly what those relations are, what we really mean, if we talk of a fixed order of events, forces upon us the necessity of thinking also that the different things which stand in relations or the different phases which follow each other cannot be merely externally strung together or moved about by some indefinable external power, in the form of some predestination or inexorable fate. The things themselves which exist and their changing phases must stand in some internal connexion; they themselves must be active or passive, capable of doing or suffering. This would lead to the view of eibnitz, that the world consists of monads, self-sufficient beings, leading an inner life. But this idea involves the further conception of Leibnitz, that of a pre-established harmony, by which the Creator has taken care to arrange the life of each monad, so that it agrees with that of all others. This conception, according to Lotze, is neither necessary nor thoroughly intelligible. Why not interpret at once and render intelligible the common conception originating r 1

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in natural science, viz. that of a system of laws which governs the many things? But, in attempting to make this conception quite clear and thinkable, we are forced to represent the connexion of things as a universal substance, the essence of which we conceive as a system of laws which underlies everything and in its own self connects everything, but imperceptible, and known to us merely through the impressions it produces on us, which we call things. A final refection then teaches us that the nature of this universal and all-pervading substance can only be imagined by us as something analogous to our own mental life, where alone we experience the unity of a substance (which we call self) preserved in the multitude of its (mental) states. It also becomes clear that only where such mental life really appears need we assign an independent existence, but that the purposes of everyday life as well as those of science are equally served if we deprive the material things outside of us of an independence, and assign to them merely a connected existence through the universal substance by the action of which alone they can appear to us.

The universal substance, which we may call the absolute, is at this stage of our investigations not endowed with the attributes of a personal Deity, and it will remain to be seen by further analysis in how far we are able-without contradiction-to identify it with the object of religious veneration, in how far that which to metaphysics is merely a postulate can be gradually brought nearer to us and become a living power. Much in this direction is said by Lotze in various passages of his writings; anything complete, however, on the subject is wanting. Nor would it seem as if it could be the intention of the author to do much more than point out the lines on which the further treatment of the subject should advance. The actual result of his personal inquiries, the great idea which lies at the foundation of his philosophy, we know. It may be safely stated that Lotze would allow much latitude to individual convictions, as indeed it is evident that the empty notion of an absolute can only become living and significant to us in the same degree as experience and thought have taught us to realize the seriousness of life, the significance of creation, the value of the beautiful and the good, and the supreme worth of personal holiness. To endow the universal substance with moral attributes, to maintain that it is more than the metaphysical ground of everything, to sa it is the perfect realization of the holy, the beautiful and the goodiq can only have a meaning for him who feels within himself what real not imaginary values are clothed in those expressions. We have still to mention that aesthetics formed a principal and favourite study of Lotze's, and that he has treated this subject also in the light of the leading ideas of his philosophy. See his essays Ueber den Begrzf der Schénheit (Gottingen, 1845) and Ueber Bedingungen der Kunstschiinheit, ibid. (1847); and especially his Geschichte der Aesthetik in Deutschland (Munich, 1868).

Lotze's historical position is of much interest.” Though he disclaims being a follower of Herbart, his formal definition of philosophy and his conception of the object of metaphysics are similar to those of Herbart, who defines philosophy as an attempt to remodel the notions given by experience. In this endeavour he forms with Herbart an opposition to the philosophies of Fichte, Schelling and Hegel, which aimed at objective and absolute knowledge, and also to the criticism of Kant, which aimed at determining the validity of all human knowledge. But this formal agreement includes material differences, and the spirit which breathes in Lotze's writings is more akin to the objects and aspirations of the idealistic school than to the cold formalism of Herbart. What, however, with the idealists was an object of thought alone, the absolute, is to Lotze only inadequately definable in rigorous philosophical language; the aspirations of the human heart, the contents of our feelings and desires, the aims of art and the tenets of religious faith must be grasped in order to fill the empty idea of the absolute with meaning. These manifestations of the divine spirit again cannot be traced and understood by reducing (as Hegel did) the growth of the human mind in the individual, in society and in history to the monotonous rhythm of a speculative schematise; the essence and worth which is in them reveals itself only to the student of detail, for reality is larger and wider than philosophy; the problem, “ how the one can be many, " is only solved for us in the numberless examples in life and experience which surround us, for which we must retain a lifelong interest and which constitute the true field of all useful human work. This conviction of the emptiness of terms and abstract notions, and of the fulness of individual life, has enabled Lotze to combine in-his writings the two courses into which German philosophical thought had been moving since the death of its great founder, Leibnitz. We may define these courses by the terms esoteric and exoteric—the former. the philosophy of the school, cultivated principally at the universities, trying to systematize everything and reduce all our knowledge to an intelligible principle, losing in this attempt the deeper meaning of Leibnitz's philosophy; the latter the unsysternatized philosophy of general culture which we find in the work of the great writers of the classical period, Lessing, Winkelmann, Goethe, Schiller and Herder, all of whom expressed in some degree their indebtedness to Leibnitz. Lotze can be said to have brought philosophy out of the lecture room into the market-place of life. By understanding and combining what was lgreat and valuable in those divided and scattered endeavours, he became the true successor of Leibnitz.