- Software name: appdown
- Software type: Microsoft Framwork
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On the strength of this Mr. Wallace elsewhere observes:From the time of Socrates on, the majority of Greeks, had they been asked what was the ultimate object of endeavour, or what made life worth living, would have answered, pleasure. But among professional philosophers such a definition of the60 supreme good met with little favour. Seeing very clearly that the standard of conduct must be social, and convinced that it must at the same time include the highest good of the individual, they found it impossible to believe that the two could be reconciled by encouraging each citizen in the unrestricted pursuit of his own private gratifications. Nor had such an idea as the greatest happiness of the greatest number ever risen above their horizon; although, from the necessities of life itself, they unconsciously assumed it in all their political discussions. The desire for pleasure was, however, too powerful a motive to be safely disregarded. Accordingly we find Socrates frequently appealing to it when no other argument was likely to be equally efficacious, Plato striving to make the private satisfaction of his citizens coincide with the demands of public duty, and Aristotle maintaining that this coincidence must spontaneously result from the consolidation of moral habits; the true test of a virtuous disposition being, in his opinion, the pleasure which accompanies its exercise. One of the companions of Socrates, Aristippus the Cyrenaean, a man who had cut himself loose from every political and domestic obligation, and who was remarkable for the versatility with which he adapted himself to the most varying circumstances, went still further. He boldly declared that pleasure was the sole end worth seeking, and on the strength of this doctrine came forward as the founder of a new philosophical school. According to his system, the summum bonum was not the total amount of enjoyment secured in a lifetime, but the greatest single enjoyment that could be secured at any moment; and this principle was associated with an idealistic theory of perception, apparently suggested by Protagoras, but carrying his views much further. Our knowledge, said Aristippus, is strictly limited to phenomena; we are conscious of nothing beyond our own feelings; and we have no right to assume the existence of any objects by which they are caused. The study of natural61 science is therefore waste of time; our whole energies should be devoted to the interests of practical life.123 Thus Greek humanism seemed to have found its appropriate sequel in hedonism, which, as an ethical theory, might quote in its favour both the dictates of immediate feeling and the sanction of public opinion.
I would have you consider that he who appears to you to be the worst of those who have been brought up in laws and humanities would appear to be a just man and a master of justice if he were to be compared with men who had no education, or courts of justice, or laws, or any restraints upon them which compelled them to practise virtuewith the savages, for example, whom the poet Pherecrates exhibited on the stage at the last years Lenaean festival. If you were living among men such as the man-haters in his chorus, you would be only too glad to meet with Eurybates and Phrynondas, and you would sorrowfully long to revisit the rascality of this part of the world.68In absolute value, Neo-Platonism stands lowest as well as last among the ancient schools of thought. No reader who has followed us thus far will need to be reminded how many valuable ideas were first brought to light, or reinforced with new arguments and illustrations by the early Greek thinkers, by the Sophists and Socrates, by Plato and Aristotle, by the Stoics, Epicureans, and Sceptics, and by the moralists of the Roman empire. On every subject of speculation that can be started, we continue to ask, like Plotinus himself, what the blessed ancients had to say about it;501 not, of course, because they lived a long time ago, but because they came first, because they said what they had to say with the unique charm of original discovery, because they were in more direct contact than we are, not, indeed, with the facts, but with the336 phenomena of Nature and life and thought. It is true that we have nothing more to learn from them, for whatever was sound in their teaching has been entirely absorbed into modern thought, and combined with ideas of which they did not dream. But until we come to Hume and his successors, there is nothing in philosophical literature that can be compared to their writings for emancipating and stimulating power; and, perhaps, when the thinkers of the last and present centuries have become as obsolete as Bacon and Descartes are now, those writings will continue to be studied with unabating zeal. Neo-Platonism, on the other hand, is dead, and every attempt made to galvanise it into new life has proved a disastrous failure. The world, that is to say the world of culture, will not read Plotinus and his successors, will not even read the books that are written about them by scholars of brilliant literary ability like MM. Vacherot and Jules Simon in France, Steinhart and Kirchner in Germany.502
Mr. Everdail proceeded at once to tie himself in his first knot.Following this subject of future improvement farther, it may be assumed that an engineer who understands the application and operation of some special machine, the principles that govern its movements, the endurance of the wearing surfaces, the direction and measure of the strains, and who also understands the principles of the distribution of material, arrangement, and proportions,that such an engineer will be able to construct machines, the plans of which will not be materially departed from so long as the nature of the operations to which  the machines are applied remain the same.
The parallel between Aenesidmus and Protagoras would become still more complete were it true that the Alexandrian philosopher also sought to base his Scepticism on the Heracleitean theory of Nature, arguing that contradictory assertions are necessitated by the presence of contradictory properties in every object.
One day, some few years after the death of Aristotle, a short, lean, swarthy young man, of weak build, with clumsily shaped limbs, and head inclined to one side, was standing in an Athenian bookshop, intently studying a roll of manuscript. His name was Zeno, and he was a native of Citium, a Greek colony in Cyprus, where the Hellenic element had become adulterated with a considerable Phoenician infusion. According to some accounts, Zeno had come to the great centre of intellectual activity to study, according to others for the sale of Tyrian purple. At any rate the volume which he held in his hand decided his vocation. It was the second book of Xenophons Memoirs of Socrates. Zeno eagerly asked where such men as he whose sayings stood recorded there were to be found. At that moment the Cynic Crates happened to pass by. There is one of them, said the bookseller, follow him.12Hour after hour, into a North wind that cut down their forward mileage somewhat, Larry held the airplane.