On the Will in Nature  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

On the Will in Nature (1836, Über den Willen in der Natur) is a text by Arthur Schopenhauer.

Full text[1]

ON THE WILL IN NATURE.

AN ACCOUNT OF THE COEEOBOEATIONS

RECEIVED BY THE ATJTHOB S

PHILOSOPHY

SINCE ITS FIEST APPEARANCE

FROM THE EMPIRICAL SCIENCES.

BY

ARTHUR SCHOPENHAUER.

Translated from the Fourth Edition published by JCLIUS FRAUENSTADT.


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OVK r),iw(Tav ovci 7rpocr/3Aipai ro AAX* t/c^toa(T/ctt TrdvO o y^pda/caj

AESCTI.


PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.

TO my great joy I have lived to revise even this little work, after a lapse of nineteen years, and that joy is enhanced by the special importance of this treatise for my philosophy. For, starting from the purely empirical, from the observations of unbiassed physical investigators themselves following the clue of their own special sciences I here immediately arrive at the very kernel of my Meta- physic ; I establish its points of contact with the physical sciences and thus corroborate my fundamental dogma, in a sense, as the arithmetician proves a sum : for by this I not only confirm it more closely and specially, but even make it more clearly, easily, and rightly understood than anywhere else.

The improvements in this new edition are confined almost entirely to the Additions ; for scarcely anything that is worth mentioning in the First Edition has been left out, while I have inserted many and, in some cases, important new passages.

But, even in a general sense, it may be looked upon as a good sign, that a new edition of the present treatise should have been found necessary ; since it shows that there is an interest in serious philosophy and confirms the fact that the necessity for real progress in this direction is now more strongly felt than ever. This is based upon two circum stances. The first is the unparalleled zeal and activity displayed in every branch of Natural Science which, as

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194 THE WILL IN NATURE.

this pursuit is mostly in the hands of people who have learned nothing else, threatens to lead to a gross, stupid Materialism, the more immediately offensive side of which is less the moral bestiality of its ultimate results, than the incredible absurdity of its first principles ; for by it even yital force is denied, and organic Nature is degraded to a mere chance play of chemical forces. 1 These knights of the crucible and retort should be made to understand, that the mere study of Chemistry qualifies a man to become an apothecary, but not a philosopher. Certain other like- minded investigators of Nature, too, must be taught, that a man may be an accomplished zoologist and have the sixty species of monkeys at his fingers ends, yet on the whole be an ignoramus to be classed with the vulgar, if he has learnt nothing else, save perhaps his school-catechism. But in our time this frequently happens. Men set them selves up for enlighteners of mankind, who have studied Chemistry, or Physics, or Mineralogy and nothing else under the sun ; to this they add their only knowledge of any other kind, that is to say, the little they may remember of the doctrines of the school-catechism, and when they find that these two elements will not harmonize, they straightway turn scoffers at religion and soon become shallow and absurd materialists. 2 They may perhaps have heard at college of the existence of a Plato and an Aristotle, of a Locke, and especially of a Kant ; but as these folk never handled crucibles and retorts or even stuffed a

1 And this infatuation has reached sucli a point, that people seriously imagine themselves to have found the key to the mystery of the essence and existence of this wonderful and mysterious world in wretched chemical affinities! Compared with this illusion of our physiological chemists, that of the alchymists who sought after the philosopher s stone, and only hoped to find out the secret of making gold, was indeed a mere trifle. [Add. to 3rd ed.]

2 " Aut (xtfechisnws, Q&t materials mus," is their watchword. [Add. to 3rd ed.]


PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION. 195

monkey, they do not esteem them worthy of further acquain tance. They prefer calmly to toss out of the window the intellectual labour of two thousand years and treat the public to a philosophy concocted out of their own rich mental resources, on the basis of the catechism on the one hand, and on that of crucibles and retorts or the catalogue of monkeys on the other. They ought to be told in plain language that they are ignoramuses, who have much to learn before they can be allowed to have any voice in the matter. Everyone, in fact, who dogmatizes at random, with the naive realism of a child on such arguments as G-od, the soul, the world s origin, atoms, &c. &c. &c., as if the Critique of Pure Reason had been written in the moon and no copy had found its way to our planet is simply one of the vulgar. Send him into the servants hall, where his wisdom will best find a market. 1

The other circumstance which calls for a real progress in philosophy, is the steady growth of unbelief in the face of all the hypocritical dissembling and the outward con formity to the Church. This unbelief necessarily and un avoidably goes hand in hand with the growing expansion of empirical and historical knowledge. It threatens to destroy not only the form, but even the spirit of Christianity (a spirit which has a much wider reach than Christianity itself), and to deliver up mankind to moral materialism a thing even more dangerous than the chemical materialism already mentioned. And nothing plays more into the hands of this unbelief, than the Tartuffianism de rigueur

1 There too he will meet with people who fling about words of foreign origin, which they have caught up without understanding them, just as readily as he does himself, when he talks about "Idealism" without knowing what it means, mostly therefore using the word instead of Spiritualism (which being Eealism, is the opposite to Idealism). Hundreds of examples of this kind besides other quid pro quos are to be found in books, and critical periodicals. [Add. to 3rd ed.]


196 THE WILL IN NATTJKE.

impudently flaunting itself everywhere just now, whose clumsy disciples, fee in hand, hold forth with such unction and emphasis, that their voices penetrate even into learned, critical reviews issued by Academies and Universities, and into physiological as well as philosophical books, where however, being quite in their wrong place, they only damage their own cause by rousing indignation. 1 Under such cir cumstances as these, it is gratifying to see the public betray an interest in philosophy.

I have nevertheless one sad piece of news to communi cate to our professors of philosophy. Their Caspar Hauser (according to Dorguth) whom they had so carefully secreted, so securely walled up for nearly forty years, that no sound could betray his existence to the world their Caspar Hauser I say, has escaped ! He has escaped and is running about in the world ; some even say he is a prince. In plain language, the misfortune they feared more than anything has come to pass after all. In spite of their having done their best to prevent it for more than a generation by acting with united force, with rare constancy, secreting and ignoring to a degree that is without example, my books are beginning and henceforth will continue to be read. Legor et legar : there is no help for it. This is really dreadful and most inopportune ; nay, it is a positive fatality, not to say calamity. Is this the recompense for all their faithful, snug secrecy; for having held so firmly and unitedly together ? Poor time-servers ! What becomes of Horace s assurance :

" Est et fideli tuta silentio Merces, ? "

For verily they have not been deficient in faithful reticence ; rather do they excel in this quality wherever they scent

1 They ought everywhere to be shown that their belief is not believed in. [Add. to 3rd ed.]


PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION. 197

merit. And, after all, it is no doubt the cleverest artifice ; for what no one knows, is as though it did not exist. Whether the merces will remain quite so tuta, seems rather doubtful unless we are to take merces in a lad sense ; and for this the support of many a classical authority might certainly be found. These gentlemen had seen quite rightly that the only means to be used against my writings, was to secrete them from the public by maintaining profound silence concerning them, while they kept up a loud noise at the birth of every misshapen offspring of professorial philosophy ; as the voice of the new-born Zeus was drowned in days of yore by the clashing of the cymbals of the Corybantes. But this expedient is now used up ; the secret is out the public has discovered me. The rage of our professors of philosophy at this is great, but powerless ; for their only effective resource, so long successfully em ployed, being exhausted, no snarling can avail any longer against my influence, and in vain do they now take this, or that, or the other attitude. They have certainly succeeded, so far as the generation which was properly speaking con temporaneous with my philosophy, went to the grave in ignorance of it. But this was a mere postponement, and Time has kept its word, as it always does.

Now there are two reasons why these gentlemen " in the philosophical trade" as they call themselves with incredible naivete hate my philosophy. The first of them is, that my writings spoil the taste of the public for tissues of empty phrases, for accumulations of unmeaning words piled one upon another, for hollow, superficial, brain-racking twaddle, for Christian dogmatics under the disguise of the most wearisome Metaphysics, for sys tematized Philistinism of the flattest kind made to repre sent Ethics and even accompanied by instructions for card-playing and dancing in short, they unfit my readers for the whole method of philosophising a- la vwille


198 THE WILL IN NATTJRE.


has scared so many for ever from the puysnit of philosophy.

The second reason is, that our gentlemen " in the trade " are absolutely bound in conscience not to let my philosophy pass and are therefore debarred from using it for the benefit of " the trade ; " and this they even heartily regret ; for my abundance might have been admirably turned to account for the benefit of their own needy poverty. But even if it contained the greatest hoards of human wisdom ever unearthed, my doctrine could never find favour with them either now or in the future ; for it is absolutely wanting in all Speculative Theology and Eational Psycho logy, and these, just these, are the very breath of life to these gentlemen, the sine qua non of their existence. For they are anxious before all things in heaven and on earth, to hold their official appointments, and these appointments demand before all things in heaven and on earth a Specu lative Theology and a Eational Psychology : extra Twee non datur solus. Theology there must and shall be, no matter whence it come ; Moses and the Prophets must be made out to be in the right: this is the highest principle in philosophy ; and there must be Kational Psychology to boot, as is proper. Now there is nothing of the sort to be found either in Kant s philosophy or in mine. For, as we all know, the most cogent theological argumentation shivers to atoms like a glass thrown at a wall, when it is brought into contact with Kant s Critique of all Specula tive Theology, and under his hands not a shred remains entire of the whole tissue of Eational Psychology ! As to myself, being the bold continuer of Kant s philosophy, I have entirely done away with all Speculative Theology and all Eational Psychology, as is only consistent and honest. 1 On the other hand, the task incumbent upon University

1 For revelation goes for nothing in philosophy ; therefore a philo sopher must before all things be an unbeliever. [Add. to 3rd. ed.].


PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION. 199

Philosophy is at "bottom this : to set forth the chief funda mental truths belonging to the Catechism under the veil of some very abstract, abstruse and difficult, therefore painfully wearisome formulas and sentences ; wherefore, however confused, intricate, strange and eccentric the matter may seem at first sight, these truths invariably reveal themselves as its kernel. This proceeding may be useful, though to me it is unknown. All I know is, that philosophy, i.e. the search after truth I mean the truth KCIT e^o^v, by which the most sublime and important dis closures, more precious than anything else to the human race, are understood will never advance a step, nay, an inch, by means of such manoeuvring, by which its course is on the contrary impeded ; therefore I found out long ago that University philosophy is the enemy of all genuine philosophy. Now, this being the state of the case, when a really honest philosophy arises, which seriously has truth for its sole aim, must not these gentlemen " of the philo sophical trade " feel as might stage-knights in paste-board armour, were a knight suddenly to appear in the midst of them clad in real armour, who made the stage-floor creak under his ponderous tread ? Such philosophy as this must therefore be bad and false and consequently places these gentlemen "of the trade " under the painful obligation of playing the part of him who, in order to appear what he is not, cannot allow others to pass for what they really are. Out of all this however there unrolls itself the amusing spectacle we enjoy, when these gentlemen, now that ignoring has unfortunately come to an end, after forty years, at last begin to measure me by their own puny standard and pass judgment upon me from the heights of their wisdom, as though they were amply qualified to do so by their office ; but they are most amusing of all when they assume airs of superiority towards me.

Their abhorrence of Kant, though less op enly expressed,


200 THE WILL IN NATURE.

is scarcely less great than their hatred of me ; precisely because all speculative Theology and all Rational Psycho logy the bread-winners of these gentlemen have been undermined, not to say irrevocably ruined, by him in the eyes of all serious thinkers. What ! Not hate him ? him, who has made their " trade in philosophy " so difficult to them, that they hardly see how to pull through honourably ! So Kant and I are accordingly both bad, and these gentle men quite overlook us. For nearly forty years they have not deigned to cast a glance upon me, and now they look down condescendingly upon Kant from the heights of their wisdom, smiling in pity at his errors. This policy is both very wise and very profitable ; since they are thus able to hold forth at their ease volume after volume upon God and the soul, as if these were personalities with whom they were intimately acquainted, and to discourse upon the relation in which the former stands to the world and the latter to the body, just as if there had never been such a thing as a Critique of Pure Eeasoii. When once the Critique of Pure Reason is done away with, all will go on splendidly ! Now it is for this end that they have been endeavouring for many years quietly and gradually to set Kant aside, to make him obsolete, nay, to turn up their noses at him, and one being encouraged by the other in this, they are becoming bolder every day. 1 They have no opposition to fear from their own colleagues, since they all have the same aims and the same mission and all together form a numerous coterie, the brilliant members of which, cor am populo, bow and scrape to each other on all sides. Thus by degrees things have come to such a point, that the wretchedest compilers of manuals have the presumption to treat Kant s grand, immortal discoveries as antiquated errors, nay, calmly to set them aside with the most

1 One always says the other is right, so that the public in its simplicity at last imagines them really to be right. [Add. to 3rd ed.j


PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION. 201

ludicrous arrogance and most impudent dicta of their own, which they nevertheless lay down under the disguise of argumentation, because they know they may count upon a credulous public, to whom Kant s writings are not known, 1 And this is what happens to Kant on the part of writers, whose total incapacity strikes us in every page, not to say every line, we read of their unmeaning, stupefying verbiage ! Were this to go on much longer, Kant would present the spectacle of the dead lion being kicked by the donkey. Even in France there is no lack of fellow- workers inspired by a similar orthodoxy, who are labouring towards the same end. A certain M. Barthelemy de St. Hilaire, for instance, in a lecture delivered in the Academie des Sciences Morales in April, 1850, has presumed to criticize Kant with an air of condescension and to use most im proper language in speaking of him; luckily however in such a way, that no one could fail to see the underlying purpose. 2

Now others among our German "traders in philosophy" again try to get rid of the obnoxious Kant in a different way : instead of attacking his philosophy point-blank, they rather seek to undermine the foundations on which it is built. These people however are so utterly forsaken by all the gods and by all power of judgment, that they attack a priori truths : that is to say, truths as old as the human understanding, nay, which constitute that understanding

1 Here it is especially Ernst Reinhold s "System of Metaphysics" (3rd edition, 1854) that I have in my eye. In my " Parerga " I have explained how it comes, that brain-perverting books like this go through several editions. See "Parerga," vol. i. p. 171 (2nd edition, vol. i. p. 194).

2 Nevertheless, by Zeus, all such gentlemen, in France as well as Germany, should be taught that Philosophy has a different mission from that of playing into the hands of the clergy. We must let them clearly see before all things that we have no faith in their faith from this follows what we think of them, [Add. to 3rd ed.]


202 THE WILL IN NATURE.

itself, and which it is therefore impossible to contradict without declaring war against that understanding also. So great however is the courage of these gentlemen. I am sorry to say I know of three, 1 and I am afraid there are a good many more at work at this undermining process, who have the incredible presumption to maintain the a posteriori origin of Space as a consequence, a mere rela tion, of the objects within it ; for they assert that Space and Time are of empirical origin and attached to those bodies, so that [according to them] Space first arises through our perception of the juxtaposition of bodies and Time likewise through our perception of the succession of changes (sancta simplicitas ! as if the words " collateral " and " successive " would have any sense for us without the antecedent intuitions of Space and of Time to give them a meaning) ; consequently, that if there were no bodies, there would be no Space, therefore if they disappeared Space also must lapse, and that if all changes were to stop, Time also would stop. 2

And such stuff as this is gravely taught fifty years after Kant s death ! The aim of it is, as we know, to undermine Kantian philosophy, and certainly if these propositions were true, one stroke would suffice to overthrow it. For-

1 (a) Eosenkranz, "Meine Keform der Hegelschen Philosophie," 1852, especially p. 41, in a pompous, dictatorial tone : " I have explicitly said, that Space and Time would not exist if Matter did not exist. JEther spread out within itself first constitutes real Space, and the movement of this sether and consequent real genesis of everything individual and separate, constitutes real Time." (6) L. Noaok, "Die Theologie als Keligionsphilosophie," 1853, pp. 8, 9. (c) V. Keuchlin-Meldegg. Two reviews of Oersted s " Geist in der Natur" in the Heidelberg Annals, Nov.-Dec., 1850, and May-June, 1854.

2 Time is the condition of the possibility of succession, which could neither take place, nor be understood by us and expressed in words, without Time. And Space is likewise the condition of the possibility of juxtaposition, and Transcendental ^Esthetic is the proof that these con ditions have their seat in the constitution of our head. [Add. to 3rd e(L]


PEEFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION. 203

innately however these assertions are of a kind which is met by derision rather than by serious refutation. For, in them, the question is one of heresy, not so much against Kantian philosophy, as against common sense ; and they are not so much an attack upon any particular philoso phical dogma, as upon an a priori truth which, as such, constitutes human understanding itself, and therefore must be instantaneously evident to every one who is in his senses, just as much as that 2x2 = 4. Fetch me a peasant from the plough ; make the question intelligible to him ; and he will tell you, that even if all things in Heaven and on Earth were to vanish, Space would nevertheless remain, and that if all changes in Heaven and on Earth were to cease, Time would nevertheless flow on. Compared with German pseudo-philosophers like these, how estimable does a man like the French physicist Pouillet appear, who, though he never troubles his head about Metaphysics, is careful to incorporate two long paragraphs, one on VEspace, the other on le Temps, in the first chapter of his well- known Manual, on which public instruction in France is based, where he shows that if all Matter were annihi lated, Space would still remain, and that Space is infinite ; and that if all changes ceased, Time would still pursue its course without end. Now here he does not appeal, as in all other cases, to experience, because in this case expe rience is not possible ; yet he speaks with apodeictic cer tainty. For, as a physicist, professing a science which is absolutely immanent i.e. limited to the reality that is empirically given it never comes into his head to inquire whence he knows all this. It did come into Kant s head, and it was this very problem, clothed by him in the severe form of an inquiry as to the possibility of synthetical a priori judgments, that became the starting-point and the corner-stone of his immortal discoveries, or in other words, of Transcendental Philosophy which, precisely by answering


204 THE WILL IN NATURE.

this question and others related to it, shows wh&t is the nature of that empirical reality itself. 1

And seventy years after the Critique of Pure Reason had appeared and filled the world with its fame, these gentlemen dare to serve up such gross absurdities, which were done away with long ago, and to return to former barbarism. If Kant were to come back and see all this mischief, he would feel like Moses on returning from Mount Sinai, when he found his people worshipping the golden calf, and dashed the Tables to pieces in his anger. But if Kant were to take things as tragically as Moses, I should console him with the words of Jesus Sirach : 2 " He that telleth a tale to a fool speaketh to one in a slumber ;

1 In the Scholium to the eighth of the definitions he has placed at the top of his " Principia," Newton quite rightly distinguishes absolute, that is, empty, from relative, or filled Time, and likewise absolute from relative Space. He says, p. 11 : Tempus, spatium, locum, motum, ut omnibus notissima, non definio. Notandum tamen quod VULGUS (that is, professors like those I have been mentioning) quantitates hasce non aliter quam ex relatione ad sensibilia concipiat. Et inde oriuntur praejudicia quacdam, quibus tollendis convenit easdem in absolutas et rclativas, veras et ap- parentes, mathematical et vulgar es distingui. And again (p. 12):

I. Tempus absolutum, verum et mathematicum, in se et natura ma sine relatione ad externum quodvis, aequabiliter fluit, alioque nomine dicitur Duratio: relativwn, apparens et vulgare est sensibilis et extem-a quaevis Durationis per motum mensura (seu accurata seu inaequabilis] qud vulgus vice veri temporis utitur ; ut Hora, Dies, Mensis, Annus.

II. Spatium absolutum, natura sua sine relatione ad externum quod- vis, semper manet similare et immobile: relativum est spatii hujus men- sura seu dimensio quaelibet mobilis, quae a sensibus nostris per situm suum ad corpora definitur, et a vulgo pro spatio immobili usurpatur : uti dimensio spatii subterranei } acrei vel coelestis definita per situm suum ad terram.

But even Newton never dreamt of asking how we know these two infinite entities, Space and Time ; since, as he here impresses on us, they do not fall within the range of the senses ; and how we know them more over so intimately, that we are able to indicate their whole nature and rule down to the minutest detail. [Add. to 3rd ed.]

2 Bcclesiasticus xxii. 8.


PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION. 205

when lie hath told his tale, he will say, What is the matter? " For that diamond in Kant s crown, Transcen dental ^Esthetic, never has existed for these gentlemen it is tacitly set aside, as non-avenue. I wonder what they think Nature means by producing the rarest of all her works, a great mind, one among so many hundreds of mil lions, if the worshipful company of numskulls are to be able at their pleasure and by their mere counter-assertion to annul the weightiest doctrines emanating from that mind, let alone to treat them with disregard and do as if they did not exist.

But this degenerate, barbarous state of philosophy which, in the present day, emboldens every tyro to hold forth at random upon subjects that have puzzled the greatest minds, is precisely a consequence still remaining of the impunity with which thanks to the connivance of our pro fessors of philosophy that audacious scribbler, Hegel, has been allowed to flood the market with his monstrous vagaries and so to pass for the greatest of all philosophers for the last thirty years in Germany. Every one of course now thinks himself entitled to serve up confidently any thing that may happen to come into his sparrow s brain.

Therefore, as I have said, the gentlemen of the philo sophical trade are anxious before all things to obliterate Kant s philosophy, in order to be able to return to the muddy canal of the old dogmatism and to talk at random to their heart s content upon the favourite subjects which are specially recommended to them : just as if nothing had happened and neither a Kant nor a Critical Philosophy had ever come into the world. 1 The affected veneration for, and laudation of, Leibnitz too, which has been showing itself everywhere for some years, proceed from the same

1 For Kant has disclosed the dreadful truth, that philosophy must h<? quite a different thing from Jewish mythology. [A.dd to 3rd ed.]


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source. They like to place him in a line with, nay above, Kant, having at times the assurance to call him the greatest of all G-erman philosophers. Now, compared with Kant, Leibnitz is a poor rushlight. Kant is a master mind, to whom mankind is indebted for the discovery of never-to-be-forgotten truths. One of his chief merits is precisely, to have delivered us from Leibnitz and his subtle ties : from pre-established harmonies, monads and identitas indiscernibilium. Kant has made philosophy serious and I am keeping it so. That these gentlemen should think dif ferently is easily explained ; for has not Leibnitz a central Monad and a Theodicee also, with which to deck it out ? Now this is quite to the taste of my gentlemen of the philosophical trade. It does not stand in the way of earning a honest livelihood ; it allows one to subsist ; whereas such a thing as Kant s " Critique of all Speculative Theology," makes one s hair stand on end. Kant is con sequently a wrong-headed man and one to be set aside. Vivat Leibnitz ! Vivat the philosophical trade ! Vivat old woman s philosophy ! These gentlemen really imagine that, according to the standard of their own petty aims, they can obscure what is good, disparage what is great, and accredit what is false. They may perhaps succeed in doing so for a time, but certainly not in the long run, nor with impunity. Notwithstanding all their machinations and spiteful ignoring of me for forty years, have not even I at last made my way ? During those forty years however I have learnt to appreciate Chamfort s words : "En examinant la ligue des sots contre les gens d* esprit, on croirait voir une conspiration de valets pour ecarter les maitres"

We do not care to have much to do with those whom we dislike. One of the consequences of this antipathy for Kant, therefore, has been an incredible ignorance of his doctrines. I can scarcely believe my eyes at times, when


PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION. 207

I see certain proofs of this ignorance, and must here sup port my assertion by a few examples. First let me present a very singular specimen, though it is now some years old. In Professor Michelet s " Anthropology and Psychology " (p. 444), he states Kant s Categorical Imperative in the following words : " thou must, for thou canst " (du sollst, denn du Jcannsf). This cannot be a lapsus calami, for he again states it in the same words in his " History of the Development of Modern German Philosophy" (p. 38), * published three years later. Letting alone the fact that he appears to have studied Kantian philosophy in Schiller s epigrams, he has thus turned the thing upside down, and expressed exactly the opposite of Kant s argument ; evidently without having the slightest inkling of what Kant meant by that postulate of Freedom on the basis of his Categorical Imperative. None of Professor Michelet s colleagues, to my knowledge, have pointed out this mistake, but " hanc veniam damns, petimusque vicissim" Another more recent instance. The above mentioned reviewer of Oersted s book (see note 1 (c), p. 202), to whose title the present treatise un fortunately had to stand godfather, comes in that work on the sentence that " bodies are spaces filled with force " (krafterfiilUe Edume). This is new to him; so without the faintest suspicion that he has to do with a far-famed Kantian dogma, and taking this for a paradoxical opinion of Oersted s, he attacks it and argues against it bravely, persistently and repeatedly in both his reviews, which ap peared at an interval of three years from one another, using arguments like these : " Force cannot fill Space without something substantial, Matter ; " then again three years later : " Force in Space does not yet constitute any thing.

1 Another instance of Michelet s ignorance is to be frund io Schopen hauer s posthumous writings, see " Aus Arthur Schopenhauer s hand- schriftlichem Nachlass," Leipzig, A. Brockhaus, 1864, p. 327. [Editor s note.]


208 THE WILL IN NATURE.

For Force to fill Space, there must be Substance, Matter. A mere force cap never fill. Matter must be there for it to fill." Bravo ! my cobbler would use just such arguments as these. 1 When I see specimina eruditionis of this sort, I begin to have my misgivings whether I did not do the man injustice by naming him among those who endeavour to undermine Kant ; but in this, to be sure, I had in view his assertions that " Space is but the relation, the juxtaposition of things," 2 and that " Space is a relation in which things stand, a juxtaposition of things. This juxtaposition ceases to be a conception as soon as the conception of Matter ceases." 3 For he might possibly have penned these sen tences in sheer innocence, since he may have known no more of the " Transcendental Aesthetic " than of the " Meta physical First Principles of Natural Science ; " though to be sure, this would be rather extraordinary for a professor of philosophy. Now-a-days however we must not be surprised at anything. For all knowledge of Critical Philosophy has died out, in spite of its being the latest true philosophy that has appeared, and a doctrine withal, that has made a revolu tion and epoch in human knowledge and thought. Now therefore, since it has overthrown all previous systems, and since the knowledge of it has died out, philosophising no longer proceeds on the basis of any of the doctrines pro pounded by the great minds of the past, but becomes a mere random untutored process, having an ordinary educa tion and the catechism for its foundation. Now that I have startled them however, our professors may perhaps take to studying Kant s works again. Still Lichtenberg says :

1 The same reviewer (Von Reuchlin-Meldegg) when he expounds the doctrines of the philosophers concerning God in the August number of the Heidelberg Annals (1855), p. 579, says: "In Kant, God is a thing in- itself which cannot be known." lu his review of Frauenstadt s " Letters " in the Heidelberg Annals of May and June (1855) he says that there is no knowledge a priori. [Add. to 3rd ed.]

2 C. 1. p. 899. 8 p. 908.


PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION. 209

" Past a certain age, I think it as impossible to learn Kantian Philosophy as to learn rope-dancing."

I should certainly not have condescended to record the sins of these sinners had not the interests of truth required that I should do so, in order to show the state of degradation at which German Philosophy has arrived fifty years after Kant s death in consequence of the machinations of the gentlemen of the trade/ and also to show what would result, if these puny minds, who know nothing but their own ends, were to be suffered without hindrance to check the influence of the great geniuses who have illumined the world. I cannot look on at this in silence ; it is rather a case to which G-othe s exhortation applies :

" Du Kraftiger, sei nicht so still,

Wenn auch sich Andre scheuen : Wer den Teufel erschreeken will,

Der muss laut schreien."

Dr. Martin Luther thought so also.

Hatred against Kant, hatred against me, hatred against truth, all however in majorem Dei gloriam, is what inspires these worthies who live on philosophy. Who can be so blind as not to see that University philosophy is the enemy of all true, serious philosophy, whose progress it feels bound to withstand ? For a philosophy which deserves the name, is pure service of truth, therefore the most sub lime of all human endeavours ; but, as such, it is not adapted for a trade. Least of all can it have its seat in Universities, where a theological Faculty predominates and things are irrevocably decided beforehand ere philo sophy comes to them. With Scholasticism, from which University philosophy descends, it was quite a different thing. Scholasticism was avowedly the ancilla theologies, so that here the name corresponded to the thing. Our University philosophy of to-day, on the contrary, disclaims


210 THE WILL IN NATURE.

the connection, and professes independent research ; yet in reality it is only the ancilla disguised, and it is intended no less than its predecessor to be the servant of Theology. Thus genuine, sincerely meant philosophy has an adversary under the guise of an ally in University philosophy. There fore I said long ago, that nothing would be of greater bene fit to philosophy than for it to cease altogether to be taught at Universities ; and if at that time I still admitted the propriety of a brief, quite succinct course of History of Philosophy accompanying Logic which undoubtedly ought to be taught at Universities I have since withdrawn that hasty concession in consequence of the following disclosure made to us in the Gottingischen Gelehrten Anzeigen of the 1st January, 1853, p. 8, by the Ordinarius loci (one who writes History of Philosophy in thick volumes) : " It could not be mistaken that Kant s doctrine is ordinary Theism, and that it has contributed little or nothing towards trans forming the current views on G-od and his relation to the world." If this is the state of the case, Universities are in my opinion no longer the right place even for teaching History of Philosophy. There designs and intentions reign paramount. I had indeed long ago begun to suspect, that History of Philosophy was taught at our Universities in the same spirit and with the same granum sails as Philo sophy itself, and it needed but very little to make my sus picions certainty. Accordingly it is my wish to see both Philosophy and its History disappear from the lecture-list, because I desire to rescue them from the tender mercies of our court-councillors. 1 But far be it from me, to wish to see our professors of philosophy removed from their thriving business at our Universities. On the contrary, what I should like would be, to see them promoted three degrees higher in dignity and raised to the highest faculty, as pro-

1 Hofrathe. A title of honour often given for literary and scientific merit in Germany, and common among University professors. [Tr. s note.]


PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION. 211

fessors of Theology. For at the bottom they have really been this for some time already, and have served quite long enough as volunteers.

Meanwhile my honest and kindly advice to the young generation is, not to waste any time with University philosophy, but to study Kant s works and my own instead. I promise them that there they will learn some thing substantial, that will bring light and order into their brains : so far at least as they may be capable of receiving them. It is not good to crowd round a wretched farthing rushlight when brilliant torches are close by ; still less to run after will o the wisps. Above all, my truth- seeking young friends, beware of letting our professors tell you what is contained in the Critique of Pure Reason. Bead it yourselves, and you will find in it something very different from what they deem it advisable for you to know. In our time a great deal too much study is generally devoted to the History of Philosophy ; for this study, being adapted by its very nature to substitute know ledge for reflection, is just now cultivated downright with a view to making philosophy consist in its own history. It is not only of doubtful necessity, but even of questionable profit, to acquire a superficial half-knowledge of the opinions and systems of all the philosophers who have taught for 2,500 years ; yet what more does the most honest history of philosophy give ? A real knowledge of philosophers can only be acquired from their own works, and not from the distorted image of their doctrines as it is found in the commonplace head. 1 But it is really urgent that order should be brought into our heads by some sort of philosophy, and that we should at the same time learn

1 " Potius de rebus ipsis judicare debemus, qiiam pro magno habere, de hominibus quid quisque senserit scire" says St. Augustine (" De civ. Dei" 1. 19, c. 3). Under the present mode of proceeding, however, the philosophical lecture-room becomes a sort of rag-fair for old worn-out,


212 THE WILL IN NATURE.

to look at the world with a really unbiassed ere. Now no philosophy is so near to us, both as regards time and language, as that of Kant, and it is at the same time a philosophy, compared with which all those which went before are superficial. On this account it is unhesita tingly to be preferred to all others.

But I perceive that the news of Caspar Hauser s escape has already spread among our professors of philosophy ; for I see that some of them have already given vent to their feelings in bitter and venomous abuse of me in various periodicals, making up by falsehoods for their deficiency of wit. 1 Nevertheless I do not complain of all this, because I am rejoiced at the cause and amused by the effect of it, as illustrative of Grothe s verse :

" Es will der Spitz aus unserm Stall

Uns immerfort begleiten : Doch seines Bellens lauter Schall Beweist nur, dass wir reiten."

ARTHUR SCHOPENHAUER. FRANKFURT AM MEIN, August, 1854.

cast-off opinions, which are brought there every six months to be aired and beaten. [Add. to 3rd ed.]

1 I take this opportunity urgently to request that the public will not believe unconditionally any accounts of what I am supposed to have said, even when they are given as quotations ; but will first verify the existence of these quotations in my works. In this way many a falsehood will be detected, which can however only be stamped as a direct forgery when accompanied by quotation marks (" "). [Add. to 3rd ed.]


EDITOR S PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION.

SCHOPENHAUER has left an interleaved copy of his work " On the Will in Nature," as well as of his other writings, and has inserted in it those Corrections and Additions which he intended to use for the Third Edition. I have therefore included them in this Third Edition.

The Corrections chiefly concern the style, here and there an expression being changed, and a word inserted or omitted. The Additions, on the contrary, concern the matter of the book ; they amplify it more or less consider ably, and are tolerably numerous.

The Corrections are incorporated by Schopenhauer with the text ; whereas the Additions are designated by him ad " Notes " (Anmerkungen) to be placed at the foot of the pages with the words, " added to the third edition." They will therefore be found at the places indicated by him for them, as foot-notes ; and thus the reader will be enabled easily to discern how much has been added in this edition.

As to the value of the present work, Schopenhauer has expressed himself as follows in the " World as Will and Representation : "

" It would be a great mistake to consider the foreign deliverances with which I have connected my own exposi tion there (in the work " On the Will in Nature ") as the real substance and argument of that work which, though


214 THE WILL IN NATURE.

small in size, is weighty in import. They are rather a mere occasion which I take as my starting-point in order to expound the fundamental truth of my doctrine more clearly there than has been done anywhere else, and to apply it all the way down even to the empirical knowledge of Nature. This I have done most exhaustively and stringently under the heading " Physical Astronomy," nor can I ever hope to find a more correct or accurate expres sion for the kernel of my doctrine than the one given there." x

I have nothing to add to testimony thus given by Schopenhauer himself.

JULIUS FRAUENSTADT.

Berlin, March, 1867.

1 " Die Welt a. W. u. V.," vol. ii., c. 18, p. 213.


EDITOR S PREFACE TO THE FOURTH EDITION.

THE present Fourth Edition is an identical reprint of the Third : it therefore contains the same Corrections and Additions which I had already inserted in the Third Edition from Schopenhauer s own manuscript.

JULIUS FRAUENSTADT. Berlin, September, 1877.


THE WILL IN NATURE.


INTRODUCTION.

IBEEAK silence after seventeen years, 1 in order to point out to the few who, in advance of the age, may have given their attention to my philosophy, sundry cor- roborations which have been contributed to it by unbiassed empiricists, unacquainted with my writings, who, in pur suing their own road in search of merely empirical know ledge, discovered at its extreme end what my doctrine has propounded as the Metaphysical (das Metaphysische), from which the explanation of experience as a whole must come. This circumstance is the more encouraging, as it confers upon my system a distinction over all hitherto existing ones ; for all the other systems, even the latest that of Kant still leave a wide gap between their results and experience, and are far from coming down directly to, and into contact with, experience. By this my Metaphysic proves itself to be the only one having an extreme point in common with the physical sciences : a point up to which these sciences come to meet it by their own paths, so as

1 So had I written in 1835, when the present treatise was first com posed, having published nothing since 1818, before the close of which year " Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung ; had appeared. For a Latin version, which I had added to the third volume of" Scriptores ophthalmo- logici minores" edentc J. Radio, in 1830, for the benefit of my foreign readers, of my treatise "On Vision and Colours" (published in 1816), can hardly be said to break the silence of that pause.


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really to connect themselves and to harmonize with it. Moreover this is not brought about by twisting and strain- in g the empirical sciences in order to adapt them to Meta- physic, nor by Metaphysic having been secretly abstracted from them beforehand and then, a la Schelling, finding a priori what it had learnt a posteriori. On the contrary, both meet at the same point of their own accord, yet with out collusion. My system therefore, far from soaring above all reality and all experience, descends to the firm ground of actuality, where its lessons are continued by the Phy sical Sciences.

Now the extraneous and empirical corroborations I am about to bring forward, all concern the kernel and chief point of my doctrine, its Metaphysic proper. They con cern, that is, the paradoxical fundamental truth,

that what Kant opposed as thing in itself to mere pheno menon called more decidedly by me representation and what he held to be absolutely unknowable, that this thing in itself, this substratum of all phenomena, and therefore of the whole of Nature, is nothing but what we know directly and intimately and find within ourselves as the will ; 1

that accordingly, this will, far from being inseparable from, and even a mere result of, knowledge, differs radically and entirely from, and is quite independent of, know ledge, which is secondary and of later origin ; and can consequently subsist and manifest itself without know ledge : a thing which actually takes place throughout the whole of Nature, from the animal kingdom downwards ;

that this will, being the one and only thing in itself, the

1 As will be seen by the following detailed exposition, Schopenhauer attaches a far wider meaning to the word than is usually given, and regards the will, not merely as conscious volition enlightened by Season and determined by motives, but as the fundamental essence of all that occurs, even where there is no choice. [Tr.]


INTRODUCTION. 217

sole truly real, primary, metaphysical thing in a world in which everything else is only phenomenon i.e. mere representation gives all things, whatever they may be, the power to exist and to act ;

that accordingly, not only the voluntary actions of animals, but the organic mechanism, nay even the shape and quality of their living body, the vegetation of plants and finally, even in inorganic Nature, crystallization, and in general every primary force which manifests itself in physical and chemical phenomena, not ex cepting Gravity, that all this, I say, in itself, i.e. independently of phenomenon (which only means, independently of our brain and its representations), is absolutely identical with the will we find within us and know as intimately as we can know any thing ;

that further, the individual manifestations of the will are set in motion by motives in beings gifted with an intellect, but no less by stimuli in the organic life of animals and of plants, and finally in all inorganic Nature, by causes in the narrowest sense of the word these distinctions applying exclusively to pheno mena;

that, on the other hand, knowledge with its substratum, the intellect, is a merely secondary phenomenon, dif fering completely from the will, only accompanying its higher degrees of objectification and not essential to it ; which, as it depends upon the manifestations of the will in the animal organism, is therefore physical, and not, like the will, metaphysical ;

that we are never able therefore to infer absence of will from absence of knowledge; for the will may be pointed out even in all phenomena of unconscious Nature, whether in plants or in inorganic bodies ; in short,


218 THE WILL IN NATURE.

that the will is not conditioned by knowledge, as lias hitherto been universally assumed, although know ledge is conditioned by the will.

Now this fundamental truth, which even to-day sounds so like a paradox, is the part of my doctrine to which, in all its chief points, the empirical sciences themselves ever eager to steer clear of all Metaphysic have contributed just as many confirmations forcibly elicited by the irresis tible cogency of truth, but which are most surprising on account of the quarter whence they proceed ; and although they have certainly come to light since the publication of my chief work, it has been quite independently of it and as the years went on. Now, that it should be precisely this fundamental doctrine of mine which has thus met with confirmation, is advantageous in two respects. First, because it is the main thought upon which my system is founded ; secondly, because it is the only part of my phi losophy that admits of confirmation through sciences which are alien to, and independent of, it. For although the last seventeen years, during which I have been constantly occupied with this subject, have, it is true, brought me many corroborations as to other parts, such as Ethics, ^Esthetics, Dianoiology ; still these, by their very nature, pass at once from the sphere of actuality, whence they arise, to that of philosophy itself : so they cannot claim to be extraneous evidence, nor can they, as collected by me, have the same irrefragable, unequivocal cogency as those concerning Metaphysics proper which are given by its correlate Physics (in the wide sense of the word which the Ancients gave it). For, in pursuing its own road, Physics, i.e., Natural Science as a whole, must in all its branches finally come to a point where physical ex planation ceases. Now this is precisely the Metaphysical, which Natural Science only apprehends as the impassable barrier at which it stops short and henceforth abandons its


INTRODUCTION. 219

subject to Metaphysics. Kant therefore was quite right in saying : " It is evident, that the primary sources of Nature s agency must absolutely belong to the sphere of Metaphysics." l Physical science is wont to designate this unknown, inaccessible something, at which its investigations stop short and which is taken for granted in all its expla nations, by such terms as physical force, vital force, forma tive principle, &c. &c., which in fact mean no more than x, y, z. Now if nevertheless, in single, propitious instances, specially acute and observant investigators succeed in casting as it were a furtive glance behind the curtain which bounds off the domain of Natural Science, and are able not only to feel it is a barrier but, in a sense, to obtain a view of its nature and thus to peep into the meta physical region beyond ; if moreover, having acquired this privilege, they explicitly designate the limit thus explored downright as that which is stated to be the true inner essence and final principle of all things by a system of Metaphysics unknown to them, which takes its reasons from a totally different sphere and, in every other respect, re cognises all things merely as phenomena, i.e., as represen tation then indeed the two bodies of investigators must feel like two mining engineers driving a gallery, who, having started from two points far apart and worked for some time in subterranean darkness, trusting exclusively to compass and spirit-level, suddenly to their great joy catch the sound of each other s hammers. For now indeed these investigators know, that the point so long vainly sought for has at last been reached at which Metaphysics and Physics meet they, who were as hard to bring to gether as Heaven and Earth that a reconciliation has been initiated and a connection found between these two sciences. But the philosophical system which has wit nessed this triumph receives by it the strongest and most 1 Kant, " Von der wahren Scliat/uiig der lebendigen Krafte," 51.


220 THE WILL IN NATURE.

satisfactory proof possible of its own truth and accuracy. Compared with such a confirmation as this, which may, in fact, be looked upon as equivalent to proving a sum in arithmetic, the regard or disregard of a given period of time loses all importance, especially when we consider what has been the subject of interest meanwhile and find it to be the sort of philosophy we have been treated to since Kant. The eyes of the public are gradually opening to the mystification by which it has been duped for the last forty years under the name of philosophy, and this will be more and more the case. The day of reckoning is at hand, when it will see whether all this endless scribbling and quibbling since Kant has brought to light a single truth of any kind. I may thus be dispensed from the obligation of entering here into subjects so unworthy ; the more so, as I can accomplish my purpose more briefly and agreeably by narrating the following anecdote. During the carnival, Dante having lost himself in a crowd of masks, the Duke of Medici ordered him to be sought for. Those coin- missioned to look for him, being doubtful whether they would be able to find him, as he was himself masked, the Duke gave them a question to put to every mask they might meet who resembled Dante. It was this: "Who knows what is good ? " After receiving several foolish answers, they finally met with a mask who replied : " He that knows what is bad," by which Dante was immediately recognised. "What is meant by this here is, that I have seen no reason to be disheartened on account of the want of sympathy of my contemporaries, since I had at the same time before my eyes the objects of their sympathy. What those authors were, posterity will see by their works ; what the contemporaries were, will be seen by the reception they gave to those works. My doctrine lays no claim whatever

1 Baltazar Gracian, " El Criticon," iii. 90, to whom I leave the responsibility for the anachronism.


INTRODUCTION. 221

to the name " Philosophy of the present time " which was disputed to the amusing adepts of Hegel s mystification ; but it certainly does claim the title of "Philosophy of time to come : " that is, of a time when people will no longer content themselves with a mere jingle of words without meaning, with empty phrases and trivial paral lelisms, but will exact real contents and serious disclosures from philosophy, while, on the other hand, they will exempt it from the unjust and preposterous obligation of paraphrasing the national religion for the time being. " For it is an extremely absurd thing," says Kant , 1 " to expect to be en lightened by Reason and yet to prescribe to her beforehand on which side she must incline." It is indeed sad to live in an age so degenerate, that it should be necessary to appeal to the authority of a great man to attest so obvious a truth. But it is absurd to expect marvels from a phi losophy that is chained up, and particularly amusing to watch the solemn gravity with which it sets to work to accomplish grea,t things, when we all know beforehand " the short meaning of the long speech." 2 However the keen-sighted assert that under the cloak of philosophy they can mostly detect theology holding forth for the edification of students thirsting after truth, and instructing them after its own fashion ; and this again reminds us forcibly of a certain favourite scene in Faust. Others, who think that they see still further into the matter, maintain that what is thus disguised is neither theology nor philosophy, but simply a poor devil who, while solemnly protesting that he has lofty, sublime truth for his aim, is in fact only striving to get bread for himself and for his future young family. This he might no doubt obtain by other means with less labour and more dignity ; meanwhile however for

1 Kant, " Krit. d. r. V." 5th edition, p. 755. (English translation by M. Muller, p. 640.)

2 Schiller, der langen Kede kurzer Sinn." [Tr.]


222 THE WILL IN NATURE.

this price he is ready to do anything he is asked to do, even to deduce a priori, nay, should it come to the worst, to perceive, the Devil and his dam/ by intellectual intui tion and here indeed the exceedingly comical effect is brought to a climax by the contrast between the sublimity of the ostensible, and the lowliness of the real, aim. It remains nevertheless desirable, that the pure, sacred pre cincts of philosophy should be cleansed of all such traders, as was the temple of Jerusalem in former times of the buyers and sellers. Biding such better times therefore, may our philosophical public bestow its attention and interest as it has done hitherto. May it continue as before invariably naming Fichte as an obligate accompaniment to, and in the same breath with, Kant that great mind, pro duced but once by Nature, which has illumined its own depth as if forsooth they were of the same kind ; and this without a single voice being heard to exclaim in protest HpaK\ij$ KUI iridrjKOQ ! May Hegel s philosophy of absolute nonsense three-fourths cash and one-fourth crazy fancies con tinue to pass for unfathomable wisdom without anyone suggesting as an appropriate motto for his writings Shake speare s words : " Such stuff as madmen tongue and brain not," or, as an emblematical vignette, the cuttle-fish with its ink-bag, creating a cloud of darkness around it to pre vent people from seeing what it is, with the device : mea caligine tutus. May each day bring us, as hitherto, new systems adapted for University purposes, entirely made up of words and phrases and in a learned jargon besides, which allows people to talk whole days without saying anything ; and may these delights never be disturbed by the Arabian proverb : " I hear the clappering of the mill, but I see no flour." For all this is in accordance with the age and must have its course. In all times some such thing occupies the contemporary public more or less noisily ; then it dies off so completely, vanishes so entirely, without


INTRODUCTION. 223

leaving a trace behind, that the next generation no longer knows what it was. Truth can bide its time, for it has a long life- before it. Whatever is genuine and seriously meant, is always slow to make its way and certainly attains its end almost miraculously ; for on its first appear ance it as a rule meets with a cool, if not ungracious, re ception : and this for exactly the same reason that, when once it is fully recognised and has passed on to pos terity, the immense majority of men take it on credit, in order to avoid compromising themselves, whereas the number of genuine appreciators remains nearly as small as it was at -first. These few nevertheless suffice to make the truth respected, for they are themselves respected. And thus it is passed from hand to hand through centuries over the heads of the inept multitude: so hard is the existence of mankind s best inheritance! On the other hand, if truth had to crave permission to be true from such as have quite different aims at heart, its cause might indeed be given, up for lost ; for then it might often be dismissed with the witches watch-word : " fair is foul, and foul is fair." Luckily however this is not the case. Truth depends upon no one s favour or disfavour, nor does it ask anyone s leave : it stands upon its own feet, and has Time for its ally ; its power is irresistible, its life in destructible.


PHYSIOLOGY AND PATHOLOGY.

IN classifying the above-mentioned empirical corrobora- tions of my doctrine according to the sciences from which they come, while I take the graduated order of Nature from the highest to the lowest degree as a guiding- thread to my expositions, I must first mention a very striking confirmation lately received by my chief dogma in the physiological and pathological views of Dr. J. D. Brandis, private physician to the King of Denmark, a veteran in science, whose " Essay on Vital Force " (1795) had received Kail s hearty commendation. In his two latest writings : " Experiences in the Application of Cold in Disease" (Berlin, 1833), and " Nosology and Therapeutics of Cachexise " (1834), we find him in the most emphatic and striking manner stating the primary source of all vital functions to be an unconscious will, from which he derives all processes in the machinery of the organism, in health as well as in disease, and which he represents as the primum mobile of life. I must support this by literal quotations from these essays, since few save medical readers are likely to have them at hand.

In the first of them, p. viii., we find: "The essence of every living organism consists in the will to maintain its own existence as much as possible over against the macrocosm ; " p. x. : " Only one living entity, one will can be in an organ at the same time ; therefore if there is a diseased will in disagreement with the rest of the body in the organ of the skin, we may hold it in check by applying


PHYSIOLOGY AND PATHOLOGY. 225

cold as long as the generation of warmth, a normal will, can be induced by it." P. 1 : " If we are forced to the con viction that there must be a determining principle a will, in every vital action, by which the development suited to the whole organism is occasioned, and each metamorphosis of the parts conditioned, in harmony with the whole indi viduality, and likewise that there is a something capable of being determined and developed," &c. &c. P. 11: "With respect to individual life, the element which determines, the organic will, if it is to rest satisfied, must be able to attain what it wants from that which has to be determined. This occurs even when the vital movements are over excited, as in inflammation : something new is formed, the noxious element is expelled ; new plastic materials are meanwhile conveyed through the arteries, more venous blood is carried off, until the process of inflammation is finished and the organic will satisfied. It is however possible to excite this will to such a degree, as to make satisfaction impossible. This exciting cause (or stimulus) either acts directly upon the particular organ (poison, con tagion) or it affects the whole life ; and this life then begins to make the most strenuous efforts to rid itself of the noxious element or to modify the disposition of the organic will, and provokes critical vital activity in particular parts (inflammations) or yields to the unappeased will"- P. 12 : " The insatiable will acts destructively upon the organism unless either (a) the whole life, in its efforts to attain unity (tendency to adapt means to end), produces other activities requiring satisfaction (crises et lyses) which hold that will in check called decisive (crises complete?) when quite successful; crises incomplete, when only partially so or (ft) some other stimulus (medicine) produces another will which represses the diseased one. If we place this in one and the same category with the will of which we have become conscious through our own representations, and

Q


226 THE WILL IN NATURE.

bear in mind that here there can be no question of more or less distant resemblance, we gain the conviction that we have grasped the fundamental conception of the one unlimited, therefore indivisible, life which, according to its different manifestations in various more or less endowed and exer cised organs, is just as able to make hair grow on the human body as to combine the most sublime representa tions. We see that the most violent passion unsatisfied will may be checked by more or less strong excitement," &c. &c. P. 18 : " The determining element this organic will without representation, this tendency to preserve the organism as a unity is induced by outward temperature to modify its activity now in the same, now in a remoter organ. Every manifestation of life, however, whether in health or in disease, is a manifestation of the organic will : this will determines vegetation : in a healthy condi tion, in harmony with the unity of the whole ; in an un healthy one .... it is induced not to will in harmony with that unity "... .P. 23 : " Cold suddenly applied to the skin suppresses its function (chill) ; cold drinks check the organic will in the digestive organs and thereby intensify that of the skin and produce perspiration ; just so with the diseased organic will: cold checks cutaneous eruptions," &c. &c. P. 33 : " Fever is the complete parti cipation of the whole vital process in a diseased will, i.e. it is to the entire vital process what inflammation is to particular organs the effort of our vitality to form some thing definite, in order to content the diseased will and remove the noxious element. We call this process of forma tion crisis or lysis (turning-point or release). The first per ception of the pernicious element which causes the diseased will, affects the individuality just in the same way as a noxious element apprehended by our senses, before we have brought to clear representation the entire relation in which it stands to our individuality and the means of


PHYSIOLOGY AND PATHOLOGY. 227

removing it. It creates terror and its consequences, a standstill of the vital process in the parenchyma, especially in the parts directed towards the outer world ; in the skin, and in all the motor muscles belonging to the entire individuality (outer body) : shuddering, chills, trembling, pains in the limbs, &c. &c. The difference between them is, that in the latter case the noxious element, either at once or gradually, becomes clear representation, because it is compared with the individuality by means of all the senses, so that its relation to that individuality can be determined, and the means of protection against it (dis regard, flight, warding off, defence, &c.) be brought to a conscious will; whereas, in the former case, we remain unconscious of that noxious element, and it is life alone (or Nature s curative power) which is striving to remove the noxious element and thereby to content the diseased will. Nor must this be taken for a simile; it is, on the contrary, a true description of the manifestation of life." P. 58 : " We must however always bear in mind, that cold acts here as a powerful stimulus to check or moderate the diseased will and to rouse in its place a natural will, accompanied by general warmth."

In almost every page of this book similar expressions are to be found. In the second of the Essays I have named, Brandis no longer combines the explanation by the will so universally with each separate analysis, probably in consideration that this explanation is properly speaking, a metaphysical one. Nevertheless he maintains it entirely and completely, giving it even all the more distinct and decided expression, wherever he states it. Thus, for in stance, in 68 et seq. he speaks of an " unconscious will, which cannot be separated from the conscious one," and is the primum mobile of all life, as well in plants as in animals ; for, in these, it is a desire and aversion manifesting itself in all the organs which determines all their vital


228 THE WILL IN NATURE.

processes, secretions, &c. &c. . 71 : " All convulsions prove that the manifestation of the will can take place without distinct power of representation." . 72 : " Every where do we meet with a spontaneous, unconimunicated activity, now determined by the sublimest human free will, now by animal desire and aversion, now again by simple, more vegetative requirements ; which activity, in order to maintain itself, calls forth several other kinds of .activity in the unity of the individual." P. 96 : "A creative, spontaneous, uncomrnunicated activity shows itself in every vital manifestation." . . " The third factor in this individual creation is the will, the individual s life itself." . . " The nerves are the conductors of this indi vidual creation: by their means form and mixture are varied according to desire and aversion." P. 97 : " Assimi lation of foreign substance . . . makes the blood . . . It is not an absorption or an exudation of organic matter ; ... on the contrary, here the sole factor of the phe nomenon is in all cases the creative will, a life which cannot be brought back to any sort of imparted move ment.

When I wrote this (1835) I was still naif enough seriously to believe that Brandis was unacquainted with my work, or I should not allude here to his writings ; for they would then be merely a repetition, application and carrying out of my own doctrine on this point, not a corro- boration of it. But I thought I might safely assume that he did not know me, because he has not mentioned me anywhere and because if he had known me, literary honesty would have made it his imperative duty not to remain silent concerning the man from whom he had borrowed his chief fundamental thought, the more so as he saw that man then enduring unmerited neglect, by his writings being generally ignored a circumstance which might be con-


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strued as favourable to fraud. Add to this, that it lay in Brandis own interest as a writer, and would therefore have shown sagacity on his part, to have appealed to me as an authority. For the fundamental doctrine propounded by him is so striking and paradoxical, that even his Gottingeii reviewer is amazed and hardly knows what to think of it ; yet such a doctrine as this was left without foundation either through proof or induction, nor did Dr. Brandis establish its relation to the whole of our knowledge of Nature : he simply asserted it. I imagined therefore that it was by the peculiar gift of divination, which enables emi nent physicians to see and do the right thing in cases of illness, that he had been led to this view, without being able to give a strict and methodical account of the grounds of this really metaphysical truth, although he must have seen how greatly it is opposed to the generally received views. Had he, thought I, been acquainted with my philosophy, which gives far greater extension to this truth, makes it valid for the whole of Nature and founds it both by proof and induction in close connection with Kant s teaching, from which it proceeds as a final result of ex cogitation how gladly must he have availed himself of such confirmation and support, rather than to stand alone by an unheard-of assertion which was never further carried out and, with him, never went beyond bare assertion. Such were the reasons that led me to believe myself entitled to take for granted Dr. Brandis ignorance of my book.

Since then however I have become better acquainted v, r ith German scientists and Copenhagen Academicians, to which body Dr. Brandis belonged, and have gained the conviction that he knew me very well indeed. I stated my reasons for arriving at this conviction already in 1844 in the 2nd vol. of " Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung," l so that, as the subject is by no means edifying, it is need- 1 Chapter 20, p. 263 j p. 295 of the 3rd edition.


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less to repeat them here ; I will merely add that I have since been assured on trustworthy authority that Dr. Brandis not only knew my work but even possessed it, as it was found among his property after his death. The un merited obscurity to which writers like myself are long condemned, encourages such people to appropriate their thoughts without so much as naming them.

Another medical authority has carried this even farther ; for, not content with the thought alone, he has appropriated to himself the expression of it also. I allude to Professor Anton Rosas of the University of Vienna, whose entire 507 in the 1st vol. of his Textbook of Ophthalmology 2 (1830) is copied word for word from pp. 14-16 of my treatise " On Vision and Colours " (1816) without any mention whatever of me, or even the slightest hint that he is using the words of another. This sufficiently accounts for the care he has taken not to mention my treatise among the lists of twenty-one writings on Colours and forty on the Physiology of the Eye, which he gives in 542 and 567 ; a caution which was however all the more advisable, as he had appropriated to himself a good deal more out of that pamphlet without mentioning me. All that is referred, for instance, in 526 to them (man), is only applicable to me. His entire 527 is copied almost literally from my pp. 59 and 60. The theory which he introduces without further cere mony in 535 by the word "evidently" : that is, that yellow is f and violet i of the eye s activity, never was evident to anyone until I made it so ; even to this day it is a truth known to few and acknowledged by fewer still, and much is yet wanting for example, that I should be dead and buried ere it be possible to call it evident without further ceremony. The matter will even have to wait till after my death to be seriously sifted, since a close investi gation might easily bring to evidence the real difference 1 Rosas, " JIumlbuch der Augenheilkunde " (1830).


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between Newton s theory of colours and my own, which is simply that his is false, and mine true : a discovery which could not fail to mortify my contemporaries. Wherefore, according to ancient custom, all serious examination into the question is wisely postponed for these few years. Pro fessor Rosas knew no such policy as this and, as the matter was not alluded to anywhere, thought himself entitled, like the Danish Academician, to claim it as lawful prey (de bonne prise) . Evidently North and South German honesty had not yet come to a satisfactory understanding. Moreover the whole contents of 538, 539 and 540 in Professor Rosas book are taken from my pamphlet, nay even in great part copied word for word from my 13. Still once, where he stands in need of a voucher for a fact, he finds himself obliged to refer to my treatise : that is, in his 531 ; and it is most amusing to see the way in which he even brings in the numerical fractions used by me, as a result of my theory, to express all colours. It had probably occurred to him, that appropriating them quite sans fa^on might be a delicate matter, so he says, p. 308: " If we wished to express in numbers the first-mentioned relation in which colours stand to white, assuming white to be = 1, the following scale of proportion might by the way be adopted (as has already been done by Schopenhauer) :

yellow = J blue = i

orange = -| violet = J

red = i black = green = ~

Now I should like to know how anyone could do this by the way, without having first thought out my whole colour- theory, to which alone these numbers refer, and apart from which they are mere abstract numbers without meaning; above all, how anyone could do it who, like Professor Eosas, professes to be a follower of Newton s


232 THE WILL IN NATURE.

colour-theory, with which these numbers are in direct con tradiction ? Finally, I should like to know how it came, that during the thousands of years in which men have thought and written, no one but myself and Professor Rosas should ever have thought of using just these parti cular fractions to denote colours ? For the words 1 have quoted above tell us, that he would have stated those frac tions precisely as he has done, even had I not chanced to do it already fourteen years before and thus needlessly anticipated his statement ; they also tell us, that all that is required is to wish, in order to do so. Now it is pre cisely in these numerical fractions that the secret of colours lies : by them alone can we rightly solve the mystery of their nature and of their difference from one another. I should however be heartily glad, were plagiarism the worst kind of dishonesty that denied German literature ; there are others far more mischievous, which penetrate more deeply, and to which plagiarism bears the same pro portion as picking pockets in a mild way to capital crime. I allude to that mean, despicable spirit, whose loadstar is personal interest, when it ought to be truth, and in which the voice of intention makes itself heard beneath the mask of insight. Double-dealing and time-serving are the order of the day. Tartuffe comedies are performed without rouge ; nay, Capuchin sermons are preached in halls consecrated to Science ; enlightenment, that once revered word, has become a term of opprobrium ; the greatest thinkers of the past century, Yoltaire, Rousseau, Locke, Hume, are slandered those heroes, ornaments and benefactors of mankind, whose fame, diffused throughout both hemi spheres, can only be increased, if by anything, by the fact that wherever and whenever obscurantists show them selves, it is as their bitterest enemies and with good rea son. Literary coteries and associations are formed to deal out praise and blame, and spurious merit is then trumpeted


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forth and extolled, while sterling merit is slandered or, aa Gothe says, " secreted, by means of an inviolable silence, in vi,ich sort of inquisitorial censure the Germans have attained great proficiency." l The motives and considerations how ever from which all this proceeds, are of too low a nature for me to care to enumerate them in detail. But what a difference there is between periodicals such as the " Edin burgh Review," in which gentlemen of independent means are induced to write by a genuine interest in the subjects treated, and which honourably upholds its noble motto taken from Publius Syrus : Judex damnatur cum nocens absolvitur, and our mean- spirited, disingenuous, G-ermaii literary jour nals, full of considerations and intentions, that are mostly compiled for the sake of pay by hired editors, and ought properly to have for their motto: Accedas socius laudes, lauderis, ut absens. Now, after twenty years, do I understand what Gothe said to me at Berka in 1814. As I found him reading Madame de StaeTs " De TAllemagne" I remarked in course of conversation that she had given too exag gerated a description of German honesty and one that might mislead foreigners. He laughed and said: "Yes, to be sure, they will not secure their baggage behind and will have it cut off." He then added in a graver tone: " But one has to know German literature in order to realise the full extent of German dishonesty." All well and good ! But the most revolting kind of dishonesty in Ger man literature is that of the time-servers, who pass them selves off for philosophers, while in reality they are obscu rantists. The word time-serving no more needs explana tion than the thing needs a proof ; for anyone who had the face to deny it would furnish strong evidence in support of

1 Gothe, "Tag-und Jahreshefte," 1812.

7 This 1 wrote in 1836. The " Edinburgh Review "has since however greatly deteriorated, and is no longer its old self. I have even seen clerical time-serving in its pagos, written down to the level of the mob.


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my present argument. Kant taught, that man ought to use his fellow-man only as an end, never as a means : he did not think it necessary to say, that philosophy ought only to be dealt with as an end, never as a means. Time serving may after all be excused under every garb, the cowl as well as the ermine, save only the philosopher s cloak (Triboniori) ; for he who has once assumed this, has sworn allegiance to truth, and from that moment every other consideration, no matter of what kind, becomes base treachery. Therefore it was that Socrates did not shun the hemlock, nor Bruno the stake, while for a piece of bread these men will transgress. Are they too short sighted to see posterity close at hand, with the history of philosophy at its side, recording two lines of bitter con demnation with unflinching hand and iron pen in its im mortal pages ? Or has this no sting for them ? Well to be sure, if it comes to the worst, apres moi le deluge may be pronounced ; but as to apres moi le mepris, that is a more difficult matter. Therefore I fancy they will answer that austere judge as follows : " Ah, dear posterity and history of philosophy ! you are quite wrong to take us in earnest ; we are not philosophers at all, Heaven forbid ! No, we are only professors of philosophy, mere servants of the state, mere philosophers in jest. You might as well drag puppet-knights in pasteboard armour into a real tournament." Then the judge will most likely see how matters stand, erase all their names, and confer upon them the beneficiumperpetui silentii. From this digression to which I had been led away eighteen years ago, by the cant and time-serving I then witnessed, though they were not nearly as flourishing then as they are now I return to that part of my doctrine whieh Dr. Brandis has confirmed, though he did not originate it, in order to add a few explanations with which I shall then connect some further corroborations it has since received from Physiology.


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The three assumptions which are criticised by Kant in his Transcendental Dialectic under the names of Ideas of Reason, and have in consequence since been set aside in theoretical philosophy, had always stood in the way of a deeper insight into Nature, until that great thinker brought about a complete transformation in philosophy. That sup posed Idea of Eeason, the soul : that metaphysical being, in whose absolute singleness knowing and willing were knit and blended together to eternal, inseparable unity, was an impediment of this sort for the subject-matter of this chapter. As long as it lasted, no philosophical Physiology was possible : the less so, as its correlate, real, purely pas sive Matter, had necessarily also to be assumed together with it, as the substance of the body. 1 It was this Idea of Reason, the soul, therefore, that caused the celebrated chemist and physiologist, George Ernest Stahl, at the beginning of the last century to miss the discovery of the truth he so nearly approached and would have quite reached, had he been able to put that which is alone meta physical, the bare will as yet without intellect in the place of the anima rationalis. Under the influence of this Idea of Reason however, he could not teach anything but that it is this simple, rational soul which builds itself a body, all whose inner organic functions it directs and performs, yet has no knowledge or consciousness of all this, although knowledge is the fundamental destination and, as it were, the substance, of its being. There was something absurd in this doctrine which made it utterly untenable. It was super seded by Haller s Irritability and Sensibility, which, to be sure, are taken in a purely empircial sense, but, to make up for this, are also two qualitates occultce, at which all ex planation ceases. The movement of the heart and of the intestines was now attributed to Irritability. But the anima rationalis still remained in undiminished honour

1 As a being existing by itself, a tiling in itself. [Add. to 3rd ed.]


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and dignity as a visitor at the house of the body. 1 " Truth lies at the bottom of a well," said Democritus ; and the centuries with a sigh, have repeated his words. But small wonder, if it gets a rap on the knuckles as soon as it tries to come out !

The fundamental truth of my doctrine, which places that doctrine in opposition with all others that have ever existed, is the complete separation between the will and the intellect, which all philosophers before me had looked upon as inseparable ; or rather, I ought to say that they had regarded the will as conditioned by, nay, mostly even as a mere function of, the intellect, assumed by them to be the fundamental substance of our spiritual being. But this separation, this analysis into two heterogeneous elements, of the ego or soul, which had so long been deemed an indi visible unity, is, for philosophy, what the analysis of water has been for chemistry, though it may take time to be ac knowledged. With me, that which is eternal and inde structible in man, therefore, that which constitutes his vital principle, is not the soul, but if I may use a chemical term its radical : and this is the will. The so-called soul is already a compound : it is the union of the will and the intellect (VOVQ). This intellect is the secondary element, the posterius of the organism and, as a mere cerebral function, is conditioned by the organism ; whereas the will is what is primary, the prius of the organism, which is conditioned by it. For the will is that tiling in itself, which only be comes apparent as an organic body in our representation (that mere function of the brain) : it is only through the forms of knowledge (or cerebral function), that is, only in our representation not apart from that representation, not immediately in our self-consciousness that our body is given to each of us as a thing which has extension, limbs

1 Iii which it is lodged in the garret. [Add. to 3rd ed.]


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and organs. As the actions of our body are only acts of volition portraying themselves in representation, so likewise is their substratum, the shape of that body, in the main the portrait of the will : so that, in all the organic functions of our body, the will is just as much the agent as in its external actions. True Physiology, at its highest, shows the spiritual (the intellectual) in man to be the product of the physical in him, and no one has done this so thoroughly as Gabanis ; but true Metaphysic teaches us, that the physical in man is itself mere product, or rather phenomenon, of a spiritual (the will) ; nay, that Matter itself is conditioned by representation, in which alone it exists. Perception and reflection will more and more find their explanation through the organism ; but not the will, by which conversely the organism is ex plained, as I shall show in the following chapter. First of all therefore I place the will, as thing in itself and quite primary ; secondly, its mere visibility, its obj edification : i.e. the body ; thirdly, the intellect, as a mere function of one part of that body. This part is itself the objectified will to know (the will to know having entered into repre sentation), since the will needs knowledge to attain its own ends. Now the entire world as representation, to gether with the body itself therefore, inasmuch as it is a perceptible object, nay, Matter in general as existing only in representation, all this, I say, is again conditioned by that function ; for, duly considered, we cannot possibly conceive an objective world without a Subject, in whose consciousness it is present. Thus knowledge and matter (Subject and Object) exist only relatively one for the other and constitute phenomenon. The whole thing there fore, owing to the radical change made by me, stands in a different light from that in which it has hitherto been regarded.

As soon as it is directed outwardly and acts upon a


238 THE WILL IN NATURE.

recognised object, as soon therefore as it has passed through the medium of knowledge, we all recognise the will at once to "be the active principle, and call it by its right name. Yet it is no less active in those inner pro cesses which have preceded such outward actions as their conditions : in those, for instance, which create and main tain organic life and its substratum ; and the circulation of the blood, secretion, digestion, &c. &c., are its work likewise. But just because the will was only recognised as the active principle in those cases in which it abandons the individual whence it proceeds, in order to direct itself towards the outer world now presenting itself pre cisely for this end, as perception knowledge has been taken for its essential condition, its sole element, nay, as the substance of which it consists : and hereby was perpetrated the greatest varepov Trporepov that has ever been.

But before all things we must learn to distinguish will [TFiZZe] (voluntas) from free-will [Willkulir] (arbttrium) 1 and to understand that the former can subsist without the latter; this however presupposes my whole philosophy. The will is called free-will when it is illumined by know ledge, therefore when the causes which move it are motives : that is, representations. Objectively speaking this means: when the influence from outside which causes the act, has a brain for its mediator. A motive may be defined

1 By this Schopenhauer means the distinction between the will in its widest sense, regarded as the fundamental essence of all that happens, even where there is no choice, even where it is unconscious, and conscious will, implying deliberation and choice, commonly called free will. We must however carefully guard against confounding this relative free-will, with absolute free-will (libcmm arbitrium indiffcrentics), which Schopenhauer declares to be inadmissible. The sense in which I have used the expression free-will throughout this treatise, is that of rela tive freedom, i.e. power to choose between different motives, free of all outward restraint ( Willkuhr). (Tr.)


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as an external stimulus, whose action first of all causes an image to arise in the brain, through the medium of which the will carries out the effect proper an outward action of the body. Now, in the human species however, the place of such an image as this may be taken by a conception drawn from former images of this kind by dropping their differences, which conception consequently is no longer perceptible, but merely denoted and fixed by words. As the action of motives accordingly does not depend upon contact, they can try their power on the will against each other : in other words, they permit a certain choice which, in animals, is limited to the narrow sphere of that which has perceptible existence for them ; whereas, in man, its range comprises the vast extent of all that is thinkable: that is, of his conceptions. Accordingly we designate as voluntary those movements which are occa sioned, not by causes in the narrowest sense of the word, as in inorganic bodies, nor even by mere stimuli, as in plants, but by motives. 1 These motives however pre suppose an intellect as their mediator, through which causality here acts, without prejudice to its entire neces sity in all other respects. Physiologically, the diffe rence between stimulus and motive admits also of the following definition. The stimulus provokes immediate reaction, which proceeds from the very part on which the stimulus has acted ; whereas the motive is a stimulus that has to go a roundabout way through the brain, where its action first causes an image to arise, which then, but not till then, provokes the consequent reaction, which is now called an act of volition, and voluntary. The distinction between voluntary and involuntary movement does not therefore concern what is essential and primary

1 I have shown the difference between cause in its narrowest sense, stimulus, and motive, at length in my " Grund-probleme der Ethik .* p. 29 et scq.


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for this is in both cases the will but only what is secon dary, the rousing of the will s manifestation : it has to do with the determination whether causes proper, stimuli or motives (i.e. causes having passed through the medium of knowledge) are the guidance under which that manifesta tion takes place. It is in human consciousness, differing from that of animals by not only containing perceptible representations but also abstract conceptions independent of time-distinctions, which act simultaneously and col laterally, whereby deliberation, i.e. a conflict of motives, becomes possible it is in human consciousness, I say, that free-will (arbitrium) in its narrowest sense first makes its appearance ; and this I have called elective decision. It nevertheless merely consists in the strongest motive for a given individual character overcoming the others and thus determining the act, just as an impact is overcome by a stronger counter-impact, the result thus ensuing with precisely the same necessity as the movement jof a stone that has been struck. That all great thinkers in all ages were decided and at one on this point, is just as certain, as that the multitude will never understand, never grasp, the important truth, that the work of our freedom must not be sought in our individual actions but in our very existence and nature itself. In my prize- essay on Freedom of the Will, I have shown this as clearly as possible. The liberum arbitrium indifferentice which is assumed to be the distinctive characteristic of movements proceeding from the will, is accordingly quite inadmissible : for it asserts that effects are possible without causes.

As soon therefore as we have got so far as to distinguish will \Wille\ from free-will [Willkuhr], and to consider the latter as a particular kind or particular phenomenon of the former, we shall find no difficulty in recognising the will, even in unconscious processes. Thus the assertion,


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that all bodily movements, even those which are purely vegetative and organic, proceed from the will, by no means implies that they are voluntary. For that would mean that they were occasioned by motives ; but motives are representations, and their seat is the brain: only those parts of our body which communicate with the brain by means of the nerves, can be put in movement by the brain, consequently by motives, and this movement alone is what is called voluntary. The movement of the inner economy of the organism, on the contrary, is directed, as in plant- life, by stimuli; only as, on the one hand, the complex nature of the animal organism necessitated an outer sen- sorium for the apprehension of the outer world and the will s reaction on that outer world, so, on the other hand, did it necessitate a cerebrum abdominale, the sympathetic nervous system, in order to direct the will s reaction upon inner stimuli likewise. We may compare the former to a Home Ministry, the latter to a Foreign Office ; but tho will remains the omnipresent Autocrat.

The progress made in Physiology since Haller has placed beyond doubt, that not only those actions which are con sciously performed (functiones animales), but even vital processes that take place quite unconsciously (functiones vitales et naturales), are directed throughout by the nervous system. Likewise that their only difference, as far as our consciousness of them is concerned, consists in the former being directed by nerves proceeding from the brain, the latter by nerves that do not directly com municate with that chief centre of the nervous system mainly directed towards the outside but with sub ordinate, minor centres, with the nerve-knots, the ganglia and their net-work, which preside as it were like vice gerents over the various departments of the nervous system, directing those internal processes that follow upon internal stimuli, just as the brain directs the external


242 THE WILL IN NATURE.

actions that follow upon external motives, and thus receiv ing impressions from inside upon which they react corre spondingly, just as the brain receives representations on the strength of which it forms resolutions ; only each of these minor centres is confined to a narrower sphere of action. Upon this rests the vita propria of each system, in referring to which Van Helmont said that each organ has, as it were, its own ego. It accounts also for life con tinuing in parts which have been cut off the bodies of insects, reptiles, and other inferior animals, whose brain has no marked preponderance over the ganglia of single parts ; and it likewise explains how many reptiles are able to live for weeks, nay even months, after their brain has been re moved. Now, if our surest experience teaches us that the will, which is known to us in most immediate conscious ness and in a totally different way from the outer world, is the real agent in actions attended by consciousness and directed by the chief centre of the nervous system ; how can we help admitting that those other actions which, pro ceeding from that nervous system but obeying the direc tion of its subordinate centres, keep the vital processes constantly going, must also be manifestations of the will ? Especially as we know perfectly well the cause because of which they are not, like the others, attended by con sciousness : we know, that is to say, that all consciousness resides in the brain and therefore is limited to such parts as have nerves which communicate directly with the brain ; and we know also that, even in these, consciousness ceases when those nerves are severed. By this the difference between all that is conscious and unconscious and together with it the difference between all that is voluntary and in voluntary in the movements of the body is perfectly ex plained, and no reason remains for assuming two entirely different primary sources of movement : especially as prin- cipia prceter necessitatem non sunt multiplicanda. All this is


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so obvious, that, on impartial reflection from this standpoint, it seems almost absurd to persist in making the body serve two masters by deriving its actions from two radically dif ferent origins and then ascribing on the one hand the movements of our arms and legs, of our eyes, lips, throat, tongue and lungs, of the facial and abdominal muscles, to the will ; while on the other hand the action of the heart, the movements of the veins, the peristaltic movements of the intestines, the absorption by the intestinal villi and glands and all those movements which accompany secre tion, are supposed to proceed from a totally different, ever mysterious principle of which we have no knowledge, and which is designated by names such as vitality, archeus, spiritus animales, vital energy, instinct, all of which mean no more than a?. 1

It is curious and instructive to see the trouble that excellent writer, Treviranus 3 takes, to find out in the lower animals, such as infusoria and zoophyta, which movements are voluntary, and which are what he calls auto matic or physical, i.e. merely vital. He founds his inquiry upon the assumption that he has to do with two primarily different sources of movement ; whereas in truth they all proceed from the will, and the whole difference consists in

1 It is especially in secretive processes that we cannot avoid re cognising a certain selection of the materials fitted for each purpose, consequently a free will in the secretive organs, which must even be assisted by a certain dull sensation, and in virtue of which each secreting organ only extracts from the same blood that particular secretion which suits it and no others : for instance, the liver only absorbs bile from the blood flowing through it, sending the rest of the blood on, and likewise the salivary glands and the pancreas only secrete saliva, the kidneys only urine, &c. &c. We may therefore compare the organs of secretion to different kinds of cattle grazing on one and the same pasture-land, each of which only browses upon the one sort of herb which suits its own particular appetite. [Add. to 3rd ed.]

2 Treviranus, " Die Erscheinungen und Gesetze des Organischen Lebens," vol. L pp. 178-185.


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their being occasioned by stimuli or by motives, i.e. in their having a brain for their medium or not ; and the stimulus may again be merely interior or exterior. In several animals of a higher order crustaceans and even fishes he finds that the voluntary and vital movements, for in stance locomotion and respiration, entirely coincide: a clear proof that their origin and essence are identical. He says p. 188 : In the family of the actinia, star fishes, sea-urchins, and holothurice (echinodermata pedata Cuv.), it is evident that the movement of the fluids de pends upon the will of the animals and that it is a means of locomotion." Then again p. 288: "The gullet of mammals has at its upper end the pharynx, which expands and contracts by means of muscles resembling voluntary muscles in their formation, yet which do not obey the will." Here we see how the limits of the move ments proceeding from the will and of those assumed to be foreign to it, merge into one another. Ibid., p. 293 : "Thus movements having all the appearance of being voluntary, take place in the stomachs of ruminants. They do not however always stand in connection with the rumi nating process only. Even the simpler human stomach and that of many animals only allows free passage to what is digestible through its lower orifice, and rejects what is indigestible by vomiting."

There is moreover special evidence that the movements induced by stimuli (involuntary movements) proceed from the will just as well as those occasioned by motives (voluntary movements) : for instance, when the same movement follows now upon a stimulus, now again upon a motive, as is the case when the pupil of the eye is contracted. This movement, when caused by in creased light, follows upon a stimulus; whereas, when occasioned by the wish to examine a very small object minutely in close proximity, it follows upon a motive ; be-


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cause contracting the pupil enables us to see things dis tinctly even when quite near to us, and this distinctness may be increased by our looking through a hole pierced in a card with a pin ; conversely, the pupil is dilated when we look at distant objects. Surely the same movement of the same organ is not likely to proceed alternately from two fundamentally different sources. E. H. Weber 1 re lates that he discovered in himself the power of dilating and contracting at will the pupil of one of his eyes, while looking at the same object, so as to make that object appear now distinct, now indistinct, while the other eye remained closed. Joh. Miiller 2 also tries to prove that the will acts upon the pupil.

The truth that the innermost mainspring of uncon sciously performed vital and vegetative functions is the will, we find moreover confirmed by the consideration, that even the movement of a limb recognised as voluntary, is only the ultimate result of a multitude of preceding changes which have taken place inside that limb and which no more enter into our consciousness than those organic functions. Yet these changes are evidently that which was first set in motion by the will, the movement of the limb being merely their remote consequence ; nevertheless this remains so foreign to our consciousness that physiologists try to reach it by means of such hypotheses as these : that the sinews and muscular fibre are contracted by a change in the cellular tissue wrought by a precipitation of the blood-vapour in that tissue to serum ; but that this change is brought about by the nerve s action, and this by the will. Thus, even here, it is not the change which proceeded originally from the will which comes into consciousness, but only its remote result ; and even this, properly speaking, only through

1 E. H. Weber, " Additamenta ad E. H. Weberi tractatum de motn iridis." Lipsia, 1823.

2 Joh. Miiller, " Handbuch der Physiologic," p. 764.


246 THE WILL IN NATURE.

the special perception of the brain in which it presents itself together with the whole organism. Now by follow ing the path of experimental research and hypotheses phy siologists would never have arrived at the truth, that the last link in this ascending causal series is the will; it is known to them, on the contrary, in quite a different way. The solution of the enigma comes to them in a whisper from outside the investigation, owing to the fortunate cir cumstance that the investigator is in this case at the same time himself the object of the investigation and by this learns the secret of the inward process, his explanation of which would otherwise, like that of every other phenomenon, be brought to a standstill by an inscrutable force. And conversely, if we stood in the same inward relation towards every natural phenomenon a.s towards our own organism, the explanation of every natural phenomenon, as well as of all the properties of every body, would likewise ultimately be reduced to a will manifesting itself in them. For the difference does not reside in the thing itself, but in our re lation to the thing. Wherever explanation of the physical comes to an end, it is met by the metaphysical ; and where- ever this last is accessible to immediate knowledge, the result will be, as here, the will. That even those parts of the body whose movements do not proceed from the brain, do not follow upon motives, and are not voluntary, are nevertheless ruled and animated by the will, is also shown by their participation in all unusually violent movements of the will, i.e. emotions and passions. We see, for instance, the quickened pulse in joy or alarm, the blush in embarass- ment, the cheek s pallor in terror or in suppressed anger, the tears of sorrow, the difficult breathing and increased activity of the intestines in terror, watering of the mouth at the sight of dainties, nausea occasioned by that of loath some objects, strongly accelerated circulation of the blood and even altered quality of bile through wrath, and of


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saliva through violent rage : this last even to the degree, that an excessively irritated dog may communicate hydro phobia by its bite without being itself affected with rabies, or even then contracting the disease and the same is also asserted of cats and of cocks. The organism is further deeply undermined by lasting grief, and may be mortally affected by fright as well as by sudden joy. On the other hand, all those inner processes and changes which only have to do with the intellect and do not concern the will, however great may be their importance, remain without influence upon the machinery of the organism, with the one exception, that mental activity, prolonged to excess, fatigues and gradually exhausts the brain and finally under mines the organism. This again confirms the fact that the intellect is of a secondary character, and merely the organic function of a single part, a product of life ; not the inner most kernel of our being, not the thing in itself, not meta physical, incorporeal, eternal, like the will : the will never tires, never grows old, never learns, never improves by practice, is in infancy what it is in old age, eternally one and the same, and its character in each individual is un changeable. Being essential moreover, it is likewise im mutable, and therefore exists in animals as it does in us ; for it does not, like the intellect, depend upon the perfection of the organisation, but is in every essential respect in all animals the same thing which we know so intimately. Accordingly animals have all the feelings which belong to man: joy, grief, fear, anger, love, hate, desire, envy, &c. &c. The great difference between man and the brute creation consists exclusively in the degrees of perfection of the in tellect. This however is leading us too far from our sub ject, so I refer my readers to my chief work, vol. ii. chap. 19, sub. 2.

After the cogent reasons just given in favour of the primary agens in the inward machinery of the organism


248 THE WILL IN NATURE.

being the very same will which rules the outward actions of the body and only reveals itself as the will in this passage through consciousness because here it needs the mediation of outwardly directed knowledge, we shall not be astonished to find that other physiologists besides Brandis had, by means of strictly empirical research, also recognised this truth more or less clearly. Meckel, 1 in his "Archiv fur die Physiologic," arrives quite empiri cally and impartially at the conclusion, that vegetative existence [in animals], the first growth of the embryo, the assimilation of nourishment and plant-life, ought properly to be considered as manifestations of the will, nay, that even the inclination of the magnetic needle seems to be something of the same kind. " The assumption," he says, " of a certain free will in every vital movement may per haps be justified." " Plants appear to seek light volun tarily," &c. &c. This book is dated 1819 just after the appearance of my work ; and as, to say the least, it is doubt ful whether it had any influence upon him or whether he was even aware of its existence, I class these utterances among the independent empirical confirmations of my doc trine. Burdach also, 2 in his great work on Physiology, arrives by a completely empirical road at the conclusion, that " self-love is a force belonging to all things indiscrimi nately." He points it out, first in animals, then in plants, and lastly in inanimate bodies. But what is self-love after all, if not the will to preserve our existence, the will to live ? Under the heading " Comparative Anatomy," I shall quote a passage from the same book, which confirms my view still more decidedly. That the doctrine, which teaches that the will is the vital principle, has begun to spread even to the wider circles of medical science and to meet with a favourable reception from its younger representatives, t

1 Meckel, " A. f. d. P." vol. 5, pp. 195-198.

2 Burdach, Physiologic," vol. i. 259, p. 383.


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notice with particular pleasure in the theses sustained by Dr. Von Sigriz on taking his degree at Munich (August, 1835), which commence as follows : 1. Sanguis est deter- minansformam organismi se evolventis. 2. Evolutio organicd determinatur vitce internee actione et voluntate.

Lastly, a very remarkable and unexpected corroboration of this part of my doctrine has to be mentioned, which has recently been communicated from ancient Hindoo philo sophy by Colebrook. In his exposition of the philosophical schools of the Hindoos, 1 he quotes the following as the doctrine of the Nyaga school : " Volition, Yatna, effort or manifestation of the Will, is a self-determination to act which gives satisfaction. Desire is its occasion, perception its motive. Two kinds of perceptible effort of the will are distinguished : that which springs from desire which seeks the agreeable, and that which springs from aversion which shuns the repulsive. Another species, which escapes sensation and perception, but is inferred from analogy of spontaneous acts, comprises animal functions, having for a cause the vital, unseen power." Here the words " animal functions" are evidently used, not in a physiological, but in a popular sense : so that here organic life is un questionably derived from the will. We find a similar statement in Colebrook s Eeport on the Vedas 2 where he says : " Asu is unconscious volition, which occasions an act necessary to the support of life, as breathing, <fec."

Moreover my reduction of vital energy to the will by no means interferes with the old division of its functions into reproductive force, irritability and sensibility. This divi sion remains a deep view of their difference, and gives occasion for interesting observations.

The faculty of reproduction, objectified in the cellular tissue of plants, constitutes the chief characteristic of

1 " Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Great Britain," 1824, p. 110. 8 " Asiatic Researches, 3 vol. 8, p. 426.


250 THE WILL IN NATURE.

plants and the vegetative element in Man. Where we find it predominant to excess in human beings, we assume them to be phlegmatic, dull, indolent, obtuse (Boeotians) ; though this assumption does not always meet with confirmation. Irritability, objectified in the muscular tissue, constitutes the chief characteristic of Animals and the animal element in Man. Where it predominates to excess, dexterity, strength, bravery, that is, fitness for bodily exertion arid for war, is usually to be found (Spartans). Nearly all warm-blooded animals and even insects far surpass Man in irritability. It is by irritability that animals are most vividly conscious of their existence ; wherefore they exult in manifesting it. There is even still a trace of that exul tation perceptible in Man, in dancing. Sensibility, objec tified in the nerves, is Man s chief characteristic, and con stitutes what is properly human in him. In this no animal can in the remotest degree compare with Man. Where it predominates to excess, it produces genius (Athenians). Accordingly a man of genius is in a higher degree a man. This explains why some men of genius have been unwilling to recognise other men, with their monotonous physiog nomies and universal stamp of commonplace mediocrity, as human beings : for in them they did not find their equals and naturally came to the erroneous conclu sion that their own was the normal standard. Diogenes sought for men with a lantern in this sense ; in that work of genius, the Koheleth (Ecclesiastes) it is said : x " One man among a thousand have I found, but one woman among all those have I not found ; " and Gracian in his Criticon perhaps the grandest and most beautiful alle gory ever written says : " But what was strangest of all, in the whole country, even in the most populous cities, they did not meet with a single man ; on the contrary these cities were inhabited by lions, tigers, leopards, wolves, 1 Ecclesiastes, ch. 7, v. 28.


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foxes, apes, oxen, asses, pigs, nowhere was there a man ! They only made out after a time that the few existing human beings, in order to hide themselves and not to wit ness what was going on, had retired to those desert places which ought to have been the dwellings of wild beasts." The same reason indeed accounts for the peculiar inclina tion of all men of genius for solitude, to which they are driven by their difference from the rest, and for which their own inner wealth qualifies them. For, with humanity it is as with diamonds, the extraordinarily great ones alone are fitted to be solitaires, while those of ordinary size have to be set in clusters to produce any effect.

Even the three Gunas, or fundamental qualities of the Hindoos, tally with the three physiological fundamental forces. Tamas-Guna, obtuseness, stupidity, corresponds to reproductive power; Rajas- Guna, passionateness, to irritability; and Sattwa-Guna, wisdom and virtue, to sen sibility. When however they add to this, that Tanias- Guna is the fate of animals, Bajas-Guna the fate of man, and Sattwa-Guna that of the Gods, this is to be taken in a mythological, rather than physiological sense.

In Chapter 20th of the 2nd Yol. of my chief work en titled " Ob j edification of the Will in the Animal Organism," I have likewise treated the argument of the present chapter ; therefore I advise my readers to read it after this, as a complement to what is here given. 1

I may observe, that the passages I have quoted from pp. 14 and 15 of my Essay on Colours, refer to the first edition.

1 In my Parerga," 94 of the 2nd vol. ( 96 in the 2nd edition) belongs also to the above.


COMPARATIVE ANATOMY.

NOW, from my proposition: that the Will is what Kant calls the " thing in itself " or the ultimate substratum of every phenomenon, I had however not only deduced that the will is the agent in all inner, un conscious functions of the body, but also that the organism itself is nothing but the will which has entered the region of representation, the will itself, perceived in the cognitive form of Space. I had accordingly said that, just as each single momentary act of willing presents itself at once directly and infallibly in the outer perception of the body as one of its actions, so also must the collective volition of each animal, the totality 2 of its efforts, be faith- fully portrayed in its whole body, in the constitution of its organism; and that the means supplied by its organisa tion for attaining the aims of its will must as a whole exactly correspond to those aims in short, that the same relation must exist between the whole character of its volition and the shape and nature of its body, as between each single act of its will and the single bodily action which carries it out. Even this too has recently been recognised as a fact, and accordingly been confirmed a posteriori, by thoughtful zootomists and physiologists from their own point of view and independently of my doctrine : their judgments on this point make Nature testify even here to the truth of my theory.

1 Ding an sick, a Inlc-griff.


COMPARATIVE ANATOMY. 253

In Pander and d Alton s admirable illustrated work l we find : " Just as all that is characteristic in the formation of bones springs from the character of the animals, so does that character, on the other hand, develop out of their tendencies and desires. These tendencies and desires of animals, which are so vividly expressed in their whole organisation and of which that organisation only appears to be the medium, cannot be explained by special primary forces, since we can only deduce their inner reason from the general life of Nature." By this last turn the author shows indeed that he has arrived at the point where, like all other investigators of Nature, he is brought to a stand still by the metaphysical; but he also shows, that up to this point beyond which Nature eludes investiga tion, tendencies and desires (i. e. will) were the utmost thing knowable. The shortest expression for his last conclusion about animals would be " As they will, so they are. *

The learned and thoughtful Burdach, 2 when treating of the ultimate reason of the genesis of the embryo in his great work on Physiology, bears witness no less explicitly to the truth of my view. I must not, unfortunately, con ceal the fact that in a weak moment, misled Heaven knows by what or how, this otherwise excellent man brings in just here a few sentences taken from that utterly worthless, tyrannically imposed pseudo-philosophy, about thought being what is primary (it is just what is last and most conditioned of all) yet no representation (that is to say, a wooden iron). Immediately after however, under the returning influence of his own better self, he proclaims the real truth (p. 710) : " The brain curves itself outwards to the retina, because the central part .of the embryo desires

1 Pander and d Alton, " Ueber die Skelette der Eaubtliiere," 1822, p. 7.

2 Burdach, Pbysiologie," vol. 2, 474.


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to take in the impressions of the activity of the world ; the mucous membrane of the intestinal canal develops into the lung, because the organic body desires to enter into relation with the elementary substances of the universe ; organs of generation spring from the vascular system, because the individual only lives in the species, and because the life which has commenced in the individual desires to multiply." This assertion of Burdach s, which so entirely agrees with my doctrine, reminds me of a passage in the ancient Mahabharata, which it is really difficult not to regard as a mythical version of the same truth. It is in the third Canto of " Sundas and Upasunda " in Bopp s " Ardschuna s Eeise zu Indra s Himmel" l (1824); Brahma has just created Tilottama, the fairest of women, who is walking round the circle of the assembled gods. Shiva conceives so violent a longing to gaze at her as she turns successively round the circle, that four faces arise in him according to her different positions, that is, according to the four cardinal points. This may account for Shiva being repre sented with five heads, as Pansh Mukhti Shiva. Count less eyes arise on every part of Indra s body likewise on the same occasion. 2 In fact, every organ must be looked upon as the expression of a universal manifes tation of the will, i.e. of one made once for all, of a fixed longing, of an act of volition proceeding, not from

1 Bopp, " Ardschuna s Keise zu Indra s Himmel, nebst anderen Episoden des Mahabharata " (Ardshuna s Journey to Indra s Heaven together with other episodes from the Mahabharata), 1824.

2 The Matsya Parana attributes a similar origin to Brahma s fou countenances. It relates that, having fallen in love with his daughte Satarupa, and gazed fixedly at her, she stepped aside to avoid his eye ; he being ashamed, would not follow her movement 5 whereupon a new face arose on him directed towards the side where she was and, on her once more moving, the same thing occurred, and was repeated, until at last he had four faces. (" Asiatic Researches," vol. 6, p. 473.) [Add. to 3rd ed.]


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the individual, but from the species. Every animal form is a longing of the will to live which is roused by circum stances ; for instance, the will is seized with a longing to live on trees, to hang on their branches, to devour their leaves, without contention with other animals and without ever touching the ground: this longing presents itself throughout endless time in the form (or Platonic Idea) of the sloth. It can hardly walk at all, being only adapted for climbing ; helpless on the ground, it is agile on trees and looks itself like a moss-clad bough in order to escape the notice of its pursuers. But now let us consider the matter from a somewhat more methodical and less poetical point of view.

The manifest adaptation of each animal for its mode of life and outward means of subsistence, even down to the smallest detail, together with the exceeding perfection of its organisation, form abundant material for teleological con templation, which has always been a favourite occupation of the human mind, and which, extended even to inanimate Nature, has become the argument of the Physico-theological Proof. The universal fitness for their ends, the obviously intentional design in all the parts of the organism of the lower animals without exception, proclaim too distinctly for it ever to have been seriously questioned, that here no forces of Nature acting by chance and without plan have been at work, but a will. Now, that a will should act otherwise than under the guidance of knowledge was in conceivable, according to empirical science and views. For, up to my time, as has been shown in the last chapter, will and intellect had been regarded as absolutely inseparable, nay, the will was looked upon as a mere operation of the intellect, that presumptive basis of all that is spiritual. Accordingly wherever the will acted, knowledge must have been its guide; consequently it must have been its guide here also. But the mediation of knowledge, which, as such, is


256 THE WILL IN NATURE.

exclusively directed towards the outside, brings with it, that a will acting by means of it, can only act outwardly, that is, only from one being upon another. Therefore the will, of which unmistakable traces had been found, was not sought for where these were discovered, but was removed to the outside, and the animal became the product of a will foreign to it, guided by knowledge, which must have been very clear knowledge indeed, nay, the deeply ex cogitated conception of a purpose ; and this purpose must have preceded the animal s existence, and, together with the will, whose product the animal is, have lain outside that animal. According to this, the animal would have existed in representation before existing in reality. This is the basis of the train of thought on which the Physico-theo- logical Proof is founded. But this proof is no mere scholastic sophism, like the Ontological Proof : nor does it contain an untiring natural opponent within itself, like the Cosmological Proof, in that very same law of causality to which it owes its existence. On the contrary, it is, in reality, for the educated, what the Keraunological Proof l is for the vulgar, 2 and its plausibility is so great, so potent, that the most eminent and at the same time least preju diced minds have been deeply entangled in it. Voltaire, for instance, who, after all sorts of other doubts, always comes back to it, sees no possibility of getting over it and even places its evidence almost on a level with that of a

1 I should like under this name to add a fourth to the three proofs brought forward by Kant, i.e. the proof a terrore, which the ancient saying of Petronius : primus in orbe Decs fecit timer, designates and of which Hume s incomparable " Natural History of Religion " may be considered as the critique. Understood in this sense, even the theologist Schleiermacher s attempted proof might have its truth from the feeling of dependence, though perhaps not exactly that truth which its originator imagined it to have.

2 Socrates propounded it already in detail in Xenophon. (" Mem." i. 4.) [Add. to 3rd ed.]


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mathematical demonstration. Even Priestley too declares it to be irrefutable. 1 Hume s reflection and acumen alone stood the test, even in this case ; in his " Dialogues on Natural Religion, " 2 which are so well worth reading, this true pre cursor of Kant calls attention to the fact, that there is no resemblance at all between the works of Nature and those of an Art which proceeds according to a design. Now it is precisely where he cuts asunder the nervus probandi of this extremely insidious proof, as well as that of the two others in his Critique of Judgment and in his Critique of Pure Reason that Kant s merit shines most brilliantly. A very brief summary of this Kantian refutation of the Physico-theological Proof may be found in my chief work. 3 Kant has earned for himself great merit by it ; for nothing stands so much in the way of a correct insight into Nature and into the essence of things as this view, by which they are looked upon as having been made according to a precon ceived plan. Therefore, if a Duke of Bridgewater offers a prize of high value for the confirmation and perpetuation of such fundamental errors, let it be our task, following in the footsteps of Hume and Kant, to work undauntedly at their destruction, without any other reward than truth. Truth deserves respect : not what is opposed to it. Never theless here, as elsewhere, Kant has confined himself to negation ; but a negation only takes full effect when it has been completed by a correct affirmation, this alone giving entire satisfaction and in itself dislodging and superseding error, according to the words of Spinoza : Sicut lux se ipsa et tenebras manifestat, sic veritas norma sui et falsi est. First of all therefore we say : the world is not made with the help of knowledge, consequently also not from the out-

1 Priestley, "Disqu. on Matter and Spirit," sect. 16, p. 188.

2 Part 7, and in other places.

3 See "Die Welt ak W. u. V." vol. i. p. 597. (Yol. i. p. 631 of the 3rd ed.)

a


258 THE WILL IN NATURE.

side, but from the inside ; and next we endeavour to point out the punctum saliens l of the world-egg. The physico- theological thought, that Nature must have been regu lated and fashioned by an intellect, however well it may suit the untutored mind, is nevertheless fundamentally wrong. For the intellect is only known to us in animal nature, consequently as an absolutely secondary and subordinate principle in the world, a product of the latest origin ; it can never therefore have been the condition of the existence of that world. 2 Now the will on the contrary, being that which fills every thing and manifests itself immediately in each thus showing each thing to be its phenomenon appears everywhere as that which is primary. It is just for this reason, that the explanation of all teleo- logical facts is to be found in the will of the being itself in which they are observed.

Besides, the Physico -theological Proof may be simply invalidated by the empirical observation, that works pro duced by animal instinct, such as the spider s web, the bee s honeycomb and its cells, the white ant s constructions, &c, &c., are throughout constituted as if they were the result of an intentional conception, of a wide-reaching providence and of rational deliberation; whereas they are evidently the work of a blind impulse, i.e. of a will not guided by knowledge. From this it follows, that the conclusion from such and such a nature to such and such a mode of coming into being, has not the same certainty as the conclusion from a consequent to its reason, which is in all cases a sure one. I have devoted the twenty- seventh chapter of the second volume of my chief work to a detailed consideration

1 The point at which the life -spark is kindled. [Tr.] 8 Nor can a mundus tntelligibilis precede a mundus sensibilis; since it receives its material from the latter alone. It is not an intellect which has brought forth Nature j it is, on the contrary, Nature which has brought forth the intellect. [Add. to 3rd ed.


COMPARATIVE ANATOMY. 259

of the mechanical instincts of animals, which may be used, together with the preceding one on Teleology, to complete the whole examination of this subject in the present chapter. Now, if we enter more closely into the above-mentioned fitness of every animal s organisation for its mode of life and means of subsistence, the question that first presents itself is, whether that mode of life has been adapted to the organisation, or vice versa. At first sight, the former as sumption would seem to be the more correct one ; since, in Time, the organisation precedes the mode of life, and the animal is thought to have adopted the mode of existence for which its structure was best suited, making the best use of the organs it found within itself : thus, for instance, we think that the bird flies because it has wings, and that the ox butts because it has horns ; not conversely. This view is shared by Lucretius (always an ominous sign for an opinion) :

" Nil ideo quoniam natum est in corpore, ut uti Possemus ; sed, quod natum est, id procreat us urn." l

Only this assumption does not explain how, collectively, the quite different parts of an animal s organism so exactly correspond to its way of lif e ; how no organ interferes with another, each rather assisting the others and none re maining unemployed; also that no subordinate organ would be better suited to another mode of existence, while the life which the animal really leads is determined by the principal organs alone, but, on the contrary, each part of the animal not only corresponds to every other part, but also to its mode of life: its claws, for instance, are in variably adapted for seizing the prey which its teeth are suited to tear and break, and its intestinal canal to digest : its limbs are constructed to convey it where that prey is to be found, and no organ ever remains unemployed. The

1 This is expanded, vol. iy. pp. 825-843.


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ant-bear, for instance, is not only armed with long claws on its fore-feet, in order to break into the nests of the white ant, but also with a prolonged cylindrical muzzle, in order to penetrate into them, with a small mouth and a long, threadlike tongue, covered with a glutinous slime, which it inserts into the white ants nests and then with draws covered with the insects that adhere to it : on the other hand it has no teeth, because it does not want them. Who can fail to see that the ant-bear s form stands in the same relation to the white ants, as an act of the will to its motive ? The contradiction between the powerful fore-feet and long, strong, curved claws of the ant-bear and its com plete lack of teeth, is at the same time so extraordinary, that if the earth ever undergoes a fresh transformation, the newly arising race of rational beings will find it an insoluble enigma, if white ants are unknown to them. The necks of birds, as of quadrupeds, are generally as long as their legs, to enable them to reach down to the ground where they pick up their food ; but those of aquatic birds are often a good deal longer, because they have to fetch up their nourishment from under the water while swimming. 1 Moor-fowl have exceedingly long legs, to enable them to wade without drowning or wetting their bodies, and a correspondingly long neck and beak, this last being more or less strong, according to the things (reptiles, fishes or worms) which have to be crushed ; and the intestines of these animals are invariably adapted likewise to this end. On the other hand, moor-fowl are provided neither with talons, like birds of prey, nor with web-feet,

1 I have seen (Zooplast. Cab. I860) a humming-bird (colibri) with a beak as long as the whole bird, head and tail included. This bird must certainly have had to fetch out its food from a considerable depth, were it only from the calyx of a flower (Cuvier, "Anat. Comp." vol. iv. p. 374) ; otherwise it would not have given itself the luxury, or submitted to the encumbrance, of such a beak.


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like ducks : for the lex parsimonice natures admits of no superfluous organ. Now, it is precisely this very law, added to the circumstance, that no organ required for its mode of life is ever wanting in any animal, and that all, even the most heterogeneous, harmonize together and are, as it were, calculated for a quite specially determined way of life, for the element in which the prey dwells, for the pursuit, the overcoming, the crushing and digesting of that prey, all this, we say, proves, that the animal s structure has been determined by the mode of life by which the animal desired to find its sustenance, and not vice versa. It also proves, that the result is exactly the same as if a knowledge of that mode of life and of its outward conditions had preceded the structure, and as if therefore each animal had chosen its equipment before it assumed a body; just as a sportsman before starting chooses his whole equipment, gun, powder, shot, pouch, hunting-knife and dress, according to the game he intends chasing. The latter does not take aim at the wild boar because he happens to have a rifle : he took the rifle with him and not a fowling-piece, because he intended to hunt the wild boar ; and the ox does not butt because it happens to have horns: it has horns because it intends to butt. Now, to render this proof complete, we have the additional circumstance, that in many animals, during the time they are growing, the effort of the will to which a limb is destined to minister, manifests itself before the existence of the limb itself, its employment thus anticipating its existence. Young he-goats, rams, calves, for instance, butt with their bare polls before they have any horns ; the young boar tries to gore on either side, before its tusks are fully developed which would respond to the intended effect, while on the other hand, it neglects to use the smaller teeth it already has in its mouth and with which it might really bite. Thus its mode of defending


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itself does not adapt itself to the existing weapons, but vice versa. This had already been noticed by Galenas 1 and by Lucretius 2 before him. All these circumstances give us complete certainty, that the will does not, as a supplementary thing proceeding from the intellect, employ those instruments which it may happen to find, or use the parts because just they and no others chance to be there ; but that what is primary and original, is the endeavour to live in this particular way, to contend in this manner, an endeavour which manifests itself not only in the employ ment, but even in the existence of the weapon : so much so indeed, that the use of the weapon frequently precedes its existence, thus denoting that it is the weapon which arises out of the existence of the endeavour, not, con versely, the desire to use it out of the existence of the weapon. Aristotle expressed this long ago, when he said, with reference to insects armed with stings : 3 Sia. TO Qvnov t\eiv oir\ov t ^a (quia, iram Jiabent, arma habent), and further on, generally speaking : * Ta tT opyava TT^OQ TO epyov / 0vVtc TToiel, aXX ov TO tpyov ir/oog TO. ooyava. (Natura enim instru- inenta ad qfficium, non officium ad instrumenta accommodaf). From which it follows, that the structure of each animal is adapted to its will.

This truth forces itself upon thoughtful zoologists and zootomists with such cogency, that unless their mind is at the same time purified by a deeper philosophy, it may lead them into strange errors. Now this actually happened to a very eminent zoologist, the immortal De Lamarck, who has acquired everlasting fame by his discovery of the clas-

1 Galenus, " De Usu Partium Anim.," i. 1.

2 Lucretius, v. pp. 1032-1039.

3 Aristot., "De Part. Animal.," iv. 6 : " They have a weapon because they have passion." [Tr.]

4 Ibid. c. 12 : "Nature makes the tools for the work, not the work for the tools." [Tr.]


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sification of animals in vertebrata and non-vertebrata, so admirable in depth of view. For he quite seriously main tains and tries to prove x at length, that the shape of each animal species, the weapons peculiar to it, and its organs of every sort destined for outward use, were by no means present at the origin of that species, but have on the contrary come into being gradually in the course of time and through continued generation, in consequence of the exertions of the animal s will, evoked by the nature of its position and surroundings, through its own re peated efforts and the habits to which these gave rise. Aquatic birds and mammalia that swim, he says, have only become web-footed through stretching their toes asunder in swimming ; moor-fowl acquired their long legs and necks by wading; horned cattle only gradually acquired horns because as they had no proper teeth for combating, they fought with their heads, and this combative propen sity in course of time produced horns or antlers ; the snail was originally, like other mollusca, without feelers ; but out of the desire to feel the objects lying before it, these gradually arose ; the whole feline species acquired claws only in course of time, from their desire to tear the flesh of their prey, and the moveable coverings of those claws, from the necessity of protecting them in walking without being prevented from using them when they wished ; the giraffe, in the barren, grassless African deserts, being re duced for its food to the leaves of lofty trees, stretched out its neck and forelegs until at last it acquired its sin gular shape, with a height in front of twenty feet, and thus De Lamarck goes on describing a multitude of animal species as arising according to the same principle, in doing which he overlooks the obvious objection which may be made, that long before the organs necessary for its preser-

1 De Lamarck, " Philosophie Zoologique," vol. i. c. 7, and " Histoire Naturelle des Auimaux sans Vertebres," vol. i. Introd. pp. 180-212.


264 THE WILL IN NATURE.

vation could have been produced by means of such endea vours as these through countless generations, the whole species must have died out from the want of them. To such a degree may we be blinded by a hypothesis which has once laid hold of us ! Nevertheless in this instance the hypothesis arose out of a very correct and profound view of Nature : it is an error of genius, which in spite of all the absurdity it contains, still does honour to its originator. The true part of it belongs to De Lamarck, as an investi gator of Nature ; he saw rightly that the primary element which has determined the animal s organisation, is the will of that animal itself. The false part must be laid to the account of the backward state of Metaphysics in France, where the views of Locke and of his feeble follower, Con- dillac, in fact still hold their ground and therefore bodies are held to be things in themselves, Time and Space quali ties of things in themselves ; and where the great doctrine of the Ideal nature of Space and of Time and of all that is represented in them, which has been so extremely fertile in its results, has not yet penetrated. De Lamarck there fore could not conceive his construction of living beings otherwise than in Time, through succession. Errors of this sort, as well as the gross, absurd, atomic theory of the French and the edifying physico-theological considerations of the English, have been banished for ever from Germany by Kant s profound influence. So salutary was the effect produced by this great mind, even upon a nation capable of subsequently forsaking him to run after charlatanism and empty bombast. But the thought could never enter into De Lamarck s head, that the animal s will, as a thing in itself, might lie outside Time, and in this sense be prior to the animal itself. Therefore he assumes the animal to have first been without any clearly defined organs, but also without any clearly defined tendencies, and to have been equipped only with perception. Through this it learns to


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know the circumstances in which it has to live and from that knowledge arise its desires, i.e. its will, from which again spring its organs or definite embodiment ; this last indeed with the help of generation and therefore in bound less Time. If De Lamarck had had the courage to carry out his theory fully, he ought to have assumed a primary animal l which, to be consistent, must have originally had neither shape nor organs, and then proceeded to trans form itself according to climate and local conditions into myriads of animal shapes of all sorts, from the gnat to the elephant. But this primary animal is in truth the will to live ; as such however, it is metaphysical, not phy sical. Most certainly the shape and organisation of each animal species has been determined by its own will accord ing to the circumstances in which it wished to live ; not however as a thing physical in Time, but on the contrary as a thing metaphysical outside Time. The will did not proceed from the intellect, nor did the intellect exist, together with the animal, before the will made its appear ance as a mere accident, a secondary, or rather tertiary, thing. It is on the contrary the will which is the prius, the thing in itself : its phenomenon (mere representation in the cognitive intellect and its forms of Space and Time) is the animal, fully equipped with all its organs which represent the will to live in those particular circumstances. Among these organs is the intellect also knowledge itself which, like the rest of those organs, is exactly adapted to the mode of life of each animal; whereas, according to De Lamarck, it is the will which arises out of knowledge. Behold the countless varieties of animal shapes ; how en tirely is each of them the mere image of its volition, the evident expression of the strivings of the will which con stitute its character ! Their difference in shape is only the portrait of their difference in character. Ferocious animals, 1 Urthier.


266 THE WILL IN NATURE.

destined for combat and rapine, appear armed with for midable teeth and claws and strong muscles ; their sight is adapted for great distances, especially when they have to mark their prey from a dizzy height, as is the case with eagles and condors. Timid animals, whose will it is to seek their safety in flight instead of contest, present them selves with light, nimble legs and sharp hearing in lieu of all weapons ; a circumstance which has even necessitated a etr iking prolongation of the outer ear in the most timid of them all, the hare. The interior corresponds to the exte rior : carnivorous animals have short intestines ; herbivo rous animals long ones, suited to a protracted assimilation. Yigorous respiration and rapid circulation of the blood, represented by appropriate organs, always accompany great muscular strength and irritability as their necessary conditions, and nowhere is contradiction possible. Each particular striving of the will presents itself in a particular modification of shape. The abode of the prey therefore has determined the shape of its pursuer : if that prey takes refuge in regions difficult of access, in remote hiding places, in night or darkness, the pursuer assumes the form best suited to those circumstances, and no shape is rejected as too grotesque by the will to live, in order to attain its ends. The cross-bill (loxia curvirostra) presents itself with this abnormal form of its organ of nutrition, in order to be able to extract the seeds out of the scales of the fir cone. Moor-fowls appear equipped with extra long legs, extra long necks and extra long beaks, in short, the strangest shapes, in order to seek out reptiles in their marshes. Then we have the ant-bear with its body four feet long, its short legs, its strong claws, and its long, narrow, toothless muzzle provided with a threadlike, gluti nous tongue for the purpose of digging out the white ants from their nests. The pelican goes fishing with a huge pouch under its beak in which to pack its fish, when


COMPARATIVE ANATOMY. 267

caught. In order to surprise their prey while asleep in the night, owls fly out provided with enormous pupils which enable them to see in the dark, and with very soft feathers to make their flight noiseless and thus permit them to fall unawares upon their sleeping prey without awakening it by their movements. Silurus, gymnotus and torpedo bring a complete electric apparatus into the world with them, in order to stun their prey before they can reach it ; and also as a defence against their own pursuers. For wherever anything living breathed, there immediately came another to devour it, 1 and every animal is in a way designed and calculated throughout, down to the minutest detail, for the purpose of destroying some other animal. Ichneumons, for instance, among insects, lay their eggs in the bodies of certain caterpillars and similar larvce, in which they bore holes with their stings, in order to ensure nourishment for their future brood. Now those kinds which feed on larvce that crawl about freely, have short stings not more than about one-third of an inch long, whereas pimpla manifestator, which feeds upon chelostoma maxillosa, whose larvce lie hidden in old trees at great depth and are not accessible to it, has a sting two inches long ; and the sting of the ichneumon strobillce which lays its eggs in larvcp, dwelling in fir-cones, is nearly as long. With these stings they penetrate to the larva in which they bore a hole and deposit one egg, whose product subsequently de-

1 Animated by the feeling of this truth, Kobert Owen, after passing in review the numerous and often very large Australian fossile marsupi- alia sometimes as big as the rhinoceros came as early as 1842 to the conclusion, that a large beast of prey must have contemporaneously existed. This conclusion was afterwards confirmed, for in 1846 he received part of the fossile skull of a beast of prey of the size of the lion, which he named thylacoleo, i.e. lion with a pouch, since it is also a marsupial. (See the " Times " of the 19th of May, 1866, where there is an article on " Palaeontology," with an account of Owen s lecture at the Government School of Mines. [Add. to 3rd ed.]


268 THE WILL IN NATURE.

vours this larva. 1 Just as clearly does the will to escape their enemies manifest itself in the defensive equipment of animals that are the objects of pursuit. Hedgehogs and porcupines raise up a forest of spears; armadillos, scaly ant-eaters and tortoises appear cased from head to foot in armour which is inaccessible to tooth, beak or claw ; and so it is, on a smaller scale, with the whole class of Crustacea. Others again seek protection by deceiving their pursuers rather than by resisting them physically: thus the sepia has provided itself with materials for surrounding itself with a dark cloud on the approach of danger. The sloth is deceptively like its moss-clad bough, and the frog its leaf; and many insects resemble their dwelling-places. The negro s louse is black; 2 so, to be sure, is our flea also ; but the latter, in providing itself with an extremely powerful apparatus for making irregular jumps to a considerable distance, trusted to these for pro tection. We can however make the anticipation in all these arrangements more intelligible to ourselves by the same anticipation which shows itself in the mechanical instincts of animals. Neither the young spider nor the ant-lion know the prey for which they lay traps, when they do it for the first time. And it is the same when they are on the defensive. According to Latreille, the insect bombex kills the parnope with its sting, although it neither eats it nor is attacked by it, simply because the parnope will lay its eggs in the bombex*s nest, and by doing this will interfere with the development of its eggs ; yet it does not know this. Anticipations of this kind once more confirm the ideal nature of Time, which indeed always becomes manifest as soon as the will as thing

1 Kirby and Spence, "Introduction to Entomology," vol. i. p. 355. [Add. to 3rd ed.]

2 Blumenbach, "De hum. gen. variet. nat." p. 50. Sommeriog, On the Negro," p. 8.


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in itself is in question. Not only with" respect to the points here mentioned, but to many others besides, the mechanical instincts and physiological functions of animals serve to explain each other mutually, because the will without knowledge is the agent in both.

As the will has equipped itself with every organ and every weapon, offensive as well as defensive, so has it like wise provided itself in every animal shape with an intellect, as a means of preservation for the individual and the species. It was precisely in this account that the ancients called the intellect the ^yf/zovt/coV, i.e. the guide and leader. Accordingly the intellect, being exclusively destined to serve the will, always exactly corresponds to it. Beasts of prey stood in greater need of intellect, and in fact have more intelligence, than herbivorous animals. The elephant certainly forms an exception, and so does even the horse to a certain extent ; but the admirable in telligence of the elephant was necessary on account of the length of its life (200 years) and of the scantiness of its progeny, which obliged it to provide for a longer and surer preservation of the individual : and this moreover in coun tries teeming with the most rapacious, the strongest and the nimblest beasts of prey. The horse too has a longer life | and a scantier progeny than the ruminants, and as it has neither horns, tusks, trunk, nor indeed any weapon save perhaps its hoofs, it needed greater intelligence and swift ness in order to elude pursuit. Monkeys needed their extra ordinary intelligence, partly because of the length of their life, which even in the moderate-sized animal extends to fifty years ; partly also because of their scanty progeny, which is limited to one at a time, but especially because of their hands, which, to be properly used, required the direc tion of an understanding. For monkeys depend upon their hands, not only for their defence by means of outer weapons such as sticks and stones, but also for their


270 THE WILL IN KATUBE.

nourishment, this last necessitating a variety of artificial means and a social and artificial system of rapine in general, the passing from hand to hand of stolen fruit, the placing of sentinels, &c. &c. Add to this, that it is especially in their youth, before they have attained their full muscular development, that this intelligence is most prominent. In the pongo or ourang-outang for instance, the brain plays a far more important part and the understanding is much greater during its youth than at its maturity, when the muscular powers having attained full development, they take the place of the proportionately declining intellect. This holds good of all sorts of monkeys, so that here there fore the intellect acts for a time vicariously for the yet un developed muscular strength. We find this process dis cussed at length in the " Eesume des Observations de Fr. Cuvier sur 1 instinct et 1 intelligence des animaux," par Mourens (1841), from which I have quoted the whole pas sage referring to this question in the second volume of my chief work, at the end of the thirty-first chapter, and this is my only reason for not repeating it here. On the whole, intel ligence gradually increases from the rodents x to the rumi nants, from the ruminants to the pachyderms, and from these again to the beasts of prey and finally to the quad- rumana, and anatomy shows a gradual development of the

1 That the lowest place should be given to the rodents, seems however to proceed from & priori rather than from & posteriori considerations : that is to say, from the circumstance, that their brain has extremely faint or small convolutions ; so that too much weight may have been given to this point. In sheep and calves the convolutions are numerous and deep, yet how is it with their intelligence ? The mechanical instincts of the beaver are again greatly assisted by its understanding, and even rabbits show remarkable intelligence (see Leroy s beautiful work : [ "Letters Philosophiques sur 1 Intelligence des Animaux," lettre 3, p.J 149). Even rats give proof of quite uncommon intelligence, of which some remarkable instances may be found in the " Quarterly RerieWjH No. 201, Jan.-March, 1857, in a special article entitled " Rats."


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brain in similar order which corresponds to this result of external observation. (According to Flourens and Fr. Cuvier.) l Among the reptiles, serpents are the most intelli gent, for they may even be trained ; this is so, because they are beasts of prey and propagate more slowly than the rest especially the venomous ones. And here also, as with the physical weapons, we find the will everywhere as the prius ; its equipment, the intellect, as the posterius. Beasts of prey do not hunt, nor do foxes thieve, because they have more intelligence ; on the contrary, they have more intelligence, just as they have stronger teeth and claws too, because they wished to live by hunting and thieving. The fox even made up at once for his inferiority in muscular power and strength of teeth by the extraordinary subtility of his un derstanding. Our thesis is singularly illustrated by the case of the bird dodo or dronte (didus ineptus) on the island of Mauritius, whose species, it is well known, has died out, and which, as its Latin name denotes, was exceedingly stupid, and this explains its disappearance ; so that here it seems indeed as if Nature had for once gone too far in her lex parsimonice and thereby in a sense brought forth an abortion in the species, as she so often does in the individual, which was unable to subsist, precisely because it was an abortion. If, on this occasion, anyone were to raise the question as to whether Nature ought not to have provided insects with at least sufficient intelligence to pre vent them from flying into the flame of a candle, our answer would be : most certainly ; only she did not know that men would make candles and light them, and natura nihil agit frustra. Insect intelligence is therefore only in sufficient where the surroundings are artificial. 2

1 The most intelligent birds are also birds of prey, wherefore many ot them,especially falcons, are highly susceptible of training. [Add. to 3rd ed.]

a That the negroes should have become the special victims of the slave-trade, is evidently a consequence of the inferiority of their intelli


272 THE WILL IN NATURE.

Everywhere indeed intelligence depends in the first in stance upon the cerebral system, and this stands in a ne cessary relation to the rest of the organism ; therefore cold blooded animals are greatly inferior to warm-blooded ones, and invertebrate animals to vertebrata. But the organism is precisely nothing but the will become visible, to which, as that which is absolutely prius, everything constantly refers. The needs and aims of that will give in each phenomenon the rule for the means to be employed, and these means must harmonize with one another. Plants have no self- consciousness because they have no power of locomotion ; for of what use would self-consciousness be to them unless it enabled them to seek what was salutary and flee what was noxious to them ? And conversely, of what use could power of locomotion be to them, as they have no self-con sciousness with which to guide it. The inseparable duality of Sensibility and Irritability does not yet appear there fore in the plant ; they continue slumbering in the repro ductive force which is their fundament, and in which alone the will here objectifies itself. The sun-flower, and every other plant, wills for light ; but as yet their movement to wards light is not separate from their apprehension of it, and both coincide with their growth. Human understand ing, which is so superior to that of all other beings, and is assisted by Eeason (the faculty for non-perceptible repre sentations, i.e. for conceptions ; reflection, thinking faculty), is nevertheless only just proportionate, partly to Man s requirements, which greatly surpass those of animals and multiply to infinity ; partly to his entire lack of all natural weapons and covering, and to his relatively weaker mus cular strength, which is greatly inferior to that of monkeys of his own size ; l lastly also, to the slowness with which his

gence compared with that of other human races j though this by no means justifies the fact. [Add. to 3rd ed.]

1 As is likewise his capacity for escaping from his pursuers ; fbr in


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race multiplies and the length of his childhood and life, which demand secure preservation of the individual. All these great requirements had to be satisfied by means of intellectual powers, which, for this reason, predominate in him. But we find the intellect secondary and subordinate everywhere, and destined exclusively to serve the purposes of the will. As a rule too, it always remains true to its destiny and subservient to the will. How nevertheless, it frees itself in particular instances from this bondage through an abnormal preponderance of cerebral life, whereby purely objective cognition becomes possible which may be enhanced to genius, I have shown at length in the aesthetic part of my chief work. 1

Now, after all these reflections upon the precise agree ment between the will and the organisation of each animal, if we inspect a well-arranged osteological collection from this point of view, it will certainly seem to us as if we saw one and the same being (De Lamarck s primary animal, or, more properly, the will to live) changing its shape according to circumstances, and thus producing all this multiplicity of forms out of the same number and arrangement of its bones, by prolonging and curtailing, strengthening and weakening them. This number and arrangement of the bones, which Geoffrey de St. Hilaire 2 called the anatomical element, continues, as he has tho roughly shown, in all essential points unchanged: it is a constant magnitude, something which is absolutely given beforehand, irrevocably fixed by an unfathomable necessity an immutability which I should compare with the permanence of matter in all physical and chemical

this respect all the four-footed mammalia surpass him. [Add. to 3rd ed.]

1 [See Third Book of the W. a. W. u. V. ; later also, in my " Parerga," vol. ii. 50-57 and 206. ( 51-58, and 210 of the 2nd edition.)

2 " Principes de Philosophic Zoologique," 1830.

T


274 THE WILL IN NATURE.

changes : but to this I shall soon return. Conjointly with this immutability of the anatomical element, we have the greatest susceptibility to modification, the greatest plas ticity and flexibility of these same bones with reference to size, shape and adaptation to different purposes, all which we see determined by the will with primary strength and freedom according to the aims prescribed to it by external circumstances: it makes out of these materials whatever its necessity for the time being requires. If it desires to climb about in trees, it catches at the boughs at once with four hands, while it stretches the ulua and radius to an excessive length and immediately prolongs the os coccygis to a curly tail, a yard long, in order to hang by it to the boughs and swing itself from one branch to another. If, on the other hand, it desires to crawl in the mud as a crocodile, to swim as a seal, or to burrow as a mole, these same arm-bones are shortened till they are no longer recognisable ; in the last case the metacarpus and phalanges are enlarged to disproportionately large shovel- paws, to the prejudice of the other bones. But if it wishes to fly through the air as a bat, not only are the os humeri, radius and alnus prolonged in an incredible manner, but the usually small and subordinate carpus, metacarpus and 2^halanges digitorum expand to an immense length, as in St. Anthony s vision, outmeasuring the length of the animal s body, in order to spread out the wing-membrane. If, in order to browse upon the tops of very tall African trees, it has, as a giraffe, placed itself upon extraordinarily high fore-legs, the same seven vertebra? of the neck, which never vary as to number and which, in the mole, were con tracted so as to be no longer recognisable, are now pro longed to such a degree, that here, as everywhere else, the neck acquires the same length as the fore-legs, in order to enable the head to reach down to drinking-water. But where, as is the case when it appears as the elephant, a long neck


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could not have borne the weight of the enormous, unwieldy head a weight increased moreover by tusks a yard long the neck remains short, as an exception, and a trunk is let down as an expedient, to lift up food and draw water from below and also to reach up to the tops of trees. In accordance with these transformations, we see in all of them the skull, the receptacle containing the understanding, at the same time proportionately expand, develop, curve itself, as the mode of procuring nourish ment becomes more or less difficult and requires more or less intelligence ; and the different degrees of the under standing manifest themselves clearly to the practised eye in the curves of the skull.

Now, in all this, that anatomical element we have men tioned above as fixed and invariable, certainly remains in so far an enigma, as it does not come within the teleolo- gical explanation, which only begins after the assump tion of that element ; since the intended organ might in many cases have been rendered equally suitable for its purpose even with a different number and disposition of bones. It is easy to understand, for instance, why the human skull should be formed out of eight bones: that is, to enable them to be drawn together by the fontanels during birth ; but we do not see why a chicken which breaks through its egg-shell should necessarily have the same number of skull-bones. We must therefore assume this anatomical element to be based, partly on the unity and identity of the will to live in general, partly on the circumstance, that the archetypal forms of animals have proceeded one from the other, 1 wherefore the fundamental type of the whole race was preserved. It is this ana tomical element which Aristotle means by his dvceyxata and the mutability of its shapes according to diffe-

1 " Parerga," vol. ii. 91 ; 93 of the 2nd edition.


276 THE WILL IN NATURE.


rent purposes lie calls TJJV /caret \6yov fyvai*? and explains by it how the material for upper incisors has been employed for horns in horned cattle. Quite rightly : since the only ruminants which have no horns, the camel and the musk- ox, have upper incisors, and these are wanting in all horned ruminants.

No other explanation or assumption enables us nearly as well to understand either the complete suitableness to purpose and to the external conditions of existence I have here shown in the skeleton, or the admirable harmony and fitness of internal mechanism in the structure of each. animal, as the truth I have elsewhere firmly established : that the body of an animal is precisely nothing but the will itself of that animal brought to cerebral perception as representation through the forms of Space, Time and Causality in other words, the mere visibility, objectivity of the Will. For, if this is once pre-supposed, everything in and belonging to that body must conspire towards the final end : the life of this animal. Nothing superfluous, nothing deficient, nothing inappropriate, nothing insuffi cient or incomplete of its kind, can therefore be found in it ; on the contrary, all that is required must be there, and just in the proportion needed, never more. For here artist, work and materials are one and the same. Each organism is therefore a consummate master-piece of exceeding perfection. Here the will did not first cherish the intention, first recognise the end and then adapt the means to it and conquer the material ; its willing was rather immediately the aim and immediately the attain ment of that aim; no foreign appliances needing to be overcome were wanted willing, doing and attaining were here one and the same. Thus the organism presents itself as a miracle which admits of no comparison with any work

1 See Aristotle, " De Partibus Animalium," iii. c, 2 sub fin&m : irwg t T~IC avayKdiaQ (pvaewg K. T, X.


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of human artifice wrought by the lamplight of know ledge. 1

Our admiration for the consummate perfection and fit ness for their ends in all the works of Nature, is at the bottom based upon our viewing them in the same light as we do our own works. In these, in the first place, the will to do the work and the work are two different things ; then again two other things lie between these two : firstly, the medium of representation, which, taken by itself, is foreign to the will, through which the will must pass before it realizes itself here; and secondly the material foreign to the will here at work, on which a form foreign to it has to be forced, which it resists, because the material already belongs to another will, that is to say, to its own nature, its forma substantialis, the (Platonic) idea, expressed by it : therefore this material has first to be overcome, and however deeply the artificial form may have penetrated, will always continue inwardly resist-

1 The appearance of every animal therefore presents a totality, a unity, a perfection and a rigidly carried out harmony in all its parts which is so entirely based upon a single fundamental thought, that even the strangest animal shape seems to the attentive observer as if it were the only right, nay, only possible form of existence, and as if there could be no other than just this very one. The expression " natural " used to denote that a thing is a matter of course, and that it cannot be otherwise, is in its deepest foundation based upon this. Gothe himself was struck by this unity when contemplating whelks and crabs at Venice, and it caused him to exclaim : " How delightful, how glorious is a living thing ! how well adapted for its condition ; how true, how real ! " (" Life," vol. iv. p. 223). No artist therefore, who has not made it bis business to study such forms for years and to penetrate into their meaning and comprehension, can rightly imitate them. Without this study his work will seem as if it were pasted together : the parts no doubt will be there, but the bond which unites them and gives them cohesion, the spirit, the idea, which is the objectivity of the primary act of the will presenting itself as this or that particular species, will be wanting. [Add. to 3rd ed.]


278 THE WILL IN NATURE.

ing. It is quite a different thing with Nature s works, which are not, like our own, indirect, but on the contrary, direct manifestations of the will. Here the will acts in its primordial nature, that is, unconsciously. No mediating representation here separates the will and the work : they are one. And even the material is one with them : for matter is the mere visibility of the will. Therefore here we find Matter completely permeated by Form ; or, better still, they are of quite the same origin, only existing mutually one for the other ; and in so far they are one. That we separate them in works of Nature as well as in works of Art, is a mere abstraction. Pure Matter, absolutely without Form or quality, which we think as the material of a product of Nature, is merely an ens rationis and cannot enter into any experience; whereas the material of a work of Art is empirical Matter, consequently already has a Form. The [distinc tive] character of Nature s products is the identity of form and substance; that of products of Art the diversity of these two. 1 It is because Matter is the mere visibility of Form in Nature s products, that, even empirically, we see Form appear as a mere production of Matter, bursting forth from, its inside in crystallisation, in vegetable and animal generatio cequivoca, which last cannot be doubted, at any rate in the epizoa. 2 For this reason we may even assume that nowhere, either on any planet or satellite, will Matter come to a state of endless repose, but rather that

1 It is a great truth which Bruno expresses (" De Immense et Innu- merabili," 8, 10) : " Ars tractat materiam alienam : natura materiam propriam. Ars circa materiam est ; natura interior matcrics" He treats this subject much more fully, ts Delia Causa," Dial. 3, p. 252 et seqq. Page 255 he declares the forma substantiate to be the form of every product of Nature, which is the same as the soul. [Add. to 3rd ed.]

a Thus the saying of the Schoolmen is verified : " Materia appetit formam." See " Die Welt a. W. u. V." 3rd edition, vol. ii. p. 352. [Add. to 3rd ed.]


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its inherent forces (i.e. the will, whose mere visibility it is) will always put an end again to the repose which has commenced, always awaking again from their sleep, to resume their activity as mechanical, physical, chemical, organic forces ; since at all times they only wait for the opportunity to do so.

But if we want to understand Nature s proceeding, we must not try to do it by comparing her works with our own. The real essence of every animal form, is an act of the will outside representation, consequently outside its forms of Space and Time also; which act, just on that account, knows neither sequence nor juxtaposition, but has, on the contrary, the most indivisible unity. But when our cerebral perception comprehends that form, and still more when its inside is dissected by the anatomical knife, then that which originally and in itself was foreign to know ledge and its laws, is brought under the light of know ledge ; but then also, it has to present itself in conformity with the laws and forms of knowledge. The original unity and indivisibility of that act of the will, of that truly metaphysical being, then appears divided into parts lying side by side and functions following one upon another, which all nevertheless present themselves as connected to gether in closest relationship one to another for mutual help and support, as means and ends one to the other. The understanding, in thus apprehending these things, now perceives the original unity re-establishing itself out of a mul tiplicity which its own form of knowledge had first brought about, and involuntarily taking for granted that its own way of perceiving this is the way in which this animal form comes into being, it is now struck with admiration for the profound wisdom with which those parts are arranged, those functions combined. This is the meaning of Kant s great doctrine, that Teleology is brought into Nature by our own understanding, which accordingly wonders at a


280 THE WILL IN NATURE.

miracle of its own creation. 1 If I may use a trivial simile to elucidate so sublime a matter, this astonishment very much resembles that of our understanding when it discovers that all multiples of 9, when their single figures are added together, give as their product either the number 9 or one whose single figures again make 9 ; yet it is that very understanding itself which has prepared for itself this sur prise in the decimal system. According to the Physico- theological argument, the actual existence of the world has been preceded by its existence in an intellect : if the world is designed for an end, it must have existed as representa tion before it came into being. Now I say, on the con trary, in Kant s sense : if the world is to be representation, it must present itself as designed for an end; and this only takes place in an intellect.

It undoubtedly follows from my doctrine, that every being is its own work. Nature, which is incapable of false hood and is as native as genius, asserts the same thing down right ; since each being merely kindles the spark of life at another exactly similar being, and then makes itself before our eyes, taking the materials for this from outside, form and movement from its own self: this process we call growth and development. Thus, even empirically, each being stands before us as its own work. But Nature s language is not understood because it is too simple.

1 Compare " Die Welt a. W. u. V." 3rd edition, vol. II. p. 375. [Add. to 3rd edj


PHYSIOLOGY OF PLANTS.

THE corroborations I am now about to bring forward of the phenomenon of the will in plants, proceed chiefly from French sources, from a nation whose tenden cies are decidedly empirical and which is reluctant to go a step beyond what is immediately given. The infor mant moreover is Cuvier, whose rigid adherence to the purely empirical gave rise to the famous dispute between him and Geoffroy de St. Hilaire. So we must not be as tonished if the language we meet with here is less decided than in the preceding German corroborations and if we find each concession made with cautious reserve.

In his "Histoire des Progres des Sciences Naturelles depuis 1789 jusqu a ce jour," l Cuvier says : " Plants have certain apparently spontaneous movements, which they show under certain circumstances and which at times so closely resemble those of animals, that a sort of feeling and will might almost be attributed to plants on this account, especially by those who think they can perceive something of the same kind in the movements of the inward parts of animals. Thus the tops of trees always have a vertical tendency, excepting when they incline towards the light. Their roots seek out good earth and moisture and, in order to attain these, deviate from the straight course. Yet these different tendencies can not be explained by the influence of external causes,

1 Vol. i. p. 245. 1826.


282 THE WILL IN NATTJEE.

unless we also assume the existence of an inner natural disposition, susceptible of being roused, which differs from

the mere mechanical force in inorganic bodies

Decandolle made some remarkable experiments that proved to him the existence of a sort of habit in plants which may be overcome by artificial light, but only after a certain time. Plants that had been shut up in a cellar which was continually lit by lamps, did not on this account leave off closing in the evening and opening again in the morning for several days. And there are other habits besides which plants are able to adopt and to abandon. Flowers that habitually close in wet weather, finish by remaining open if the wet weather lasts too long. When M. Desfontaines took a sensitive -plant with him in his carriage, the jolting movement at first caused it to contract, but at last it ex panded again as when in complete repose. Therefore even in these cases, light, moisture, &c., &c., only act in virtue of an inner disposition, which may be neutralized or modified by the continuation of that very activity itself ; and the vital energy of plants, like that of animals, is sub ject to fatigue and exhaustion. The hedysarum gyrans is singularly characterized by the movements of its leaves which continue day and night without needing any sort of stimulus. Surely, if any phenomenon can cause illusion and remind us of the voluntary movements of animals, it is this. Broussonet, Silvestre, Gels and Halle have fully described it, and have shown that the plant s action depends entirely upon its own healthy condition."

Again, in the third volume of the same work, p. 166 (1828), Cuvier says : " M. Dutrochet adds some physiolo gical considerations to which his own experiments had led him, and which in his opinion prove that the movements of plants are spontaneous, i.e. that they depend upon an inner principle which immediately receives the influence of outer agencies. As he is however reluctant to admit that plants


PHYSIOLOGY OF PLANTS.

have feeling, lie makes use of the word nervimotilite. " Here I must observe, that when we come to examine it closely, what we think to ourselves in the conception of spontaneity, is in the end always the same thing as manifes tation of will, with which spontaneity would therefore be simply synonymous. The only difference -between them consists in the conception of spontaneity being derived from outer perception, while that of manifestation of will is drawn from our own consciousness. I find a remarkable instance of the impetuous violence of this spontaneity, even in plants, in the following communication contained in the " Cheltenham Examiner : " x " Last Thursday four enor mous mushrooms performed a heroic feat of a new kind, in one of our most crowded streets, by lifting up a huge block of stone in their strenuous effort to make their way into the visible world."

In the " Mem. de 1 Acad. d. Sciences de 1 annee " (1821), Cuvier says 2 : " For centuries botanists have been search ing for the reason why in a seed which is germinating the root invariably grows downwards, while the stalk as invariably grows upwards, no matter what be the posi tion in which the seed is placed. M. Dutrochet put some seeds into holes bored in the bottom of a vessel filled with damp mould, which he hung up to a beam in his room. Now, in this case, the stem might have been expected to grow downwards. Not at all : the roots found their way to the air below, and the stems were prolonged so as to traverse the damp mould until they reached its upper surface. According to M. Dutrochet, the direction in which plants grow, is determined by an inner principle and not at all by the attraction of the bodies towards which they direct themselves. A mistletoe seed that was fastened to the point of a perfectly moveable needle fixed

1 Repeated in the " Times" of June 2nd, 1841.

2 Vol. v. p. 171. Paris, 1826.


284 THE WILL IN NATURE.

on a peg, with a small plank placed near it, was induced to germinate. It soon began to send out shoots towards the plank, which it reached in five days without having communicated the slightest movement to the needle. The stems of onions and leeks with their bulbs, deposited in dark places, grow upwards, although more slowly than in light ones : they grow upwards even if placed in water : a fact which suffices to prove that neither light nor moisture determines the direction of their growth." Still C. II. Schultz asserts l that he made seeds germinate in a dark box with holes bored in the bottom, and succeeded in inducing the plants to grow upside down, by means of a mirror fastened to the box, which reflected the sun light.

In the " Dictionnaire des Sciences Naturelles" (article Animal) we find: "If, on the one hand, animals show avidity in their search after nourishment as well as power of discrimination in the selection of it, roots of plants may, on the other hand, be observed to direct themselves towards the side where the soil contains most nourish ment, nay, even to seek out the smallest crevices in rocks which may contain any food. If we twist a bough so as to make the upper surface of its leaves the under one, these leaves even will twist their stems in order to regain the position best suited for the exercise of their functions (i.e. so as to have the smooth side uppermost). Is it quite certain that this takes place unconsciously ? "

F. J. Meyen has devoted a chapter, entitled " Of the movements and sensations of plants," to a full investiga tion of the subject now before us. In this he says 2 : " Not unfrequently potatoes, stored in deep, dark cellars,

1 C. H. Schultz, " Sur la Circulation dans les Plantes," a prize-essay, 1839.

8 F. J. Meyen," Neues System der Pflanzenphysiologe " (1839), vol. iii, p. 585.


PHYSIOLOGY OF PLANTS. 285

may be observed towards summer to shoot forth stems which invariably grow in the direction of the chinks through which the light comes into the cellar, and to con tinue thus growing until they at last reach the aperture which receives the light directly. In such cases potato- stalks have been known to reach a length of twenty feet ; whereas under ordinary circumstances, even such as are most favourable to the growth of the potato, the stalk is seldom longer than from three to four feet. It is inte resting to watch closely the course taken by a potato- stalk thus growing in darkness, in its endeavours to reach the light. It tries to do so by the shortest road, but not being firm enough to grow straight across through the air without support, it lets itself drop on to the floor, and thus creeps along the ground till it reaches the nearest wall, up which it then climbs." Even this botanist too is led by his facts to the following assertion (p. 576) : " On observing the freedom of movement of oscillatoria and other inferior plants, we may perhaps have no alternative but to attribute a species of will to these beings."

Creepers bear distinct evidence as to manifestation of will in plants ; for, when they find no support near enough for their tendrils to cling to, they invariably direct their growth towards the shadiest place, or even towards a piece of dark-coloured paper, wherever it may be placed ; whereas they avoid glass, on account of its glitter. In the " Philosophical Transactions " of 1812, Th. Andrew Knight relates some very pleasing experiments on this subject (especially with ampelopsis quinquefolia,) 1 although he strives hard to explain the matter mechanically, and will not admit that it is a manifestation of will. I appeal to his experiments, not to the conclusions he draws from them. A good test might be, to plant several free creepers in a

1 These have been translated for the " Bibliotheque Britanniquc, Section des Sciences et Arts," vol. Hi


286 THE WILL IN NATURE.

circle round a tree-trunk and to observe whether they all crept towards the trunk centripetally. On the 6th Nov. 1843, Dutrochet read a treatise on this subject in the " Acad. de Sciences " called " Sur les Mouvements E-evolutifs spontanes chez les Vegetaux," which, notwithstanding its great length, is well worth reading, and is published among the "Cornptes rendus des Seances de 1* Academic des Sciences " for Nov. 1843. The result is, that in pisum sdtivum (green pea), in bryonia alba (wild bryony) and in cucumis sativus (cucumber) the stems of those leaves which bear the tendrils, describe a very slow circular movement in the air, the time in which they complete an ellipsis varying from one to three hours according to tem perature. By this movement they seek at random for solid bodies round which, when found, they twine their tendrils ; these then support the plant, it being unable to stand by itself without help. That is, they do the same thing as the eyeless caterpillar, which when seeking a leaf describes circles in the air with the upper part of its body. Dutrochet contributes a good deal of information too con- cerning other movements in plants in this treatise : for instance, that stylidium graminifolium in New Holland, has a column in the middle of its corolla which bears the anthers and stigma and alternately folds up and unfolds again. What Treviranus adduces is to the same effect :* In parnassia palustris and in ruta graveolens, the stamina incline one after the other, in saxifraga tridactylites in pairs, towards the stigma, and erect themselves again in. the same order." Shortly before however, we read in Treviranus with reference to this subject : " Of all appa rently voluntary movements of plants, the direction of their boughs and of the upper surface of their leaves towards the light and towards moist heat, and the twining

1 Treviranus, " Die Erscheinungen und Gesetze des Organischen Lebens " (Phenomena and Laws of Organic Life), vol. i. p. 1 73.


PHYSIOLOGY OF PLANTS. 287

movements of creepers round their supports, are the most universal. In this last phenomenon especially there is something which resembles animal movements. While growing, creepers, it is true, if left to themselves, describe circles with their tips and by this means reach an object near at hand. But it is no merely mechanical cause that induces them to adapt their growth to the form of the object they have thus reached. The cuscuta does not twine round every kind of support : for instance, limbs of animals, dead vegetable matter, metals and inorganic sub- stances are not used for this purpose, but only living plants, and not even all kinds not mosses, for instance only those from which it can extract nourishment by its papillae; and these attract it from a considerable distance." 1 The following special observation, communicated to the " Farmer s Magazine," and reproduced by the " Times " (13th July 1848) under the title "Vegetable Instinct," is however still more to the point : "If a basin of water be placed within six inches of a young pumpkin- stalk, or of a stem of the large garden pea, no matter on what side, the stalk will approach the basin during the night and it will be found next morning with one of its leaves floating on the water. This experiment may be renewed every night till the plant begins to fructify. Even if its position be

1 Brandis, " On Life and Polarity," 1836, p. 88, says : " The roots of rock-plants seek nourishing mould in the most delicate crevices of rocks. These roots cling to a nourishing bone in dense clusters. I saw a root whose growth was intercepted by the sole of an old shoe : it divided itself into as many fibres as the shoe-sole had holes those by which it had been stitched together but as soon as these fibres had overcome the obstruction apd grown through the holes, they united again to a common stem." And p. 87 : " If Sprengel s observations are confirmed, even mediate relations are perceived (by plants) in order to obtain this end (fructification) : that is to say, the anthers of the nigdla, bend down in order to put the pollen on the bees backs, and the pistils bend in like manner to receive it from the bees. [Add. to 3rd ed.l


288 THE WILL IN NATURE.

changed every day, a stick fixed upright; within six inches of a young convolvulus is sure to be found by the plant. If, after having wound itself for a certain distance round the stick, it is unwound and wound round again in the opposite direction, it will return to its original position or lose its life in the endeavour to do so. Nevertheless, if two such plants grow close to one another without having any stick near enough for them to cling to it, one of them will change the direction of its winding and they will twine round each other. Duhamel placed some Italian beans in a cylinder filled with moist earth ; after a little while they began to germinate and naturally sent their plumula upwards in the direction of the light and their radicula downwards into the mould. After a few days the cylinder was turned round to the extent of a quarter of its circumference and the same process was repeated until it had been turned completely round. The beans were then removed from the earth, when it was found that both plumula and radicula had twisted at each turn that had been given, in order to adapt them selves to it, the one endeavouring to rise perpendicularly, the other to descend, so that they had formed a complete spiral. Yet, notwithstanding this natural tendency to descend, when the soil below is too dry, roots will grow upwards in order to reach any moist substance which may be lying higher than themselves."

In Froriep s " Memoranda " for 1833 (No. 832) there is a short article upon the locomotivity of plants : in poor soil, where good mould lies near at hand, many plants will send out a shoot into the good mould ; after a time the original plant then withers, but the offshoot prospers and itself becomes the plant. By means of this process, a plant has been known to climb down from a wall.

In the same periodical (1835, No. 981) is to be found a communication from Professor Daubeny, of Oxford (taken


PHYSIOLOGY OF PLANTS. 289

from the " Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal," April- July, 1835), in which he shows with certainty, by means of new and very careful experiments, that roots of plants have, at any rate to a certain degree, the power to make choice from those substances in the soil which present themselves to their surface. 1

1 In this connection I may mention an analysis of an entirely different kind, given by the French Academician Babinet in an article in which he treats of the seasons on the planets. It is contained in the No, of the 15th January, 1856, of the "Kevue des Deux Mondes," and I will give the chief substance of it here in translation. The object of it is to refer to its direct cause the well-known fact, that cereals only thrive in temperate climates. " If grain did not necessarily perish in winter, if it were perennial, it would not bear ears, and there would be no harvest. In the hotter portions of Africa, Asia and America, where no winter kills the grain, these plants grow like grass with us : they multiply by means of shoots, remain always green, and neither form ears nor run to seed. In cold climates, on the contrary, the organism of these plants seems by some inconceivable miracle to feel, as it were by anticipation, the necessity of passing through the seed-phase in order to escape dying off in the winter season (L organisme de la plante, par un inconcevable miracle, semble presscntir la necessity de passer par Vttat de graine, pour ne pas prir compUtement pendant la saison rigoureiise). In a similar way, districts which have a " droughty season," that is to say a season in which all plants are parched up with drought " tropical countries, for instance Jamaica, produce grain j because there the plant, moved by the same organic presentiment (par le meme pressentiment organique), in order to multiply, hastens to bear seed at the approach of the season in which it would have to dry up." In the fact which this author describes as an inconceivable miracle, we recognise a manifestation of the plant s will in increased potency, since here it appears as the will of the species, and makes preparations for the future in a similar way to animal instinct, without being guided by knowledge of that future in doing so. Here we see plants in warmer climates dispensing with a complicated process to which a cold climate alone had obliged them. In similar instances animals do precisely the same thing, especially bees. Leroy in his admirable work " Lettres Philosophiques sur 1 Intelligence des Animaux " (3rd letter, p. 231) relates, that some bees which had been taken to South America continued at first to gather honey as usual and to build their cells just as when they were at home ; but that when they gradually

U


290 THE WILL IN NATURE.

Finally I will not omit to observe, that even so early an authority as Plato 1 had attributed desires, EirtdvpCac, i.e. will, to plants. In my chief work, 2 however, I have entered into the doctrines of the Ancients on this point, and the chapter there which treats of this subject may on the whole serve to complete the present one.

The reluctance and reserve with which we see the authors here quoted make up their minds to acknowledge the will, which nevertheless undoubtedly manifests itself in plants, comes from their being still hampered by the old opinion, that consciousness is a requisite and con dition of the will: now it is evident that plants have no consciousness. The thought never entered into the heads of these naturalists, that the will might be the prius and therefore independent of the intellect, with which, as the posterius, consciousness first makes its appear ance. As for knowledge or representation, plants have something merely analogous to it, a mere substitute for it ; whereas they really have the will itself quite directly : for, as the thing in itself, it is the substratum of their phe nomenal being as well as of every other. Taking a rea listic view, starting accordingly from the objective, the matter might even be stated as follows : That which lives and moves in plant-nature and in the animal organism,

became aware that plants blossom there all the year round, they left off working. The animal world supplies a fact analogous to the above mentioned change in the mode of multiplying in cereals. This is the abnormal mode of propagation for which the aphides have long been noted. The female aphide, as is well known, propagates for 10-12 generations without any pairing with the male, and by a variety of the ovoviviparous process. This goes on all summer; but in autumn the maks appear, impregnation takes plaee, and eggs are laid as winter quarters for the whole species, since it is c*nly in this shape that it is able to outlive the winter. (Add. to 3rd ed.)

1 Plat. " Tim." p. 403. Bip.

a Die Welt. a. W. u. V," vol. ii. chap. 23.


PHYSIOLOGY OF PLANTS. 291

when it lias gradually enhanced itself in the scale of beings sufficiently for the light of knowledge to fall directly upon it, presents itself in this newly arising consciousness as will, and is here more immediately, consequently better, known than anywhere else. This knowledge therefore must supply the key for the comprehension of all that is lower in the scale. For in this knowledge the thing in itself is no longer veiled by any other form than that of the most immediate apprehension. It is this immediate appre hension of one s own volition which has been called the inner sense. In itself the will is without apprehension, and remains so in the inorganic and vegetable kingdoms. Just as the world would remain in darkness, in spite of the sun, if there were no bodies to reflect its light ; or as the mere vibration of a string can never become a sound without air or even without some sort of sounding-board : so likewise does the will first become conscious of itself when know ledge is added to it. Knowledge is, as it were, the sounding-board of the will, and consciousness the tone it produces. This becoming conscious of itself on the part of the will, was attributed to a supposed inner sense, because it is the first and most direct knowledge we have. The various emotions of our own will can alone be the object of this inner sense; for the process of representation itself cannot over again be perceived, but, at the very utmost, only be once more brought to consciousness in rational reflection, that second power of representing : that is, in abstracto. Therefore also, simple representation (intui tion) is to thinking proper that is, to knowing by means of abstract conceptions what willing in itself is to becoming aware of that willing, i.e. to consciousness. For this reason, a perfectly clear and distinct consciousness, not only of our own existence but also of the existence of others, only arises with the advent of Reason (the faculty for conceptions), which raises Man as far above the brute,


292 THE WILL IN NATURE.

as the merely intuitive faculty of representation raises the brute above the plant. Now beings which, like plants, have no faculty for representation, are called unconscious, and we conceive this condition as only slightly differing from non-existence ; since the only existence such beings have, is in the consciousness of others, as the representation of those others. They are nevertheless not wanting in what is primary in existence, the will, but only in what is secondary ; still, what is primary and this is after all the existence of the thing in itself appears to us, without that secondary element, to pass over into nullity. We are* unable directly and clearly to distinguish unconscious exis tence from non-existence, although we have our own ex perience of it in deep sleep.

Bearing in mind, according to the contents of the last chapter, that the faculty of knowing, like every other organ, has only arisen for the purpose of self-preservation, and that it therefore stands in a precise relation, admitting of countless gradations, to the requirements of each animal species; we shall understand that plants, having so very much fewer requirements than animals, no longer need any knowledge at all. On this account pre cisely, as I have often said, knowledge is the true charac teristic which denotes the limits of animality, because of the movement induced by motives which it conditions. Where animal life ceases, there knowledge proper, with whose essence our own experience has made us familiar, disap pears ; and henceforth analogy is our only way of making that which mediates between the influence of the outer world and the movements of beings intelligible to us. The will, on the other hand, which we have recognised as being the basis and kernel of every existing thing, remains one and the same at all times and in all places. Now, in the lower degree occupied by plant-life and by the vegetative life of animal organisms, it is the stimulus which takes the place


PHYSIOLOGY OP PLANTS. 293

of knowledge as a means of determining the individual manifestations of this omnipresent will and as a mediator between the outer world and the changes of such a being ; finally, in inorganic Nature, it is physical agency in general ; and when, as here, observation takes place from a higher to a lower degree, both stimulus and physical agency present themselves as substitutes for knowledge, therefore as mere analogues to it. Plants cannot properly be said to perceive light and the sun ; yet we see them sensitive in various ways to the presence or absence of both. We see them incline and turn towards the light ; and though this movement no doubt generally coincides with their growth, just as the moon s rotation on its axis coincides with its movement round the earth, it nevertheless exists, as well as that of the moon, and the direction of that growth is determined and systematically modified by light, just as an action is determined by a motive, and as the direction of the growth of creeping and clinging plants is determined by the shape and position of the sup ports they may chance to find. Thus because plants on the whole, still have wants, though not such wants as demand the luxury of a sensorium and an intellect, some thing analogous has to take the place of these, in order to enable the will to lay hold of, if not to seek out, the satis factions which offer themselves to it. Now, this analogous substitute is susceptibility for stimuli, and I would express the difference between knowledge and this susceptibility as follows : in knowledge, the motive which presents itself as representation and the act of volition which follows from it, remain distinctly separate one from the other, this separa tion moreover being the more distinct, the greater the per fection of the intellect ; whereas, in mere susceptibility for stimuli, the feeling of the stimulus can no longer be distinguished from the volition it occasions, and they coalesce. In inorganic nature finally, even susceptibility


294 THE WILL IN NATURE.

for stimuli, the analogy of which to knowledge is unmis takable, ceases, but the diversity of reaction of each body upon divers kinds of action remains ; now, when the matter is considered, as we are doing, in the descending scale, this reaction still presents itself, even here, as a substitute for knowledge. If a body reacts differently, it must have been acted upon differently and that action must have roused a different sensation in it, which with all its dull ness has nevertheless a distant analogy to knowledge. Thus when water that is shut up finds an outlet of which it eagerly avails itself, rushing vehemently in that direction, it certainly does not recognise that outlet any more than the acid perceives the alkali approaching it which will induce it to abandon its combination with a metal, or than the strip of paper perceives the amber which attracts it after being rubbed ; yet we cannot help admitting that what brings about such sudden changes in all these bodies, bears a certain resemblance to that which takes place within us, when an unexpected motive presents itself. In former times I have availed myself of such considerations as these in order to point out the will in all things ; I now em ploy them to indicate the sphere to which knowledge presents itself as belonging, when considered, not as is usual from the inside, but realistically, from a standpoint outside itself, as if it were something foreign : that is, when we gain the objective point of view for it, which is so extremely important in order to complete the subjective one. 1 We find that knowledge then presents itself as the mediator of motives, i.e. of the action of causality upon beings endowed with intellect in other words, as that which receives the changes from outside upon which those in the inside must follow, as that which acts as mediator between both. Now upon this narrow line hovers the world as

1 Compare " Die Welt. a. W. u. Y." vol. ii. chap. 22 : " Objective View of the Intellect."


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representation that is to say, the whole corporeal world, stretched out in Space and Time, which as such can never exist anywhere but in the brain any more than dreams, which, as long as they last, exist in the same way. What the intellect does for animals and for man, as the mediator of motives, susceptibility for stimuli does for plants, and susceptibility for every sort of cause for in organic bodies : and strictly speaking, all this differs merely in degree. For, exclusively as a consequence of this suscep tibility to outward impressions having enhanced itself in animals proportionately to their requirements till it has reached the point where a nervous system and a brain be come necessary, does consciousness arise as a function of that brain, and in it the objective world, whose forms (Time, Space, Causality) are the way in which that function is per formed. Therefore we find the intellect originally laid out entirely with a view to subjectivity, destined merely to serve the purposes of the will, consequently as something quite secondary and subordinate ; nay, in a sense, as something which appears only per accidens ; as a condition of the action of mere motives, instead of stimuli, which has become neces sary in the higher degree of animal existence. The image of the world in Space and Time, which thus arises, is only the map 1 on which the motives present themselves as ends. It also conditions the spacial and causal connection in which the objects perceived stand to one another ; never theless it is only the mediating link between the motive and the act of volition. Now, to take such an image as this of the world, arising in this manner, accidentally, in the intellect, i.e. in the cerebral function of animal beings, through the means to their ends being represented and the path of these ephemera on their planet being thus illumined to take this image, we say, this mere cerebral phenome non, for the true, ultimate essence of things (thing in itself), 1 Plan.


296 THE WILL IN NATTJKE.

to take the concatenation of its parts for the absolute order of the Universe (relations between things in themselves), and to assume all this to exist even independently of the brain, would indeed be a leap ! Here in fact, an assumption such as this must appear to us as the height of rashness and presumption ; yet it is the foundation upon which all the systems of pre -Kantian dogmatism have been built up ; for it is tacitly pre- supposed in all their Ontology, Cosmology and Theology, as well as in the ceternce veritates to which they appeal. But that leap had always been made tacitly and unconsciously, and it is precisely Kant s immortal achievement, to have brought it to our consciousness.

By our present realistic way of considering the matter therefore, we unexpectedly gain the objective stand-point for Kant s great discoveries; and, by the road of empirico-physio- logical contemplation, we arrive at the point whence his trans cendental-critical view starts. For Kant s view takes the subjective for its standpoint and considers consciousness as given. But from consciousness itself and its law and order, given a priori, that view arrives at the conclusion, that all which appears in that consciousness can be nothing more than mere phenomenon. From our realistic, exterior standpoint, on the contrary, which assumes the objective all that exists in Nature to be absolutely given, we see what the intellect is, as to its aim and origin, and to which class of phenomena it belongs, and we recognise (so far a priori) that it must be limited to mere phenomena. We see too, that what presents itself in the intellect can at all times only be conditioned chiefly subjectively that is, can, together with the order of the nexus of its parts, only be a mundus phenomenon, which is likewise subjectively conditioned ; but that it can never be a knowledge of things as they may be in themselves, or as they may be connected in themselves. For, in the nexus of Nature, we have found the faculty of knowing as a conditioned faculty,


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whose assertions, precisely on that account, cannot claim unconditioned validity. To anyone who has studied and understood the Critique of Pure Reason to which our standpoint is essentially foreign it must nevertheless still appear as if Nature had intended the intellect for a puzzle- glass to mislead us and were playing at hide-and-seek with us. But by our realistic objective road, i.e. by starting from the objective world as given, we have now come to the very same result at which Kant had arrived by the idealistic, subjective road, i.e. by examining the intellect itself and the way in which it constitutes consciousness. We now see that the world as representation hovers on the narrow line between the external cause (motive) and the effect evoked (act of the will), in beings having knowledge (animals), in which beings for the first time there occurs a distinct separation between motive and voluntary act. Ita res accendent lumina rebus. It is only when it is reached by two quite opposite roads, that the great result attained by Kant is distinctly seen ; and when light is thus thrown upon it from both sides, his whole meaning be comes clear. Our objective standpoint is realistic and therefore conditioned, so far as, in taking for granted the existence of beings in Nature, it abstracts from the fact that their objective existence postulates an intellect, which contains them as its representation ; but Kant s subjective and idealistic standpoint is likewise conditioned, inasmuch as he starts from the intelligence, which itself, however, presupposes Nature, in consequence of whose development as far as animal life that intelligence is for the first time enabled to make its appearance. Keeping steadily to this realistic, objective standpoint of ours, we may also define Kant s theory as follows : After Locke, in order to know things in themselves, had abstracted the share of sen suous functions called by him secondary qualities from things as they appear, Kant with infinitely greater depth


08 THE WILL IN NATURE.

deducted from them tlie incomparably larger share of the cerebral function, which includes precisely what Locke calls primary qualities. But all I have done here has been to show why all this must necessarily be as it is, by indicating the place occupied by the intellect in the nexus of Nature, when we start realistically from the objective as given, but, in doing so, take the only thing of which we are quite directly conscious, the will that true TTOV arS) of Metaphysics for our support, as being what is primarily real, everything else being merely its phe nomenon. What now follows serves to complete this.

I have mentioned already, that where knowledge takes place, the motive which appears as representation and the act of volition resulting from it, remain the more clearly separated one from the other, the more perfect the intellect ; that is, the higher we ascend in the scale of beings. This calls for fuller explanation. As long as the will s activity is roused by stimuli alone, and no representation as yet takes place that is, in plants there is no separation at all between the receiving of impressions and the being determined by them. In the lowest order of animal in telligence, such as we find it in radiaria, acalepha, acephala, &c., the difference is still small ; a feeling of hunger, a watchfulness roused by this, an apprehending and snapping at their prey, still constitute the whole con tent of their consciousness; nevertheless this is the first twilight of the dawning world as representation, the back ground of which that is to say, everything excepting the motive which acts each time still remains shrouded in impenetrable darkness. Here moreover the organs of the senses are correspondingly imperfect and incomplete, having exceedingly few data for perception to bring to an under standing yet in embryo. Nevertheless wherever there is sensibility, it is always accompanied by understanding, i.e. with the faculty for referring effects experienced to


PHYSIOLOGY OF PLANTS. 299

external causes ; without this, sensibility would be super fluous and a mere source of aimless suffering. The higher we ascend in the scale of animals, the greater number and perfection of the senses we find, till at last we have all five ; these are found in a small number of invertebrate animals, but they only become universal in the vertebrata. The brain and its function, the understanding, develop pro portionately, and the object now gradually presents itself more and more distinctly and completely and even already in connection with other objects; because the service of the will requires apprehension of the mutual relations of objects. By this the world of representation acquires some extent and background. Still that apprehension never goes beyond what is required for the will s service: the apprehending and the being roused to reaction by what is apprehended, are not clearly held asunder: the object is only perceived in as much as it is a motive. Even the more sagacious animals only see in objects what concerns themselves, what has reference to their will or, at the utmost, what may have reference to it in future : of this last we have an instance in cats, who take pains to acquire an accurate knowledge of localities, and in foxes, who endeavour to find hiding-places for their future prey. But they are insensible towards everything else ; no animal has perhaps ever yet seen the starry sky : my dog started in terror when for the first time he accidentally caught sight of the sun. A first faint sign of a disin terested perception of their surroundings may at times be observed in the most intelligent animals, especially when they have been trained by taming. Dogs go so far as to stare at things ; we may often see them sit down at the window and attentively watch all that passes. Monkeys look about them at times, as if trying to make up their mind about their surroundings. It is in Man that the separation between motive and action, between representa-


300 THE WILL IN NATURE.

tion and will, first becomes quite distinct. But this does not immediately put an end to the subservience of the intellect to the will. Ordinary human beings after all only comprehend quite clearly that which, in some way or other, refers directly or indirectly to their own selves (has an interest for them) ; with respect to everything else, their understanding continues to be unconquerably inert ; the rest therefore remains in the back-ground and does not come into consciousness under the radiant light of complete distinctnees. Philosophical astonishment and artistic emotion occasioned by the contemplation of phenomena, remain eternally foreign to them, whatever they may do ; for at the bottom, everything appears to them to be a matter of course. Complete liberation and separation of the intellect from the will and its bondage is the prerogative of genius, as I have fully shown in the aesthetic part of my chief work. G-enius is objectivity. The pure objectivity and distinctness with which things present themselves in [intuitive] perception that fundamental and most substantial source of knowledge actually stands every moment in inverse proportion to the interest which the will has in those things ; and knowing without willing is the condition, not to say the essence, of all gifts of aesthetic intelligence. Why does an ordinary artist produce so bad a painting of yonder landscape, notwithstanding all the pains he has taken ? Because he sees it so. And why does he see so little beauty in it ? Because his intellect has not freed itself sufficiently from his will. The degrees of this separation give rise to great intellectual distinctions between men; for the more knowledge has freed itself from the will, the purer, consequently the more objective and correct, it is ; just as that fruit is best, which has no after-taste of the soil on which it has grown.

This relation, as important as it is interesting, deserves surely to be made still clearer by a retrospective view of the


PHYSIOLOGY OP PLANTS. 301

whole scale of beings, and by recalling the gradual transition from absolute subjectivity to the highest degrees of objec tivity in the intellect. Inorganic Nature namely, is abso lutely subjective, no trace whatever of consciousness of an outer world being found in it. Stones, boulders, ice-blocks, even when they fall upon one another, or knock or rub against one another, have no consciousness of each other and of an outer world. Still even these are susceptible to external influence, which causes their position and move ment to change and may therefore be considered as a first step towards consciousness. Now, although plants also have no consciousness of the outer world, and although the mere analogue of a consciousness which exists in them must, on the contrary, be conceived as a dull self -enjoyment ; yet we see that they all seek light, and that many of them turn their flowers or leaves daily towards the sun, while creepers find their way to supports with which they are not in contact; and finally we see individual kinds of plants show even a sort of irritability. Unquestionably therefore, there is a connection and relation between their movements and surroundings, even those with which they are not in immediate contact ; and this connection we must accordingly recognise as a faint analogue to perception. With animal life first appears decided perception that is, consciousness of other things, as opposed to that clear consciousness of ourselves to which that consciousness of other things first gives rise. This constitutes precisely the true character of animal-nature, as opposed to plant- nature. In the lowest animals, consciousness of the outer world is very limited and dim : each increasing degree of understanding extends it and makes it clearer, and this gradual increase of the understanding again adapts itself to the gradually increasing requirements of the animal, and thus the process continues through the whole long ascend ing scale of the animal series up to Man, in whom conscious-


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ness of the outer world reaches its acme, and in whom the world accordingly presents itself more distinctly and com pletely than in any other being. Still, even here, there are innummerable degrees in the clearness of consciousness, from the dullest blockhead to genius. Even in normal heads there still remains a considerable tinge of subjec tivity in their objective perception of external objects, knowledge still bearing throughout the character of existing merely for the ends of the will. The more eminent the head, the less prominent is this character, and the more purely objective does the representation of the outer world become; till in genius finally it attains completely objec tivity, by which the Platonic ideas detach themselves from the individual things, because the mind which comprehends them enhances itself to the pure subject of knowledge. Now, as perception is the basis of all knowledge, all think ing and all insight must be influenced by this fundamental difference in the quality of it, from which arises that com plete difference between the ordinary and the superior inind in their whole way of viewing things, which may be noticed on all occasions. From this also proceeds the dull gravity, nearly resembling that of animals, which characterizes common-place heads whose knowledge is acquired solely for the benefit of the will, as opposed to the constant play of exuberant intellect which brightens the consciousness of the superior mind. The consideration of the two extremes in the great scale which we have here exhibited, seems to have given rise to the German hyper bolical expression " Slock " (Klotz), as applied to human beings, and to the English " blockhead."

But another different consequence of the clear separa tion of the will from the intellect therefore of the mo tive from the action, which first appears in the human race, is the deceptive illusion of freedom in our individual actions. Where, as in inorganic nature, causes, or, as in


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the vegetable kingdom, stimuli, call forth, the effect, the causal connection is so simple, that there is not even the slightest semblance of freedom. But already in animal life, where that which till then had manifested itself as cause or as stimulus, now appears as a motive and a new world, that of representation, consequently presents itself, and cause and effect lie in different spheres the causal connection between both, and with it the necessity, are less evident than they were in plants and in inorganic Nature. Nevertheless they are still unmistakable in animals, whose merely intuitive representation stands midway between organic functions induced by stimuli and the deliberate acts of Man. The animal s actions infallibly follow as soon as the perceptible motive is present, unless counter acted by some equally perceptible counter-motive or by training; yet here representation is already distinct from the act of volition and comes separately into consciousness. But in Man whose representation has enhanced itself even to abstract conception and who now derives motives and counter-motives for his actions from a whole invisible thought-world which he carries about with him in his brain and which makes him independent of presence and of perceptible surroundings this connection no longer exists at all for observation from outside, and even for inward observation it is only knowable through abstract and mature reflection. For these abstract motives, when ob served from outside, give an impress of deliberation to all his movements, by which they acquire a semblance of inde pendence that manifestly distinguishes them from those of animals, yet which after all only bears evidence to the fact, that Man is actuated by a class of representations in which animals do not share. Then again, in self-consciousness, the act of volition is known to us in the most immediate way, but the motive in most cases very indirectly, being often even intentionally veiled, out of consideration for


304 THE WILL IN NATURE.

our self-knowledge. This process therefore, in coincidence with the consciousness of that true freedom which belongs to the will, as thing in itself outside phenomenon, produces the deceptive illusion that even the single act of volition is unconditioned and free : that is, without a reason ; whereas, when the character is given and the motive recog nised, every act of volition really follows with the same strict necessity as the changes of which mechanics teach us the laws, and, to use Kant s words, were character and motive exactly known, might be calculated with precisely the same certainty as an eclipse of the moon ; or again, to place a very heterogeneous authority by the side of Kant, as Dante says, who is older than Buridan :

" Intra duo cibi distant! e moventi D un modo, prima si morria di fame Che liber uomo 1 un recasse a denti."

Paradiso, iv. I. 1

1 Between two kinds of food, both equally Remote and tempting, first a man might die Of hunger, ere he one could freely chuse. (Gary s TV.)


PHYSICAL ASTRONOMY.

NO part of my doctrine could I have less hoped to see corroborated by empirical science than that, in which the fundamental truth, that Kant s thing in itself (Ding an sich) is the Will, is applied by me even to inorganic Nature, and in which I show the active principle in all fundamental forces of Nature to be absolutely identical with what is known to us within ourselves as the Will. It has therefore been particularly gratifying to me to have found that an eminent empiricist, yielding to the force of truth, had gone so far as to express this paradox in the exposition of his scientific doctrine. I allude to Sir John Herschel and to his " Treatise on Astronomy," the first edition of which appeared in 1833, and a second enlarged one in 1849, under the title " Outlines of Astronomy." Herschel, who, as an astronomer, was acquainted with gravity, not only in the one-sided and really coarse part which it acts on earth, but also in the nobler one performed by it in universal Space, where the celestial bodies play with each other, betray mutual inclination, exchange as it were amorous glances, yet never allow themselves to come into rude con tact, and thus continue dancing their dignified minuet to the music of the spheres, while they keep at a respectful distance from one another when he comes to the state ment of the law of gravitation in the seventh chapter, 1 I expresses himself as follows :

1 Herschel, " Treatise on Astronomy," chap. 7, 371 of the 1st edition, 1833.

X


306 THE WILL IN NATURE.

" All bodies with which we are acquainted, when raised into the air and quietly abandoned, descend to the earth s surface in lines perpendicular to it. They are therefore urged thereto by a force or effort, the direct or indirect result of a consciousness and a will existing somewhere, though beyond our power to trace, which force we term gravity" l

The writer who reviewed Herschel s book in the October number of the " Edinburgh Review " of 1833, anxious, as a true Englishman, before all things to prevent the Mosaic record 2 from being imperilled, takes great umbrage at this passage, rightly observing that it cannot refer to the will of God Almighty, who has called Matter and all its proper ties into being; he utterly refuses to recognise the validity of the proposition itself, and denies that it follows consistently from the preceding upon which Herschel wishes to found it. My opinion is, that it undoubtedly would logically follow from that (because the contents of a conception are determined by its origin), but that the antecedent itself is false. It asserts namely, that the origin of the conception of causality is experience, more especially such experience as we ourselves make in acting by means of our

1 Even Copernicus had said the same thing long before : " Equifom existimo Gravitatem non aliud esse quam appetentiam quandam natu- ralem, partibus inditam a divina providentia opificis universorum, ut in unitatem integritatemgue steam, se confer ant, in for mam Globi coeuntes. Quam affectionem credibile est etiam Soli, L/unae caeterisque errantiwn

fulgoribus, inesse, ut eyus efficacia, in ea qua se repraesentant rotunditate permaneant; quae nihilominus multis modis suos efficiimt circuittis" ("Nicol. Copernici revol." Lib. I, Cap. IX. Compare "Exposition des Decouvertes de M. le Chevalier Newton par M. Maclaurin ; traduit de 1 Anglois par M. Lavirotte," Paris, 1749, p. 45). Kerschel evidently saw, that if we hesitate to explain gravity, as Descartes did, by an impulse from outside, we are absolutely driven to admit a will inherent in bodies.. Non datur tertium. [Add. to 3rd ed.]

2 Which he has more at heart than all the wisdom and truth in the world. [Add. to 3rd ed.]


PHYSICAL ASTRONOMY. 807

own efforts upon bodies belonging to the outer world. It is only in countries like England, where the light of Kantian philosophy has not yet begun to dawn, that the Conception of causality can be thought of as originating in experience (professors of philosophy who pooh-pooh Kant s doctrines and think me beneath their notice being left out of the question) ; least of all can it be thought of by those who are acquainted with my proof of the a priority of that conception, which differs completely from Kant s proof and rests upon the fact, that knowledge of causality must necessarily precede all perception of the outer world it self as its condition ; since perception is only brought about through the transition effected by the understanding from the sensation in the organ of sense to its cause, which cause now presents itself as an object in Space, itself like wise an a priori intuition. Now, as the perception of objects mast be anterior to our conscious action upon them, the ex perience of that conscious action cannot be the origin of the conception of causality; for, before I can act upon things, they must first have acted upon me as motives. I have entered fully into all that has to do with this in my chief work, 1 and in the second edition of my treatise on the Principle of Sufficient Season, 21, 2 where the assumption adopted by Herschel finds special refutation ; it is therefore useless to enter into it once more here. But it would be even quite possible to refute this assumption empirically, fcince it would necessarily follow from it, that a man who came into the world without arms or legs, could never attain any knowledge of causality or perception of the outer world. Now Nature has effectually disproved this by a case, of which I have reproduced the account from its original source in the above-mentioned chapter of my chief

1 See " Die Welt a. W. u. V." vol. ii. ch. 4, pp. 38-42 (3rd edition, pp. 41-46).

9 P. 74 (3rd edition, p. /9), p. 92 of the translation in the present, volume


03 THE WILL IN NATURE.

work, p. 40. 1 In tliis assertion of Herschel s therefore, we have another instance of a right conclusion drawn from wrong premisses. Now this always happens when we have obtained immediate insight into a truth by a right aperqu, but are at a loss to find out and clearly define our reasons for knowing it, owing to our inability to bring them to clear consciousness. For, in all original insight, conviction exists before proof : the proof being invariably excogitated afterwards.

The immediate manifestation of gravity is more evident in each part of liquid, than of solid, matter, owing to the perfect freedom of motion of the parts among each other. In order therefore to penetrate into this aper^u, which is the true source of Herschel s assertion, let us look atten tively at a torrent dashing headlong over rocks and ask ourselves whether so determined an impetus, so boisterous a vehemence, can arise without an exertion of strength, and whether an exertion of strength is conceivable without will. And so it is precisely in every case in which we become aware of anything moving spontaneously, of any primary, uncommunicated force : we are constrained to think its innermost essence as will. This much at any rate is certain, that Herschel, like all the empiricists in so many different branches of science whose evidence I have quoted above, had arrived here at the limit where nothing more is left behind the Physical but the Metaphysical ; that this had brought him to a standstill, and that he, as well as the rest of them, was unable to find anything beyond that limit, but the will.

Herschel moreover, like most of these empiricists, is here still hampered by the opinion that will is inseparable from conciousness. As I have expatiated enough above upon this fallacy, and its correction through my doctrine, it is needless for me to enter into it here again. 1 3rd edition, p. 44,


PHYSICAL ASTRONOMY. 309

The attempt lias repeatedly been made, since the beginning of this century, to ascribe vitality to the inorganic world. Quite wrongly: for living and inorganic are convertible conceptions, and with death the organic ceases to be organic. But no limit in the whole of Nature is so sharply drawn as the line which separates the organic from the in organic : that is to say, the line between the region in which Form is the essential and permanent, Matter the accidental and changing, and the region in which this relation is entirely reversed. This is no vacillating boundary like that perhaps between animals and plants, between solid and liquid, between gas and steam : to endeavour to destroy it therefore, is intentionally to bring confusion into our ideas. On the other hand, I am the first who has asserted that a will must be attributed to all that is lifeless and inorganic. For, with me, the will is not, as has hitherto been assumed, an accident of cognition and there fore of life ; but life itself is manifestation of will. Knowledge, on the contrary, is really an accident of life, and life of Matter. But Matter itself is only the percepti bility of the phenomena of the will. Therefore we are compelled to recognise volition in every effort or tendency which proceeds from the nature of a material body, and properly speaking constitutes that nature, or manifests itself as phenomenon by means of that nature ; and there can consequently be no Matter without manifestation of will. The lowest and on that account most universal manifestation of will is gravity, wherefore it has been called a primary and essential property of Matter.

The usual view of Nature assumes two fundamentally different principles of motion, therefore it supposes that the movement of a body may have two different origins : i.e., that it proceeds either from the inside, in which case it is attributed to the will; or from the outside, and then it is occasioned by causes. This principle is gene-


310 THE WILL IN NATURE.

rally taken for granted as a matter of course and only occasionally brought explicitly into prominence ; never theless, in order to make the case quite certain, I will point out a few passages from the earliest to the latest authors in which it is specially stated. In Phaedrus, 1 Plato makes the distinction between that which moves spontaneously from inside (soul) and that which receives movement only from outside (body) TO v<f> iavrov Kivov/uevov KO.I TO, < efoOw TU KivtlffOai. 2 Aristotle establishes the principle in precisely the same way : airav TO Qepopevov >/ v^ eavrov KtvEirai, fj i>V d\\ov (quidquid fertur a se movetur, aut db alio~). 3 He returns to the subject in the next Book, chap. 4 and 5, and connects it with some explanatory de tails which lead him into considerable perplexity, on ac count precisely of the fallacy of the antithesis. 4 In more recent times again J. J. Eousseau brings forward the same antithesis with great naivete and candour in his famous "Profession de foi du vicaire Savoyard:" 5 "Fa/p&rfois dans les corps deux sortes de mouvement, savoir : mouvement communique et mouvement spontane ou volontaire : dans le premier la cause motrice est etrangere au corps mu ; et dans le second elle est en lui-meme" But even in our time and in the stilted, puffed-up style which is peculiar to it, Bur- dach holds forth as follows : 6 " The cause that determines a movement lies either inside or outside of that which

1 Plato, Phfed." p. 319 Bip.

2 " That which is moved by itself and that which is moved from out side." [Tr.] And we find the same distinction again in the 10th Book " De Legibus," p. 85. [After him Cicero repeats it in the two last chapters of his " Somnium Scipionis." Add. to 3rd ed.]

3 " All that is moved, is moved either by itself or by something else." [Tr.] Aristotle, "Phys." vii. 2.

4 Maclaurin, too, in his account of Newton s discoveries, p. 102, lavs down this principle as his starting-point. [Add. to 3rd ed.]

6 Kmile, iv. p. 27. Bip.

Burdach, " Physiologic," vol. iv. p. 323.


PHYSICAL ASTRONOMY. 311

moves. Matter is external existence; it has powers of motion, but it only brings them into play under certain spacial conditions and external oppositions : the soul alone is an ever active and internal thing, and only those bodies which have souls find within themselves inducement to move, and move of their own free will, independently of outer mechanical circumstances."

Now here however I must say, as Abelard once did : si omnespatres sic, at egonon sic : for, in opposition to this prin ciple, however great may be its antiquity and universality, my doctrine maintains, that there are not two origins of movement differing fundamentally from one another ; that movement does not proceed either from inside, when it is ascribed to the will, or from outside, when it is brought about by causes ; but that both things are inseparable and take place simultaneously with every movement made by a body. For movement which is admitted to arise from the will, always presupposes a cause also: this cause, in beings that have knowledge, is a motive ; but without it, even in these beings, movement is impossible. On the other hand, the movement of a body which is admitted to have been brought about by an outward cause, is never theless in itself a manifestation of the will of that body which has only been evoked by that cause. Accordingly there is only one, uniform, universal and exceptionless principle of all movement, whose inner condition is will and whose outer occasion is cause, which latter may also take the form of a stimulus or of a motive, according to the nature of the thing moved.

All that is known to us of things in a merely empi rical or a posteriori way, is in itself will ; whereas, so far as they can be determined a priori, things belong ex clusively to representation, to mere phenomenon. Natural phenomena therefore become proportionately less easy to comprehend, the more distinctly the will manifests itself


312 THE WILL IN NATURE.

in them, i.e. the higher they stand on the scale of beings ; whereas, they become more and more comprehensible the smaller the amount of their empirical content, be cause they remain more and more within the sphere of mere representation, the forms of which, known to us a. priori, are the principle of comprehensibility. Accordingly, it is only so long as we limit ourselves to this sphere that is to say, only when we have before us mere repre sentation, mere form without empirical content that our comprehension is complete and thorough : that is, in the a priori sciences, Arithmetic, Geometry, Phoronorny and Logic. Here everything is in the highest degree compre hensible; our insight is quite clear and satisfactory: it leaves nothing to be desired, since we are even unable to conceive that anything could be otherwise than it is. This comes from our having here exclusively to do with the forms of our own intellect. Thus the more we are able to comprehend in a relation, the more it consists of mere phenomenon and the less it has to do with the thing in itself. Applied Mathematics, Mechanics, Hydraulics, &c. &c., deal with the lowest degrees of objectification of the will, in which the largest part still remains within the sphere of mere representation ; nevertheless even here there is already an empirical element which stands in the way of entire comprehension, which makes the transparency less complete, and in which the inexplicable shows itself. For the same reason, only few departments of Physics and of Chemistry continue to admit of a mathematical treat ment ; whereas higher up in the scale of beings this has to be entirely done away with, precisely because of the pre ponderance of content over form in these phenomena. This content is will, the a posteriori, the thing in itself, the free, the causeless. Under the heading " Physiology of Plants," I have shown how in beings that live and have knowledge motive and act of will, representation and volition, separate


PHYSICAL ASTRONOMY. 313

and detach themselves more and more distinctly one from the other, the higher we ascend in the scale of beings. Now, in inorganic Nature also, the cause separates itself from the effect in just the same proportion, and the purely empirical which is precisely phenomenon of the will detaches itself more and more prominently ; but, just with this, comprehensibility diminishes. This point merits fuller investigation, and I request my readers to give their whole and undivided attention to what I am about to say, as it is calculated to place the leading thought of my doctrine in the strongest possible light, both as to compre hensibility and cogency. But this is all I can do ; for it is beyond my power to induce my contemporaries to prefer thoughts to verbiage ; I can only console myself for not being the man of the age.

On the lowest step of the scale of Nature, cause and effect are quite homogeneous and quite equivalent. Here therefore we have perfect comprehension of the causal con nection : for instance, the cause of the movement of one ball propelled by impact, is the movement of another, which loses just as much movement as the first one receives. Here causality is in the highest degree intelli gible. What notwithstanding still remains mysterious, is restricted to the possibility of the passage of movement of a thing incorporeal from one body to another. The receptivity of bodies in this mode is so slight, that the effect to be produced has to pass over completely from its cause. The same holds good of all purely mechanical influences ; and if they are not all just as instantaneously understood, it is either because they are hidden from us by accessory circumstances, or because we are confused by the complicated connection of many causes and effects. In itself, mechanical causality is everywhere equally, that is, in the highest degree, comprehensible ; because cause and effect do not differ here as to quality, and because where


314 THE WILL IN NATURE.

they differ as to quantity, as in the lever, mere Space ancl Time relations suffice to make the thing clear. But as soon as weights come also into play, a second mysterious element supervenes, gravity : and, where elastic bodies are concerned, elasticity also. Things change as soon as we begin to ascend in the scale of phenomena. Heat, con sidered as cause, and expansion, liquefaction, volatilization or crystallization, as effects, are not homogeneous ; there fore their causal connection is not intelligible. The com- prehensibility of causality has diminished : what a lower degree of heat caused to liquefy, a higher degree makes evaporate : that which crystallizes with less heat, melts when the heat is augmented. Warmth softens wax and hardens clay ; light whitens wax and blackens chloride of silver. And, to go still further, when two salts are seen to decompose each other mutually and to form two new ones, elective affinity presents itself to us as an impenetrable mystery, and the properties of the two new bodies are not a combination of the properties of their separate elements. Nevertheless we are still able to follow the process and to indicate the elements out of which the new bodies are formed ; we can even separate what has been united and restore the original quantities. Thus noticeable hetero- geneousness and incommensurability between cause and effect have here made their appearance: causality has become more mysterious. And this becomes still more apparent when we compare the effects of electricity or of the Voltaic pile with their causes, i.e. with the friction of glass, or the piling and oxidation of the plates. Here all similarity between cause and effect at once vanishes ; causality becomes shrouded in a thick veil, which men like Davy, Faraday and Ampere have strenuously endeavoured to lift. The only thing now discernible through that veil, are the laws ruling its mode of action, which may bo brought into a schema such as + E E, communica-


PHYSICAL ASTRONOMY. 315

tion, distribution, shock, ignition, analysis, charging, isolation, discharging, electric current, &c. &c., to this schema we are able to reduce and even to direct the effect ; but of the process itself we know nothing : that remains an x. Here therefore cause and effect are completely heterogeneous, their connection is unintelligible, and we see bodies show great susceptibity to causal influences, the nature of which remains a secret for us. Moreover in pro portion as we mount higher in the scale, the effect seems to contain more, the cause less. When we reach organic Nature therefore, in which the phenomenon of life presents itself, this is the case in a far higher degree still. If, as is done in China, we fill a pit with decaying wood, cover it with leaves from the same tree as the wood, and pour a solution of sulphur repeatedly over it, an abundant crop of edible mushrooms will spring up. A world of rapidly moving infiisoria will arise from a little hay well watered. "What a difference lies here between effect and cause ! How much more does the former seem to contain than the latter ! When we compare the seed, sometimes centuries, nay even thousands of years old, with the tree, or the soil with the specifically and strikingly different juices of in numerable plants some healthy, some poisonous, some again nutritious which spring from the same earth, upon which the same sun shines and the same rain falls, all resemblance ceases, and with it all comprehensibility for us. For here causality already appears in increased potency : that is, as stimulus and as susceptibility for stimulus. The schema of cause and effect alone has re mained ; we know that this is cause, that effect ; but we know nothing whatever of the nature and disposition of causality. Between cause and effect there is not only no qualitative resemblance, but no quantitative relation : the relatively greater importance of the effect as compared with its cause increases more and more; the effect of the


316 THE WILL IN NATURE.

stimulus too does not augment in proportion with the en hancement of that stimulus ; in fact just the contrary often takes place. Finally, when we come to the sphere of beings which have knowledge, there is no longer any sort of re semblance or relation between the action performed and the object which, as representation, evokes it. Animals, however, as they are restricted to perceptible representa tions, still need the presence of the object acting as a motive, which action is then immediate and infallible (if we leave training, i.e. habit enforced by fear, out of the question). For animals are unable to carry about with them conceptions that might render them independent of present impressions, enable them to reflect, and qualify them for deliberate action. Man can do this. There fore when at last we come to rational beings, the motive is even no longer a present, perceptible, actually existing, real thing, but a mere conception having its present existence only in the brain of the person who acts, but which is extracted from many multifarious perceptions, from the experience of former years, or has been handed down in words. Here the separation between cause and effect is so wide, the effect has grown so much stronger as compared with the cause, that the vulgar mind no longer perceives the existence of a cause at all, and the acts of the will appear to it to be unconditioned, causeless : that is to say, free. This is just why, when we reflect upon them from outside, the movements of our own body present them selves as if they took place without cause, or to speak more properly, by a miracle. Experience and reflection alone teach us that these movements, like all others, are only possible as the effects of causes, here called motives, and that, on this ascending scale, it is only as to material reality that the cause has failed to keep pace with the effect ; whereas it has kept pace with it as to dynamical reality, energy. At this degree of the scale therefore the highest in Nature


PHYSICAL ASTRONOMY. 317

causality has become less intelligible to us than ever. Nothing but the bare schema, taken in a quite general sense, now remains, and the ripest reflection is needed to recognise its applicability and the necessity that schema brings with it everywhere.

In the Grotto of Pausilippo, darkness continues to aug ment as we advance towards the interior ; but when once we have passed the middle, day-light again appears at the other end and shows us the way ; so also in this case : just at the point where the outwardly directed light of the understanding with its form of causality, gradually yield ing to increasing darkness, had been reduced to a feeble, flickering glimmer, behold ! we are met by a totally diffe rent light proceeding from quite another quarter, from our own inner self, through the chance circumstance, that we, the judges, happen here to be the very objects that are to be judged. The growing difficulty of the comprehen sion of the causal nexus, at first so clear, had now become so great for perception and for the understanding the agent in it that, in animal actions, the very existence of that nexus seemed almost doubtful and those actions appeared to be a sort of miracle. But, just at this point, the observer receives from his own inner self the direct in formation that the agent in them is the will that very will, which he knows better and more intimately than any thing that external perception can ever supply. This knowledge alone must be the philosopher s key to an insight into the heart of all those processes in unconscious Nature, concerning which causal explanation although, here, to be sure, more satisfactory than in the processes last considered, and the clearer, the farther those pro cesses were removed from these nevertheless had still left an unknown x, and could never quite illumine the inside of the process, even in a body propelled by impact or attracted by gravity. This x had continued expanding till


318 THE WILL IN NATTTEE.

finally, on the highest degrees of the scale, it had wholly repelled causal explanation. But then, just when the power of causal explanation had been reduced to a mini mum, that x revealed itself as tine will reminding us of Mephistopheles when, yielding to Faust s learned exor cisms, he steps forth out of the huge grown poodle whose kernel he was. In consequence of the considerations I have here set forth at length, we can surely hardly avoid recognising the identity of this x, even on the lowest degrees of the scale, where it was but faintly perceptible ; then higher up, where it extended its obscurity more and more ; and finally on the highest degrees, where it cast a shadow upon all things till, at the very top, it reveals itself to our consciousness in our own phenomenal being, as the will. The two primarily different sources of our knowledge, that is to say the inward and the outward source, have to be connected together at this point by reflection. It ia quite exclusively out of this connection that our compre hension of Nature, and of our own selves arises ; but then the inner side of Nature is disclosed to our intellect, which by itself alone can never reach further than to the mere outside ; and the mystery which philosophy has so long tried to solve, lies open before us. For then indeed we clearly see what the Real and the Ideal (the thing in itself and the phenomenon) properly are ; and this settles the principal question which has engaged the attention of philosophers since Descartes: that is to say, the question as to the relation between these two, whose com plete diversity Kant had shown most thoroughly and with unexampled depth, yet whose absolute identity was imme diately afterwards proclaimed by humbugs on the credit of intellectual intuition. But if we decline to avail ourselves of this insight, which is really the one strait gate to truth, we can never acquire comprehension of the intrinsic essence of Nature, to which absolutely no other road leads ;


PHYSICAL ASTEONOMY. 319

for then indeed we fall into an irremovable error. Then, as I have already said, we maintain the view, that motion has two radically different primary principles with a solid partition-wall between them : i.e. movement by means of causes, and movement by means of the will. The first of these must then remain for ever incomprehensible as to its innermost essence, because, after all its explanations, there is still left that unknown x which contains the more, the higher the object under consideration stands in the scale of beings ; while the second, movement by the will, presents itself as entirely disconnected from the principle of causality; as without reason; as freedom in individual actions : in other words, as completely opposed to Nature and utterly unexplainable. On the other hand, if the above-mentioned union of our external and internal know ledge has once been accomplished at the point where both meet, we then recognise two identities in spite of all accidental differences. That is to say, we recognise the identity of causality with itself on every degree of the scale of beings, and the identity of the x, which at first was unknown (i.e. of physical forces and vital phe nomena), with the will which is within us. We recognise, I say, firstly the essential identity of causality under the various forms it is forced to assume on the different degrees of the scale, as it may manifest itself, now as a mechanical, chemical, or physical cause, now as a stimulus, and again as a perceptible or an abstract motive : we know it to be one and the same, not only when a pro pelling body loses as much movement as it imparts by im pact, but also when in the combats of thought against thought, the victorious one, as the more powerful motive, sets Man in motion, a motion which follows with no less necessity than that of the ball which is struck. Where we ourselves are the things set in motion, where therefore the kernel of the process is well and intimately known to us,


320 THE WILL IN NATURE.

instead of allowing ourselves to "be dazzled and confused by this light and thereby losing sight of the causal connection as it lies before us everywhere else in the whole of Nature; instead of shutting out this insight for ever, we now apply the new knowledge we have acquired from within as a key to the knowledge of things outside us, and then we recognise the second identity, that of our will with the hitherto mysterious x that remains over after all causal explanation as an insoluble residue. Consequently we then say: even in cases in which the effect is brought about by the most palpable cause, the mysterious x in the process, the real innermost core of it, the true agent, the in-itself of all phenomena which, after all, is only given us as representation and according to the forms and laws of representation is essentially one and the same with what is known to us immediately and intimately as the will in the actions of our own body, which body is likewise given us as intuition and representation. This is (say what you will) the basis of true philosophy, and if the present age does not see this, many following ages will. Tempo e galant uomo ! (se nessun altro). Thus, just as, on the one hand, the essence of causality, which appears most clearly only on the lowest degree of the objectification of the will, is recognised by us again at every ascending step, even at the highest ; so also, on the other hand, is the essence of the will recognised by us at every descending step in that ladder, even at the lowest, although this knowledge is only immediately acquired at the very highest. The old error asserts, that where there is will, there is no causality ; and that where there is causality, there is no will. But we say : everywhere where there is causality, there is will ; and no will acts without causality. The punctum controversice therefore, is, whether will and causality can and must subsist together in one and the same process at the same time. What


PHYSICAL ASTRONOMY. 321

makes the knowledge, that this is indeed the case, so diffi cult, is the circumstance, that we know causality and will in two fundamentally different ways : causality entirely from outside, quite indirectly, quite through the under standing ; will entirely from inside, quite directly ; and that accordingly the clearer the knowledge of the one in each given instance, the less clear is the knowledge of the other. Therefore we recognise the essence of the will least readily, where causality is most intelligible ; and, where the will is most unmistakably evident, causality becomes so obscured, that the vulgar mind could venture to deny its existence altogether. Now, as Kant has taught us, causality is nothing but the form of the understanding itself, knowable a priori : that is, the essence of representation, as such, which is one side of the world; the other side is will: which is the thing in itself. That relative increase and decrease of clearness in inverse proportion of causality and of the will, that mutual advancing and receding of both, depends consequently upon the fact, that the more a thing is given us as mere phenomenon, i.e. as representation, the more clearly does the a priori form of representation, i.e. causality, manifest itself: this is the case in inanimate Nature ; conversely, the more immediate our knowledge of the will, the more does the form of representation recede into the background: this is the case with ourselves. That is : the nearer one side of the world approaches to us, the more do we lose sight of the other.


LINGUISTIC.

ALL that I have to record under this head is an obser vation of my own, made within the last few years, which seems hitherto to have escaped notice. Yet, that it is worthy of consideration, is attested by Seneca s utter ance : l Hira in quibusdam rebus verborum proprietas est, et consuetude sermonis antiqui qucedam efficacissimis not is signat. Lichtenberg too says : "If one thinks much one self, one finds a good deal of wisdom deposited in lan guage. It is hardly likely that we have laid it all there ourselves, but rather that a great deal of wisdom really lies there."

In many, perhaps in all, languages, the action even of those bodies which are without intellect, nay of inanimate bodies, is expressed by the words to will, so that the exis tence of a will in these bodies is thus taken for granted ; but they are never credited with a faculty for knowing, representing, perceiving or thinking : I know of no ex pression which conveys this.

Seneca, when speaking of lightning shot down from heaven, says : 2 " In his, ignibus accidit, quod arbor ibus : quaruwi cacumina, si tenera sunt, ita deorsum trahi pos- sunt t ut etiam terram attingant ; sed quum permiseris, in locum suum exsilient. Itaque non est quod eum species cujusque rei Jiabitum, qui illi non ex voluntate est. Si ignem permittis ire quo velit, c&lum repetet" In a more

1 Seneca, " Epist." 81. * Ibid. " Quaest. nat." ii. 24.


LINGUISTIC. 323

general sense Pliny says : nee qucerenda in ulla parte natures ratio, sed voluntas. 1 Nor do we find Greek less fertile in instances. Aristotle, when explaining gravity, says : /uiKpbv pev (j.6piov riJQ y?iic> eav ptrewpiadiv atytOrj, fyeptTcii, Kcti pivtiv OVK cdA.ec (parva quo&da/m terras, pars, si elevata dimittitur, neque vult manere). 2 And: Ael fie Itaaarov Xeyfti/ TOIOVTOV ft vac, o (j>vaet(3ov\rai elrai, KO.I o vVa(0)(ft, a XXa prj o /3/p KCU irapa tyvaiv (unumquodque autem tale dicere oportet, quale naturd sud esse vult, et quod est ; sed non id quod violentid et prceter naturam est). 3 Of great and more than merely linguistic importance is what Aristotle says in his " Ethica magna," 4 where not only animals, but inanimate beings (fire striving upwards and earth downwards) are explicitly in question, and he asserts that they may be obliged to do something contrary to their nature or their will : irapa fyvaiv rt, 17 Trap a /3 ovXovrai TTUIEIV, and therefore rightly places Trap a /3ouAovrcu as a paraphrase of irapa. tyvaiv. Anacreon, in his 29th Ode, <e Ba 0/XXov, in ordering the portrait of his lady-love, says of her hair : "EXt/cac & e\evde- povg pot TrXoKra^Ltwv, araicra ffvvdetQ, a^)fe, ug Xwo-i, Kflvdai (capillorum cirros incomposite jungens, sine utut volunt jacere) . 5 In Grerman, Burger says : " hinab will der Bach, niclit hinan" (the brook will go downwards not upwards). In daily life we constantly hear : " the water boils, it will run over," " the glass will break," " the ladder will not stand;" " le feu ne veuipas bruler." " la corde, unefois tordue,VQuttoujours se retordre" In Engh sh, the verb to

1 Plin. Hist, nat." 37, 15.

2 Aristot. " De Ccelo." ii. c. 13, " If a small particle of earth is lifted and let loose, it is carried away and will not rest." [Tr. s add.]

3 Ibid. c. 14, " But each thing ought to be named as it wills to be and really is according to its nature, not as it is by force and contrary to its nature." [Tr. s add.]

4 Arist. " Eth. Mag." i. c. 14.

5 " Let the freely curling locks fall unarranged as they will [UJce\." [Tr. s add]


324 THE WILL IN NATURE.

will is even the auxiliary of the future of all the other verbs, thus expressing the notion, that there lies a will at the bottom of every action. In English moreover, the en deavours of all inanimate and unconscious things, are ex pressly designated by the word want, which denotes every sort of human desire or endeavour : " the water wants to get out," " the steam wants to find an issue." In Italian too we have " vuol piovere ; " " quest 1 orologio non vuol andare" The conception of willing is besides so deeply rooted in this last language, that it seems to indicate every thing that is requisite or necessary: " ci vuol un con- trappeso ; " " ci vuol pazienza."

A very striking instance of this is to be found even in Chinese a language which differs fundamentally from all those belonging to the Sanskrit family it is in the commen tary to the Y-King, 1 accurately rendered by Peter Kegis as follows : " Tang, sen materia coelestis, vult rursus ingredi, vel (ut verbis doctoris Tsching-tse utar) vult rursus esse in supe- riore loco ; scilicet illius naturce ratio ita fert, seu innata lex.

The following passage from Liebig has decidedly much more than a linguistic signification, for it expresses an inti mate feeling and comprehension of the way in which a chemical process takes place. " Aldehyd arises, which with the same avidity as sulphurous acid, combines directly with oxygen to form, acetic acid." And again: 3 "Aldehyd, which absorbs oxygen from the air with great avidity" As Liebig uses this expression twice in speaking of the same phenomenon, it can hardly be by chance, but rather because it was the only adequate expression for the thing. 4

1 Y-King," ed. J. Mohl, TO!, i. p. 341.

2 Liebig, " Die Chemie in ihrer Anwendung auf Agrikultur," p. 394.

3 Ibid. " Die Chemie in Anwendung auf Physiologie.

  • French chemists likewise say : " II est Evident que Us mtaux ne

sont pas tous tgalement abides d oxygene" . . . . " La difficult^ de la reduction devait correspond ntcessairement a une avidit<S fort grande


LINGUISTIC. 325

That most immediate stamp of our thoughts, language, shows us therefore, that every inward impulse must neces sarily be conceived as volition ; but it by no means ascribes knowledge to things as well. The agreement on this point between all languages, perhaps without a single exception, proves that here we have to do with no mere figure of speech, but that the verbal expression is determined by a deeply-rooted feeling of the inner nature of things.

du mttal pour Voxygtne" (See Paul de Remusat, " La Chimie a 1 Ex- position." " L Aluminium," " Revue des Deux Mondes," 1855, p. 649). Vaninus ("De Amirandis Naturae Arcanis," p. 170) had said: " Argentum vivum etiam in aqua, conglobatur, quemadmodum et in plumbi scobe etiam: at a scobe non refugit (this is directed against an opinion expressed by Cardanus) imo ex ea quantum potest colligit : quod nequit (scil. colligere), ut censeo, invitum relinquit: natura enim et sua appetit, et vorat." This is evidently more than a form of words. He here quite decidedly attributes a will to quicksilver. And thus it will invariably be found that where, in physical and chemical processes, there is a reference to elementary forces of Nature and to the primary qualities of bodies which cannot be further deduced, these are always expressed by words which belong to the will and its manifestations. [Add. to 3rd ed.]


ANIMAL MAGNETISM AND MAGIC.

IN 1818, when my chief work first appeared, Animal Magnetism had only begun to struggle into existence. But, as to its explanation although, to be sure, some light had been thrown upon the passive side of it, that is, upon what goes on within the patient, by the contrast between the cerebral and the ganglionic systems, to which Eeil had drawn attention, having been taken for the principle of explanation the active side, the agent proper by means of which the magnetiser evokes all these phenomena, was still completely shrouded in darkness. People groped about among all sorts of material principles of explanation, such as Mesmer s all-permeating ether, or the exhalations from the magnetiser s skin, assumed by Stieglitz to be the cause, &c. &c. At the utmost a nerve- spirit had been recognised and, after all, this was but a word for an un known thing. The truth had scarcely begun to dawn upon a few persons, whom practice had more deeply initiated. But I was still far from hoping for any direct corroboration of my doctrine from Magnetism.

Dies diem docet however, and the great teacher, expe rience, has since brought to light an important fact con cerning this deep-reaching agent which, proceeding from the magnetiser, produces effects apparently so contrary to the regular course of Nature that the long lasting doubt as to their existence, the stiff-necked incredulity, the condemna tion of a Committee of which Lavoisier and Franklin were members, in short, the whole opposition that Magnetism encountered both in its first and second period (with the sola


ANIMAL MAGNETISM AND MAGIC. 327

exception of the coarse, unintelligent condemnation without inquiry, which till very lately, prevailed in England) is quite excusable. The fact I allude to is, that this agent is nothing but the will of the magnetiser. To-day not a doubt exists on this point, I believe, among those who combine practice with insight ; therefore I think it superfluous to quote the numerous assertions of magnetisers in corroboration of it. 1 Time has thus not only verified Puysegur s watchword and that of the older French magnetisers : " Veuillez et croyez !" i.e. " Will with belief ! " but this very watchword has even developed into a correct insight of the process itself. 2 From Kieser s " Tellurismus," still probably the most thorough and detailed text book of Animal Magnetism we have, it clearly results, that no act of Magnetism can take effect without the will ; on the other hand the bare will, with out any outward action, is able to produce every magnetic effect. Manipulation seems to be only a means of fixing, and so to say incorporating, the will and its direction. In this sense Kieser says : " Inasmuch as the human hand being the organ by which Man s outward activity is most visibly expressed is the efficient organ in magnetising, manipulation arises." De Lausanne, a French magnetiser, pronounces himself with still greater precision on this point in the Fourth Book of his " Annales du Magnetisme Animal " (1814-1816), where he says : " L action du mag- netisme depend de la seule volonte, il est vrai ; mais Vhomme ayant une forme exte*rieure et sensible, tout ce qui est a son usage, tout ce qui doit agir sur lui, doit necessairement

1 I only mention one work which has recently appeared, the explicit object of which is to show that the magnetiser s will is the real agent : " Qu est ce que le Magnetisme ? " par E. Gromier. (Lyon, 1850.)

2 Puysegur himself says in the year 1784: " Lorsque vous aves magn6tis6 le malade, votre but tait de I endormir, et vous y avez rtussi par le seul acte de votre volonU ; c est dc memepar un autre acte de volontt que vous le rtveillez." (Puysegur, " Magnet. Anim." 2me edit. 1820, Cate"chisme Magne"tique," p. 150-17L) [Add. to 3rd ed.]


328 THE WILL TN NATURE.

en avoir une, et pour que la volonte agisse,ilfautqu elle em ploye un mode d action." As, according to ray doctrine, the organism is but the mere phenomenon, the visibility, the objectivity of the will; nay, as it is properly speaking only the will itself, viewed as representation in the brain : so also does the outward act of manipulation coincide with the inward act of the will. But where magnetic effects are produced without manipulation, they take place as it were artificially, in a roundabout way, the imagination taking the place of the outer act and even occasionally that of personal presence : wherefore it is much more diffi cult and succeeds less frequently. Kieser accordingly alleges that the word " Sleep I " or " You must ! " said aloud, has a more powerful effect upon a somnabulist than the mere inward willing of the maf letiser. On the other hand manipulation, and in general outward action, is really an infallible means of fixing the magnetiser s will and promoting its activity ; precisely because outward acts are quite impossible apart from all will, the body and its organs being nothing but the visibility of the will itself. This explains the fact, that magnetisers at times magnetise without any conscious effort of volitio and almost without thinking, and yet produce the de sired effect. On the whole, it is not the consciousness of volition, reflection upon it, that acts magnetically, but pure volition itself, as detached as possible from all representa tion. In Kieser s directions to magnetisers therefore, 1 we find all thinking and reflecting upon their respective doing and suffering, all conversation between them, forbidden both to physician and patient ; also all outward impres sions which arouse representations, the presence of strangers, and even daylight. He advises that everything should proceed as unconsciously as possible, as is likewise recom mended in charm-cures. The true reason of all this is, that


1 Kieser, " Tellur. ; vol. i. p. 400,


ANIMAL MAGNETISM AND MAGIC. 329

here the will operates in its primariness, as thing in itself ; and this demands the exclusion, as far as possible, of repre sentation, as a different sphere, as secondary to the will. Facts to prove that the real agent in magnetising is the will and each outward act only its vehicle, may be found in all the more recent and more trustworthy writings upon Magnetism, and it would be needless prolixity to repeat them here. Nevertheless I will quote one case, not as being especially striking, but as furnished by a remarkable person and having a peculiar interest as his testimony. Jean Paul says in a letter : x " Twice in a large company I have made Frau von K. nearly go to sleep by merely look ing at her with a firm will, no one else knowing anything about it, and before that, I had brought on palpitation of the heart and pallor to such a degree that Dr. S. had to be summoned to her assistance." 2 Nowadays too, merely laying and keeping hold of the patient s hands while fixing

1 See " Wahrheit aus Jean Paul s Leben," vol. viii. p. 120.

2 I had the good fortune in the year 1854 myself to witness soms extraordinary feats of this kind, performed here by Signor Regazzoni from Bergamo, in which the immediate, i.e. magical, power of his will over other persons was unmistakeable, and of which no one, excepting perhaps those to whom Nature has denied all capacity for apprebending pathological conditions, could doubt the genuineness. There are nevertheless such persons : they ought to become lawyers, clergymen, merchants or soldiers, but in heaven s name not doctors ; for the result would be homicidal, diagnosis being the principal thing in medicine. Regazzoni was able at will to throw the somnambulist who was under his influence into a state of complete catalepsy, nay, he could make her fall down backwards, when he stood behind her and she was walking before him, by his mere will, without any gestures. He could paralyze her, give her tetanos, with the dilated pupils, the complete insensibility, and in short, all the unmistakeable symptoms of complete catalepsy. He made one of the lady spectators first play the piano ; then standing fifteen paces behind her, he so completely paralyzed her by his will and gestures, that she was unable to continue playing. He next placed her against a column and charmed her to the spot, so that she \vas unable to move in spite of the strongest efforts. According to my own observation, nearly all his feats are to be explained by his isolating


330 THE WILL IN NATURE.

the eye steadily upon him, is frequently substituted with complete success for the customary manipulation ; precisely because even this outward act is suited to fix the will in a determined direction. But this immediate power which the will can exercise over other persons, is brought to light best of all by the admirable experiments made, even in public, by M. Dupotet and his pupils in Paris, in which a stranger is guided and determined at pleasure by the magnetiser s mere will, aided by a few gestures, and is even forced into the most extraordinary contortions. An apparently quite honestly written pamphlet, entitled " First glance into the wonder- world of Magnetism," by Karl Scholl (1853). contains a brief account of this.

In the " Communications concerning the somnambulist, Auguste K. in Dresden" (1843), we find the truth in ques tion confirmed in another way by what the somnambulist herself says, p. 53 : " I was half asleep and my brother

the brain from the spinal marrow, either completely, in which case the sensible and motor nerves become paralyzed, and total catalepsy ensues ; or partially, by the paralysis only affecting the motor nerves while sensibility remains in other words, the head keeps its consciousness, while the body is apparently lifeless. This is precisely the effect of strychnine : it paralyzes the motor nerves only, even to complete tetanos, which induces death by asphyxia ; but it leaves the sensible nerves, and with them consciousness, intact. Eegazzoni does this same thing by the magic influence of his will. The moment at which this isolation takes place is distinctly visible in a peculiar trembling of the .patient. I recommend a small French publication entitled " Antoine Regazzoni de Bergame & Francfort sur Mein," by L. A. V. Dubourg (Frankfurt, Nov. 1854, 31 pages in 8vo.) on Regazzoni s feats and the unmistakeably genuine character they bear for everyone who is not entirely devoid of all sense for organic Nature.

In the " Journal du Magnetisme," edit. Dupotet, of the 15th August, 1856, in criticizing a treatise: "De la Catalepsie, memoire couronne"," 1856, in 4to, the reviewer, Morin, says : " La plupart des caracteres qui distinguent la catalepsie, peuvent etre obtenus artinciellement et sans danger sur les sujets magne tiques, et c est meme la une des experiences les plus ordinaires des stances magn6tiques." [Add. to 3rd ed,}


ANIMAL MAGNETISM AND MAGIC. 331

wished to play a piece he knew. As I did not like it, I re quested him not to play it; nevertheless he tried to do so and then, by means of my firm will that he should not, I succeeded in making him unable to remem ber the piece, in spite of all his endeavours." The thing is however brought to a climax when this immediate power of the will is extended even to inanimate bodies. However incredible this may appear, we have nevertheless two accounts of it coming from entirely different quarters. In the book just mentioned, 1 it is related and testified by witnesses, that Auguste K. caused the needle of the com pass to deviate at one time 7 and at another 4, this ex periment moreover being repeated four times. She did this moreover without any use of her hands, through her mere will, by looking steadily at it. The Parisian som nambulist, Prudence Bernard, again in a public seance in London, at which Mr. Brewster, the physicist s son and two other gentlemen from among the spectators acted as jurors, made the compass needle deviate and follow her movements by simply turning her head round. 2

Now, if we thus see the will stated by me to be the thing in itself, the only real thing in all existence, the kernel of Nature accomplish through the human indi vidual, in Animal Magnetism and even beyond it, things which cannot be explained according to the causal nexus, i.e. in the regular course of Nature; if we find it in a sense even annulling Nature s laws and actually perform ing actio in distans, consequently manifesting a super natural, that is, metaphysical, mastery over Nature what corroboration better founded on fact could I desire for my doctrine ? Was not even Count Szapary, a magne-

1 " Mittheilungen iiber die Somnambiile, Auguste K., in Dresden." 1845, pp. 115, 116, and 3 16.

2 See extract from the English periodical " Britannia," in " Galignani s Messenger," of the 23rd October, 1851.


332 THE WILL IN NATURE.

tiser who certainly did not know my philosophy, led by the results of his own experience, after writing the title of his book : " A word about Animal Magnetism, soul- bodies and vital essence," l to add the following remark able explanatory words : " or physical proofs that th<3 current of Animal Magnetism is the element, and the will the principle of all spiritual and corporeal life ?" 2 According to this, Animal Magnetism presents itself directly as practical Metaphysic, which was the term use! by Bacon of Yerulam 3 to define Magic in his classifica tion of the sciences: it is empirical or experimental Metaphysic. Further, because the will manifests itself in Animal Magnetism downright as the thing in itself, we see the principium individuationis (Space and Time), which belongs to mere phenomenon, at once annulled : its limits which separate individuals from one another, are destroyed; Space no longer separates magnetiser and somnambulist ; community of thoughts and of motions of the will appears ; the state of clairvoyance overleaps the relations belonging to mere phenomenon and con ditioned by Time and Space, such as proximity and dis tance, the present and the future.

In consequence of these facts, notwithstanding many reasons and prejudices to the contrary, the opinion has gradually gained ground, nay almost raised itself to cer tainty, that Animal Magnetism and its phenomena are identical with part of the Magic of former times, of that ill-famed occult art, of whose reality not only the Chris tian ages by which it was so cruelly persecuted, but all, not excepting even savage, nations on the whole of the earth,

1 Szapa.ry, " Ein Wort iiber Animalischen Magnetismus, Seelenkorper und Lebensessenz " (1840).

2 " Oder physische Beweise, dass der Animalisch-magnetiseke Strom das Element, und der Wille das Princip alles geistigen und Korperlichen Lcbens sei."

3 Bacon, " Instaur. Magna," L. III.


ANIMAL MAGNETISM AND MAGIC. 333

have been equally convinced throughout all ages. The Twelve Tables of the Eomans, 1 the Books of Moses, and even Plato s Eleventh Book on Laws, already made its practice punishable by death, and Apuleius beautiful speech 2 before the court of justice, when defending himself against the charge of practising magic by which his life was menaced, proves how seriously this matter was taken even in the most enlightened Roman period, under the Antouines; since he merely tries to clear himself person ally from the charge in question, but by no means contests the possibility of witchcraft and even enters into a host of absurd details such as are wont to figure in all the me- diseval trials for witchcraft. The eighteenth century makes an exception as regards this belief in Magic, and this is mainly because Balthasar Becker, Thorn asius and some others, with the good intention of putting an end once for all to the cruel trials for witchcraft, declared all magic to be impossible. Favoured by the philosophy of the age, this opinion soon gained the upper hand, although only among the learned and educated classes. The common people have never ceased to believe in witchcraft, even in England; though here the educated classes contrive to unite a degrading religious bigotry with the firm incredu lity of a Saint Thomas (or of a Thomasius) as to all facts transcending the laws of impact and counter-impact, acids and alkalis, and refuse to lend an ear to their great coun tryman, when he tells them that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in their philosophy/ One branch of Magic is still notoriously preserved and prac tised among the lower orders, being tolerated on account of its beneficent purpose. This is curing by charms (sym- pathetische Kuren, as they are called in German), the reality of which can hardly be doubted. Charming away warts,

1 Plin. hist. nat. L. 30, c. 3. [Add. to 3rd ed.]

2 Apuleius, " Oratio cle Magia," p. 104. Bip.


334 THE WILL IN NATURE.

is one of the commonest forms of this practice, and of this Bacon of Yerulam, cautious and empirical though he was, attests the efficacy from personal experience. 1 The charm ing away of erisypelas in the face by a spell, is another instance, and so often succeeds, that it is easy to con vince oneself of its existence. Fever too is often success fully combated by spells, &c. &c. 2 That, in all this, the real agents are not the meaningless words and ceremonies, but that it is the will of the operator which acts, as in Animal Magnetism, needs no further explanation after what has been said above. For such as are still unac quainted with charm-cures, instances may be found in Kieser. 3 These two facts therefore, Animal Magnetism and Charm-curing, bear empirical evidence to the possibility of magical, as opposed to physical, influence, which possi bility had been so peremptorily rejected by the past cen tury ; since it refused to recognise as possible any other

1 Bacon, Silva Silvarura," 997.

2 In the "Times" of June the 12th, 1855, we find, p. 10, the fol lowing :

" A Horse-charmer.

" On the voyage to England the ship Simla experienced some heavy weather in the Bay of Biscay, in which the horses suffered severely, and some, including a charger of General Scarlett, became unmanageable. A valuable mare was so very bad, that a pistol was got ready to shoot her and to end her misery ; when a Eussian officer recommended a Cossak prisoner to be sent for, as he was a juggler and could, by charms, cure any malady in a horse. He was sent for, and immediately said he could cure it at once. He was closely watched, but the only thing they could observe him do was to take his sash off and tie a knot in it three several times. However the mare, in a few minutes, got on her feet and began to eat heartily, and rapidly recovered." [Add. to 3rd ed.]

2 Kieser, " Archiv. fur den thierischen Magnetismus," vol. v. heft 3, p. 106 ; vol. viri. heft 3, p. 145 ; vol. ix. heft 2, p. 172 ; and vol. ix. heft 1, p. 128; Dr. Most s book likewise: " Uber Sympathetische Mittel und Kuron," 1842, may be used as an introduction to this matter. (And even Pliny indicates a number of charm-cures in the 28th Book, chaps. 6 to 17. [Add. to 3rd ed.])


ANIMAL MAGNETISM AND MAGIC. 335

than physical influences brought about in the way of the intelligible nexus of causality.

It is a fortunate circumstance, that the rectification of this view in our time should have come from medical science; because it ensures us at the same time against the danger of the pendulum of opinion receiving too strong an impulse in the contrary direction, and thus carrying us back to the superstition of ruder ages. Besides, as I have said, Animal Magnetism and Charm- curing only save the reality of a part of Magic, which included a good deal more, a considerable portion of which must, for the present at least, remain under the old sentence of condemnation or be left in uncertainty ; whereas another portion will at any rate have to be conceived as possible, through its analogy to Animal Magnetism. For Animal Magnetism and Charm-cures are but salutary influences exercised for cura tive purposes, like those recorded in the "History of Magic" as practised by the so-called (Spanish) Saluda- dores, 1 who nevertheless were also condemned by the Church ; whereas Magic was far oftener practised with an evil intent. Nevertheless, to judge by analogy, it is more than probable, that the same inherent force which, by acting directly upon another individuality, can exercise a salutary influence, will be at least as powerful to exercise a prejudicial and pernicious one. If therefore there was reality in any part of ancient Magic beyond what may be referred to Animal Magnetism and curing by charms, it must assuredly have been in that which is called male- ficium and fascinatio, the very thing that gave rise to most of the trials for witchcraft. In Most s book, too, already mentioned, 2 a few facts are related which must

1 Delrio. " Disqu. Mag." L. III. P. 2, q. 4, s. 7 and Bodinus, " Mag. Daemon," iii. 2.

2 See note 2 , p. 334, especially pp. 40, 41, and Nos. 89, 91, and 97 of Most s book.


336 THE WILL IN NATTTEE.

undoubtedly be ascribed to maleficium ; in Kieser * also we find instances of diseases which had been transmitted, especially to dogs, who died of them. In Plutarch 2 we find that fascinatio was already known to Democritus, who tried to explain it as a fact. Now admitting these stories to be true, they give us the key to the crime of witchcraft, the zealous persecution of which would there fore not have been quite without reason. For even if in most cases it may have been founded upon error and abuse, we are still not authorized to look upon our fore fathers as having been so utterly benighted, as to persecute with the utmost vigour and cruelty for so many ages an abso lutely impossible crime. From this point of view moreover, we can also understand that the common people should still even to the present day persist in attributing certain cases of illness to a maleficium, and are not to be dissuaded from this conviction. Now if we are thus induced by the progress of the age to modify the extreme view adopted by the last century concerning the absolute nullity of this ill- famed art at any rate with respect to some part of it still nowhere is caution more necessary than here, in order to fish out from the chaos of fraud, falsehood and absurdity contained in the writings of Agrippa von Nettesheim, Wierus, Bodinus, Delrio, Bindsfeldt, &c. &c., the few isolated truths that may lie in them. For, frequent though they may be throughout the world, nowhere have lies and deceit freer play than where Nature s la^ re avowedly set aside, nay declared invalid. Here there re we find the wildest fictions, the strangest freaks of the imagination worked up into an edifice, lofty as the sides, on the narrow foundation of the slight particle of truth there may have been in Magic, and in consequence of this, the

1 Kieser, "Archiv. f. t. M." See the account of Bende Bensen s illness, vol. ix. to vol. xii.

2 Plutarch, " Symposiacse qusestionis," qu. v. 7. 6.


ANIMAL MAGNETISM AND MAGIC.

most sanguinary atrocities perpetrated age after age. In contemplating such things, the psychological reflection on the unlimited capability of the human intellect for accept ing the most incredible absurdities and the readiness of the human heart to set its seal to them by cruelty, prevails over every other.

Yet the modification which has taken place of late in the views of German savants respecting magic, is not due exclusively to Animal Magnetism. The deep foundations of it had already been laid by the change in philosophy wrought by Kant, which makes German culture differ fundamentally from that of the rest of Europe, with respect to philosophy as well as to other branches of knowledge. For a man to be able to smile beforehand at all occult sympathies, let alone magical influences, he must find the world very, nay completely, intelligible. But this is only possible if he looks at it with the utterly superficial glance which puts away from it all suspicion that we human beings are immersed in a sea of riddles and mys teries and have no exhaustive knowledge or understanding either of things or of ourselves in any direct way. Nearly all great men have been of the opposite frame of mind and therefore, whatever age or nation they belonged to, have always betrayed a slight tinge of superstition. If our natural mode of knowing were one that handed over to us things in themselves immediately and consequently gave us the absolutely true relations and connections of things, we might then, no doubt, be justified in rejecting a priori, therefore unconditionally, all prescience of future events, all apparitions of absent, of dying, let alone of deceased persons, and all magical influence. But if all that we know is, as Kant teaches, mere phenomenon, the forms and laws of which do not extend to things in them selves, it must be obviously premature to reject all fore knowledge, all apparitions and all magic; since that


338 THE WILL IN NATTJKE.

rejection is based upon laws, whose a, priori character pre cisely restricts them to phenomena; whereas things in themselves, to which even our own inner self must belong, remain untouched by them. But it is quite possible for these very things in themselves to have relations with us from which the above-mentioned occurrences may have arisen, concerning which accordingly we have to wait for the decision a posteriori, and must not forestall it. That the English and French should persist in denying a priori all such occurrences, comes at the bottom from the influence of Locke s philosophy, under which these nations still stand as to all essential points, and by which we are taught that, after merely subtracting sensation, we know things in themselves. According to this view therefore, the laws of the material world are held to be ultimate, and no other influence than influxus physicus is admitted. Consequently these nations believe, it is true, in a phy sical, but not in a metaphysical, science, and there fore reject all other than so-called "Natural Magic:" a term which contains the same contradictio in adjecto as " Supernatural Physics," but is nevertheless constantly used quite seriously, while the latter was used but once, and then in joke, by Lichtenberg. On the other hand, the common people, with their universal readiness to give credit to supernatural influences, express by it in their own way the conviction, that all things which we perceive and comprehend are mere phenomena, not things in themselves ; although, with them, conviction is only felt. I quote the following passage from Kant s " Grundlegung zur Meta- physik der Sitten," as a proof that this is not saying too much : " There is an observation requiring no great subtlety of reflection, which we may on the contrary suppose the most ordinary understanding capable of making, albeit in its own way and by an obscure distinction of the faculty of judgment, which it calls feeling. It is this : that all our


ANIMAL MAGNETISM AND MAGIC. 339

involuntary representations (such as those of the senses) give us no further knowledge of objects than as they affect us, whereby we are left in ignorance as to what those objects may be in themselves ; that, as far as this sort of representation is concerned therefore, we are still only able by this means to attain knowledge of phenomena, but never of things in themselves, even by dint of the utmost clearness and the most strenuous attention the under standing is able to give to this point. When once this distinction is made, however, it stands to reason, that the existence of something else behind these phenomena, something which is not phenomenon, i.e. the thing in itself, has still to be admitted and assumed." *

When we read D. Tiedemann s " History of Magic," a we are astonished at the persistency with which mankind have clung to the thought of Magic in all places and at all times, notwithstanding frequent failure ; and we come to the conclusion, that this thought must, to say the least, be deeply rooted in human nature,, if not in things in general, and cannot be a mere arbitrary creation of the fancy. Al though Magic is differently denned by the various authors who have treated of it, the fundamental thought which predominates in all its definitions is nevertheless unmis- takeable. For the opinion, that there must be another quite different way of producing changes in the world besides the regular one through the causal nexus between bodies, and one moreover which is not founded at all upon that nexus, has found favour in all ages and countries. There fore also the means belonging to this second way appeared absurd, when they were viewed in the same light as the first; since the cause applied was obviously not suited

1 Kant, "First Principles of Ethical Metaphysic," 3rd edition, p. 105.

8 D. Tiedemann, " Disputatio de qusestione, quse fuerit artum magi carum origo." Marb. 1787. A prize-essay written for the Gottingen Society.


340 THE WILL nr NATTFEE.

to the effect intended and a causal nexus between them was impossible. But here it was assumed, that apart from the outer connection between the phenomena of this world on which the nexus physicus is founded, there must exist another besides, passing through the very essence in itself of all things : a subterranean connection as it were, by means of which immediate action was possible from one point of the phenomenon on to every other point, through a nexus metaphysicus ;

that accordingly, it must be possible to act upon things from inside, instead of from outside, as is usual ;

that it must be possible for phenomenon to act upon phenomenon by means of that being in itself, which is one and the same in all phenomena ;

that, just as we act causally as natura naturata, we might probably be able to act also as natura naturans, and momentarily to enable the microcosm to play the part of the macrocosm ;

that, however firm the partition walls of individuation and separation might be, they might nevertheless occa sionally permit a communication to take place as it were be hind the scenes, or like a secret game under the table ; and

that, just as a neutralisation of individual isolation takes place in somnambulistic clairvoyance, so likewise might a neutralisation of the will in the individual be possible. Such a thought as this cannot have arisen empirically, nor can it have been confirmation through experience that has pre served it throughout all ages and in all countries : for in the majority of cases experience must result downright un favourably to it. I opine therefore, that the origin of this thought, which has universally held its ground with the whole of mankind and, in spite of so much conflicting experience, in defiance of common sense, has never been eradicated, must be sought at great depth : namely in the inward feeling of the omnipotence of the will in itself- of


ANIMAL MAGNETISM AND MAGIC. 341

that will, which constitutes at once the inner essence of Man and of the whole of Nature and in the assumption connected with it that, somehow or other, this omnipotence might possibly for once make itself felt, even when pro ceeding from the individual. People were unable to in vestigate and distinguish the difference between the capa bilities of the will as thing in itself and the same will in its individual manifestation ; but they assumed without fur ther ado, that under certain circumstances, the will might be enabled to break through the barriers of individuation. For the above-mentioned feeling rebelled obstinately against the knowledge forced upon it by experience, that

" Der Gott der mir im Busen wohnt,

Kann tief mein Innerstes erregen, Der iiber alien meinen Kraften thront,

Er kann nach Aussen nichts bewegen."

According to the fundamental thought just expounded, we find that the physical medium used in all attempts at magic, never was regarded in any other light than in thnt of a vehicle for a thing metaphysical ; otherwise it coukl evidently stand in no relation whatever to the effect con templated. These media consisted in cabalistic words, sym bolical actions, traced figures, wax images, &c. &c. We see too that, according to the original feeling, what this vehicle conveyed, was in the last resort always an act of volition that had been connected with it. The very natural induce ment to do this, was the observation, that every moment men became aware of a completely unaccountable, that is, evi dently metaphysical, agency of the will, in the movements or their own bodies. Might not this agency, they thought, be extended to other bodies also ? To find out a way to annul the isolation in which the will finds itself in each in dividual, and to extend the immediate sphere of the will s action beyond the organism of the person willing, was the nim of Magic.


342 THE WILL IN NATURE.

A great deal was nevertheless still wanting ere this fun damental thought, from which Magic seems properly to have sprung, could pass over at once into distinct con sciousness and be recognised in abstracto, and ere Magic could at once understand itself. Only a few thoughtful and learned writers of former ages as I mean soon to prove by quotations express the distinct thought, that it is in the will itself that the magic power lies, and that the strange signs and acts together with the senseless words that accompanied them, which passed for the means of exorcis ing and the connecting link with demons, are in fact merely vehicles and means for fixing the will, by which the act of volition, which is to act magically, ceases to be mere wish and becomes deed, or, to use the language of Paracelsus, " receives a corpus" and the individual will in a sense dis tinctly proclaims that it is now acting as general will, as will in itself. For in every act of Magic charm-cure or whatever else it may be the outward action (the connect ing link) is exactly what the passes are in magnetising : i.e. not what is really essential, but the mere vehicle, that by which the will, the only real agent, is directed and fixed in the material world and enters into reality. As a rule therefore, it is indispensable. From the rest of the writers of those times we gather that, in conformity with that fundamental thought of Magic, their only aim was to obtain absolute, arbitrary power over Nature. But they were unable to elevate themselves to the thought that this power must be a direct one ; they conceived it, on the con trary, absolutely as an indirect one. For all religions in all countries had placed Nature under the dominion of gods and of demons. Now, it was the magician s endea vour to subject these gods and demons to his will, to in duce, nay, to force them to serve him ; and he attributed all that he succeeded in achieving to their agency, just as Mesmer attributed the success of his Magnetism to the mag-


ANIMAL MAGNETISM AND MAGIC. 343

netic rods he held in his hands, instead of to his will which was the real agent. It was in this sense that all poly theistic nations took the matter, and even Plotinus, 1 but more especially lamblichns, understood Magic : that is, as Theurgy, an expression which Porphyry was the first to use. That divine aristocracy, Pantheism, was favourable to this interpretation, since it distributed the dominion over the different forces of Nature among as many gods and demons mostly mere personifications of natural forces and the magician, by persuasion or by force, subjected now one, now the other of these divinities to his power and made them do his bidding. But in a Divine Monarchy, where all Nature obeys a single ruler, the thought of con tracting a private alliance with the Almighty, let alone of exercising sovereignty over him, would have been too auda cious. Therefore where Judaism, Christianity or Islam prevailed, the omnipotence of the one God stood in the way of this interpretation of Magic : an omnipotence which the magician could not venture to attack. He had no alternative therefore, but to take refuge with the Devil, and with this rebellious spirit perhaps even direct de scendant of Ahriman to whom some power over Nature was still attributed, he now entered into a compact, by which he ensured to himself his assistance. This was "necromancy" (the black art ). Its antithesis, white Magic, was opposed to it by the circumstance that, in it, the magician did not make friends with the Devil, but rather solicited the permission, not to say co-operation, of the Almighty himself, to intercede with the angels ; oftener still, he invoked devils by pronouncing the rarer Hebrew names and titles of the One God, such as Adon-Ai, &c. &c., and compelled them to obey him, without promising

1 Here and there, Plotinus betrays a more correct knowledge, for instance, " Enn." ii. lib. iii. c. 7 j " Enn." iv. lib. iii. c. 12, et lib. ix. c.3.


344 THE WILL IN NATURE.

them anything in return for their services, in a hell-com pulsion 1 (Hollenzwang). But all these mere interpreta tions and outward trappings of the thing were received so entirely as its essence and as objective processes, that writers like Bodinus, Delrio, Bindsfeldt, &c., whose know ledge of magic was second-hand and not derived from per sonal experience, all assert the essential characteristic of Magic to be, that it does not act either through forces of Nature or in a natural way, but through the assistance of the Devil. This view was, and long remained, current everywhere, locally modified according to the religions which prevailed in different countries. The laws against sorcery and the trials for witchcraft were based upon it ; likewise, wherever the possibility of Magic was contested, the attacks were generally directed against this opinion. An objective view, such as this, was an inevitable conse quence of the decided Realism which prevailed throughout ancient and mediaeval Europe and which Descartes was the first to disturb. Till then, Man had not learnt to direct the light of speculative thought towards the mysterious depths of his own inner self, but, on the contrary, had sought everything outside himself. Above all the thought of making the will he found within him rule over Nature, was so bold, that people would have been alarmed by it : therefore it was made to rule over fictitious beings, sup posed by the prevailing superstition to have command over Nature, in order through them to obtain at least indirect mastery over Nature. Every sort of god or demon more over, is always a hypostasis, by which believers of all sects and colours bring to their own comprehension the Metaphysi cal, that which lies behind Nature, that which gives her existence and consistence and consequently rules over her. Thus, when it is said, that Magic acts by the help of demons,

1 Delrio, " Disq. mag." L. ii. qu. 2. Agrippa a Nettesheym, " De Vanit. Scient." c. 45.


ANIMAL MAGNETISM AND MAGIC. 345

the meaning which lies at the bottom of this thought still is, that it is an agency which is not physically, but metaphy sically exercised : that it is not a natural, but a supernatural, agency. Now if, in the small amount of fact which speaks in favour of the reality of Magic: that is, in Animal Mag netism and charm-cures, we still do not recognise anything but an immediate action of the will which here manifests its direct power outside, instead of inside, the individual ; if moreover, as I am about to show and to substantiate by de cisive, unequivocal citations, those who are more deeply initiated into ancient Magic, derive all its effects from the magician s will alone : this is surely strong empirical evi dence in support of my doctrine, that the Metaphysical in general, that which alone exists apart from representation, the thing in itself of the universe is nothing but what is known to us within ourselves as the will.

Now, if the direct power which may occasionally be exercised over Nature by the will, was conceived by those magicians as a merely indirect one, acquired by the help of demons, this still could not prevent its efficiency wherever and whenever it may have taken place. For, precisely because, in things of this kind, the will acts in itself, in its primariness, therefore apart from representation, its efficiency cannot be frustrated by erroneous conceptions of the intellect ; on the contrary, the distance here is a wide one between theory and practice : the errors of the former do not stand in the way of the latter, nor does a correct theory qualify for practice. Mesmer, in the beginning, attributed his agency to the magnetic rods he held in his hands and later on explained the wonders of Animal Magnetism by a materialistic theory of a subtle, all- permeating fluid; nevertheless he produced wonderfully powerful effects. I once myself knew the proprietor of an estate, whose peasants were wont by tradition to have their feverish attacks dispelled by a spell of their master s. Now,


346 THE WILL IN NATURE.

although he "believed he had convinced himself of the im possibility of all such things, yet he continued good- naturedly to comply with their wish as usual, and indeed often succeeded in relieving them. This success he ascribed to his peasants firm belief, forgetting that a similar faith ought also to bring success to the medical treatment which is so often applied with complete inefficacy to believing patients.

Now, if Theurgy and Demonomagic, as described above, were but the mere interpretation and outward trappings of the thing, the mere husk, at which the majority were con tent to stop short ; there were nevertheless some, who went below the surface and quite recognised that the agent in influences supposed to proceed from magic, was absolutely nothing but the will. We must not however look for such deeper observers as these among the discountenancers and antagonists of Magic, and the majority of the writers on this subject belong precisely to these : they derived their knowledge exclusively from Courts of Justice and from the examination of witnesses, so that they merely describe the outside of the matter ; and, if at any time they chanced, through confessions, to gain an insight into the inner processes, they took good care not to betray that knowledge, lest, by doing so, they should contribute to diffuse the terrible vice of sorcery. To this class belong Bodinus, Delrio, Bindsfeldt, and others. For information as to the real nature of the thing, we must on the contrary go to philosophers and investigators of Nature, who wrote in those times of prevailing superstition. Now, from wliat they say, it clearly follows, that the real agent in Magic, just as in Animal Magnetism, is nothing but the will. Here I must quote some passages in support of this assertion. 1 Theophrastus Paracelsus especially discloses

1 Roger Bacon already in the thirteenth century said :...." Quod si ultcrius aligua anima maligna cogitat ftrtiter de infectione altcrius,


ANIMAL MAGNETISM AND MAGIC. 347

perhaps more concerning the inner nature of Magic than any other writer, and does not even hesitate to give a minute description of the processes used in it. 1 He says : a " To be observed concerning wax images : if I bear malice in my will against anyone, that malice must be carried out by some medium or corpus. Thus it is possible for my spirit to stab or wound another person without help from my body in using a sword, merely by my fervent desire. Therefore it is also possible for me to convey my opponent s spirit into the image by my will and then to deform or paralyze it at pleasure. You must know, that the influence of the will is a great point in medicine. For if a man hate another and begrudge him anything good, it is possible that if he curse him, that curse may take effect. This occurs also with animals and more easily than with men ; for the spirit of man has far greater power of resis tance than that of animals."

And p. 375 : " It follows from this, that one image has magic power over another, not by virtue of the characters or anything of that kind impressed on the virgin wax; but the imagination overcomes its own constellation, so as to become a means for fulfilling the will of its heaven, i.e. of its man."

p. 334: "All the imagining of man comes from his heart. The heart is the sun of the microcosm. And all the imagining of man passes from the small sun of the microcosm into the sun of the great Universe, into the heart of the macrocosm. Thus the imaginatio of the microcosm is a seed which becomes material," &c.

atgue ardenter desideret et certitudinaliter intendat, atque vehementer con- sideret se posse nocere, non est dubiwm, guin natura obediet cogitationibiis anlm<B." (See Kogeri Bacon, " Opus Majus," Londini, 1733, p. 252.)

1 Theophrastus Paracelsus, Strassburg edition in two folio vols., vol. i. pp. 91, 353, et segq. and p. 789 j vol. ii. pp. 362, 496.

2 Vol. i. p. 19.


348 THE WILL IN NATURE.

p. 364 : " It suffices for you to know what rigorous imagination does, which is the beginning of all magical works."

p. 789 : " Even my thought therefore is a looking at a mark. Now I must not turn my eye with my hands in this or that direction ; but my imagination turns it as I wish. And this is also to be understood of walking : I desire, I propose to myself, therefore my body moves, and the firmer my thoughts, the more sure it is that I shall run. Thus imaginatio alone is an impulse for my running."

p. 837 : " Imaginatio used against me may be em ployed with such rigour, that I may be killed by the imaginatio of another person."

Vol. ii. p. 274 : " Imagination comes from longing and desire : envy, hatred, proceed from longing, for they do not arise unless you long for them. As soon as you wish, the act of the imagination follows. This long- ing must be quick, ardent, lively, as that of a pregnant woman, &c. &c. A general curse is commonly verified. Why ? It conies from the heart, and the seed lies and is born in that coming from the heart. Thus parents curses also come from the heart. The curse of the poor is like wise imaginatio. The prisoner s curse, also mere imagi natio, corn.es from the heart Thus too, when one

man wishes to stab or paralyze, &c., another by means of his imaginatio, he must first attract the thing and instru ment to himself and then he can impress it (with his wish) : for whatever enters into it, may also go out of it again by the medium of thought as well as by that of the

hands In such imagining, women outdo men ....

for they are more ardent in revenge."

p. 298: " Magica is a great occult wisdom; just a;3

Eeason is a great, open folly No armour avails

against sorcery, for it wounds the inner man, the vital spirit Some magicians make an image in the shape


ANIMAL MAGNETISM AND MAGIC. 3-19

of a man they intend [to harm], knock a nail into the sole of its foot, and the man is invisibly struck with lameness, until the nail is removed."

p. 307 : " We ought to know, that we may convey the spirit of any man into an image, solely by faith and by our strong imagination. No incantation is needed, and the ceremonies, drawing of circles, fumigations, seals, &c. <fcc. are mere humbug to mislead. Homunculi and images are

made, &c. &c by which all the operations, powers

and will of man are carried out The human heart

is indeed so great a thing, that no one can express it : as God is eternal and imperishable, so also is the heart of man. If we men thoroughly recognised our heart, nothing would be impossible for us on earth Perfect imagina tion, coming from the stars (astris) arises from the heart."

p. 513 : " Imaginatio is confirmed and rendered perfect by the belief that it really takes place : for every doubt injures the effect. Faith must confirm the imagination,

for faith decides the will But just the fact that

man does not always perfectly imagine, perfectly believe, causes acts to be called uncertain, which nevertheless may certainly and quite well exist." A passage from Campa- nella s book, " De sensu rerum et magia," may serve to elucidate this last sentence. Efficiunt alii ne homo possi futuere, si tantum credat : non enim potest facere quod non credit posse facer e (1. iv. c. 18).

Agrippa von Nettesheim 1 speaks in the same sense. " Non minus subjicitur corpus alieno animo, quam alieno corpori;" and: 2 " Quidquid dictat animus fortissime odientis habet efficaciam nocendi et destruendi ; similiter in ceteris, quce affectat animus fortissimo desiderio. Omnia enim quce tune agit et dictat ex characteribus, figuris, verbis, gestibus et ejusmodi, omnia sunt adjuvantia appetitum animce et acquirunt mirdbiles quasdam virtutes, turn ab anima labo~

1 " De occulta philosophia," lib. 1, c. 66. 2 Ibid. c. 67.


350 THE WILL IN NATURE.

rantis in ilia Jiora, quando ipsum appetitus ejusmodi maxime invadit, turn ab injluxu coelesti animum tune taliter movente" 1 "Inest hominum animis virtus qucedam immutandi et ligandi res et homines ad id quod desiderat, et omnes res obediunt illi, quando fertur in magnum exces- sum alicujus passionis, vel virtutis, in tantum, ut superet eos, quos ligat. Radix ejusmodi ligationis ipsa est affectio animce vehemens et exterminata"

And likewise Jul. Cses. Vanniims, "De admir. naturae arcan." L. iv. dial. 5, 435 : " Vehementem imagina- tionem, cui spiritus et sanguis obediunt, rem mente concep- tam realiter efficere, non solum intra, sed et extra" 2

Just so Job. Bapt. Van Helmont, who takes great pains to explain away as much as possible of the Devil s influence, in order to attribute it to the will. I quote a few passages from the voluminous collection of his works, Ortus Medicince :

Recepta injecta. 12. Quum hostis naturce (diabolus)

1 " De occulta philosophia," lib. 1, cc. 66, 67 et 68.

2 Ibid. p. 440 : Addunt Avicenna dictum : " Ad validam alicujus imagi- nationem cadit camelus." Ibid. p. 478, speaking of charms : fascinations guis cum muliere coeat, he says : Eguidem in Germania complures allo- cutus sum vulgari cognomento Necromantistas, qui ingenue confessi sunt, se firme satis credere, meras fabulas esse opiniones, qua de dcsmonibus tiulgo circumferuntur, aliquid tamen ipsos operari, vel vi herbarum com- movendo phantasiam^ vel vi imaginationis et fidei vehementissimce, quam ipsorum nugacissimis confictis excantationibus adhibent ignarce iwilieres, quibus persuadent, recitatis magna cum devotione aliquibus preculis, statim effici fascinum, quare credulce ex intimo cordis effundunt excanta- tiones, atque ita, non vi verborum, neque caracterum, ut ipsce existimant, sed spiritibus *), fascini inferendi percupidis exsufflatis proximos effascinant. Hincfit, ut ipsi Necromantici, in causa propria, vel aliena, si soli sint operarii t nihil unquam mirabile pr<sstiterint : car ent enim fide, quce cuncta operatur. [Add. to 3rd ed.j


  • Schopenhauer has added to spiritibus in parenthesis (sc. vitalibus et

animalibus).


ANIMAL MAGNETISM AND MAGIC. 351

ipsam applicationem complere ex se nequeat, suscitat ideam fortis desiderii et odii in saga, ut, mutuatis istis mentalibus et liberis mediis, transferat suum velle per quod quodque afficere intendit). 1 Quorsum imprimis etiam execrationes, cum idea desiderii et terroris, odiosissimis suis scrofis prce- scribit, 13. Quippe desiderium istud, ut estpassio imagi- nantis, ita quoque creat ideam, non quidem inanem, sed exe- cutivam atque incantamenti motivam. 19. prout jam demonstravi, quod vis incantamenti potissima pendeat ab idea naturali sagce.

Deinjectis materialibus. 15. Saga, per ens natu- rale, imaginative format ideam liber am, naturalem et nocuam. . . . Sagce operantur virtute naturali. . . . Homo etiam dimittit medium aliud executivum, emanativum et manda- tivum ad incantandum hominem ; quod medium est Idea fortis desiderii. Est nempe desiderio inseparable ferri circa optata.

De sympatheticis mediis. 2. Idea? scilicet desiderii, per modum inftuentiarum ccelestium, jaciuntur in proprium objectum, utcunque localiter remotum. Diriguntur nempe a desiderio objectum sibi specificante.

De magnetica vulnerum curatione. 76. Igitur in sanguine est qumdam potestas exstatica, quce, si quando ardenti desiderio excita fuerit, etiam ad absens aliquod ob jectum, exterioris hominis spiritu deducenda sit: ea autem potestas in exteriori homine latet, velut in potentia; nee ducitur ad actum, nisi excitetur, accensa imaginationeferventi desiderio, vel arte aliqua pari. 98. Anima, prorsum spiritus, nequaquam posset spiritum vitalem (corpbreum equi- dem), multo minus carnem et ossa movere aut concitare, nisi vis illi qucepiam naturalis, magica tamen et epiritualis, etc anima in spiritum et corpus descenderet. Cedo, quo pacto obediret spiritus corporeusjussui animce, nisi jussus spiritum,

1 " Der Teufel hat sie s zwar gelehrt j

Allein der Teufel kann s nicht machen." Faust.

[Add. to 3rd ed.]


352 THE WILL IN NATURE.

et deinceps corpus movendo foret ? At extemplo contra hanc magicam motricem objicies, istam esse intra concretum sihi, suumque hospitium naturale, idcirco hanc etsi magam vocite*- mus, tantum erit nominis detorsio et dbusus, siquid&m vcra et superstitiosa magica non ex anima basin desumit ; cum, eadem hcec nil quidquam valeat, extra corpus suum movere, alterare aut ciere. Hespondeo, vim et magicam illam natu- ralem animce, quce extra se agat, virtute imaginis Dei, latere jam obscuram in Jiomine, velut obdormire (post prcevarica- tionem), excitationisque indigam: quce eadem, utut somno- lenta, ac velut ebria, alioqui sit in nobis quotidie : sufficit tamen ad obeunda munia in corpore suo : dormit itaque scientia et potestas magica, et solo nutu actrix in homine. 102. Satan itaque vim magicam hanc excitat (secus dor- mientem et scientia exterioris hominis impeditam) in suis mancipiis, et inservit eadem illis, ensis vice in manu poteniis, id est sagce. Nee aliud prorsus Satan ad homicidium affcrt, prceter excitationem dictce potestatis somnolentce. 106. Saga in stabulo absente occidit equum : virtus quondam naiu- ralis a spiritu sagce, et non a Satana, derivatur, quce opprimat vel strangulet spiritum vitalem equi. 139. Spiritus voco magnetismi patronos, non qui ex coelo demittuntur, multoque minus de infernalibus sermo est ; sed de Us, qinfiunt in i]>so Jiomine, sicut ex silice ignis : ex voluntate hominis nempe aliquantillum spiritus vitalis influentis desumitur, et id ipsum assumit idealem entitatem, tanquam formam ad complementum. Qua nacta perfectione, spiritus mediam sortem inter corpora et non corpora assumit. Mittilur autem eo, quo voluntas ipsum dirigit ; idealis igitur entifas . . . nullis stringitur locorum, temporum aut dimcn- sionum imperiis, ea nee daemon est, nee ejus ullus effectus ; sed spiritualis qucedam est actio illius, nobis plane natu- raUs et vernacula. 168. Ingens mysterium propalare hactenus distuli, ostendere videlicet, ad manum in homine sit am esse energiam, qua, solo nutu et phantasia sua, qut-at


ANIMAL MAGNETISM AND MAGIC. 353

agere extra se et imprimere virtutem aliquam, influentiam deinceps perseverantem, et agentem in objectum longissime


P. Pomponatius also says : Sic contigit, tales esse homines, qui habeant ejusmodi vires in potentia, et per vim imaginati- vam et desiderativam cum actu operantur, talis virtus exit ad actum, et afficit sanguinem et spiritum, quce per evapora- tionempetunt ad extra et producunt tales effectus. 1

Jane Leade, an English mystic visionary of Cromwell s time and pupil of Pordage, has given us some very curious disclosures of this kind. She is led to Magic in a very singular way. For, as the doctrine of their becoming one with the G-od of their religion is a fundamental cha racteristic of all Mystics, so is it with Jane Leade also. Now, with her however, the human will has its share in the omnipotence of the Divine will as a consequence of the two having become one, and accordingly acquires magic power. What other magicians therefore believe to be due to a compact with the Devil, she attributes to her becom ing one with her G-od. Her Magic is therefore in the highest sense white Magic. Besides, this alters nothing as to the practice and results. She is reserved and mys terious, as people had to be in those times; still it is easy to see that the thing is not a mere theoretical corol lary, but that it has sprung from knowledge and expe rience obtained in another way.

It is in her " Revelation of Revelations " 2 that we find the chief passage ; but the following one, which is rather an abridgment than a literal quotation and is contained in Horst s " Zauberbibliothek," 3 comes from the same book : " Magic power enables its possessor to rule over

1 De incantationibus. Opera Basil. 1567, p. 44.

2 German translation, Amsterdam, 1695, pp. 126 to 151, especially the pages headed " the power of calm will."

8 Horst, " Zauberbibliothek " (Library of Magic), vol. i. p. 325. A A


854 THE WILL IN NATURE.

and to renew the creation i.e. the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms so that, were many to co-operate in one magical power, Nature might be created anew as a paradise. . . . How is this magic power to be acquired ? By renas cence through faith : that is, by our will harmonizing with the divine wiW." For faith subjects the world to us, inasmuch as our own will, when it is in harmony with the divine will, results, as St. Paul tells us, in making everything submit to and obey us." Thus far Horst. p. 131 of the " Revelation, &c.," Jane Leade shows that it was by the force of his will that Christ worked miracles, as, for in stance, when he said to the leper : " I will ; be thou clean." Sometimes however he left it to the will of those who, he saw, believed in him, saying to them : " * What will ye that I shall do unto you ? in which cases no less was done for them than they had desired in their will that the Lord should do. These words of our Saviour s are well deserving of notice, since the highest Magia lies in the will, so far as it is in union with the will of the Almighty: when these two wheels fit into each other, becoming in a sense one, they are, &c." Again, p. 132, she says: "For what could resist that which is united with the will of God ? The power of such a will is so great, that it always achieves its end. It is no naked will deprived of its clothing, or power ; on the contrary, it brings with it an irresistible omnipotence, which enables it to uproot, to plant, to put to death and to bring to life, to bind and to loose, to heal and to injure, which power will be collected and concentrated in its entirety in the royal, free-born will. Of this power we shall attain knowledge, when we shall have been made one with the Holy Q-host, or when we shall be united in one spirit and being." Again, p. 133 : " We must quench or drown altogether the many multifarious wills which arise out of the mixed essence of souls, and they must lose themselves in the


ANIMAL MAGNETISM AND MAGIC. 355

abysmal depth from winch there will then arise and pre sent itself the virgin will, which was never the slave of anything belonging to degenerate man ; on the contrary, it stands in connection with the Almighty Power, quite free and pure, and will infallibly produce fruits and results quite similar to those of the divine will . . . wherefrom the burning oil of the Holy Grhost flows up in Magic, as it emits its fiery sparks."

Jacob Bohme too * speaks of Magic precisely in the sense here described. Among other things he says : " Magic is the mother of the essence of all beings : for it creates itself

and is understood in desire True Magic is not a

being, but the desiring spirit of the being. In fine: Magic is action in the will s spirit."

In corroboration, or at any rate in explanation, of the above view of the will as the real agent in magic, a curious and interesting anecdote, related by Campanella, from Avicenna, may here find its place. 2 " Mulieres qucedam condixerunt, ut irent animi gratia in viridarium. Una earum non ivit. Ceterce colludentes arangium acceperunt et perforabant eum stilis acutis, dicentes : ita perforamus mulierem talem, quce nobiscum venire detrectavit, et, pro- jecto arangio intra fontem, dbierunt. Postmodum mulierem iUam dolentem invenerunt,. quod se transfigi quasi clavis acutis sentiret, db ea hora, qua arangium ceterce perforarunt : et cruciata est valde donee arangii elavos extraxerunt impre- cantes bona et salutem."

Krusenstern 3 gives a very curious and minute descrip-

1 J. Bohme, " Erklarung von sechs Punkten," under Punkt v.

  • Campanella, " De sensu return et magia," 1. iv. c. 18.

8 Krusenstern s words are : " A universal belief in witchcraft, which is held to be very important by all islanders, seems to me to be connected with their religion j for they assert that the priests alone possess magic power, although some of the common people also, it is said, profess to have the secret, probably in order to make themselves feared, and to exact pre-


356 THE WILL IN NATTJEE.

tion of maleficent sorcery as practised, it is said success fully, by the priests of the savage tribes on the island of Nukahiva, the procedure in which is exactly similar to that of our cures by charms. This fact is especially remark able on account of the identity of the thing, notwithstand ing the distance from all European tradition. With it ought to be compared Bende Bendsen s account of a head- acH he caused in another person by sorcery, through the medium of some of that person s hair which had been cut off. He concludes with the following words : " As far as I can learn, what is called witchcraft consists simply in preparing and applying noxious magnetic charms com bined with a maleficent influence of the will: this is the detestable league with Satan." l

The agreement of all these writers, not only among themselves, but with the convictions to which Animal Magnetism has led in latter years, and finally even with what might be concluded from my speculative doctrine on this point, is surely a most remarkable phenomenon. This

sents. This sorcery, which they call Kaha, consists in inflicting a linger ing death upon those to whom they bear a grudge, twenty days being how ever fixed as the term for this. They go to work as follows. Whoever wishes to practise revenge by means of sorcery, seeks to procure either saliva or urine or excrements of his enemy in some way or other. These he mixes with a powder, lays the compound in a bag which is woven in a special manner, and buries it. The most important secret is in the art of weaving the bag in the right way and of preparing the powder. As soon as it is buried, the effects show themselves in the person who is the object of this witchcraft. He sickens, becomes daily weaker, loses at last all his strength, and in twenty days is sure to die. If, on the other hand, he attempts to divert his enemy s revenge from himself by offering up a pig, or making some other valuable present in order to save his life, he may yet be saved, even on the nineteenth day, and no sooner is the bag unburied, than the attacks of illness cease. Ho recovers gradually, and after a few days is quite restored to health." " Reise um die Welt." Ed. in 12mo, 1812, Part i., p. 249 et seq. [Add. to 3rd ed.]

1 Kieser, "Archiv fiir thierischen Magnetismus," vol. ix. s. i. in the note, pp. 128-132.


ANIMAL MAGNETISM AND MAGIC. 357

much is at any rate certain, that at the bottom of all the experiments, successful or unsuccessful, which have ever been made in Magic, there lies an anticipation of my Meta- physic. For in them is expressed the consciousness, that the causal law only connects phenomena, while the inner nature of things remains independent of it; and also, that if any direct influence on Nature be possible from within, it can only take place through the will itself. But even if Magic were to be ranked as practical Metaphysic, according to Bacon s classification, it is certain that no other theoretical Metaphysic would stand in the right relation to it but mine, by which the world is resolved into "Will and Representation.

The zealous cruelty with which Magic has always been persecuted by the Church and to which the papal malleus maleficarum bears terrible evidence, seems not to have for its sole basis the criminal purposes often associated with the practice of Magic or the part assumed to be played by the Devil, but rather to proceed partly from a vague foreboding and fear lest Magic should trace back its original power to its true source ; whereas the Church has assigned to it a place outside Nature. 1 The detestation shown by the cautious clergy of England towards Animal Magnetism 2 tends to confirm this supposition, and also the active zeal with which they oppose table-turning, which at any rate is harmless, yet which, for the same

1 They scent something of the

" Nos habitat, non tartara sed nee sidera coeli :

Spiritus in nobis qui viget, ilia facit."

(Not in the heavens it lives, nor yet in hell ;

The spirit that does it all, doth in us dwell.)

Compare Johann Beaumont, " Historisch-Physiologisch-und Theolo- gischer Tractat von Geistern, Erscheinungen, Hexereyen und andern Zauber-Handeln, Halle im Magdeburgischen, 1721," p. 281. [Add. to 3rd ed.]

a Compare Parerga, vol. i. p. 257 (2nd ed. vol. i. p. 286).


358 THE WILL IN NATURE.

reason, has been violently assailed by the anathemas of the French, and even of the German, clergy. 1

1 On the 4th of August, 1856, the Roman Inquisition issued a circular to all the bishops, in which it called upon them in the name of the Church to use their utmost influence against the practice of Animal Magnetism. The reasons for this are given with striking want of lucidity and great vagueness, and even here and there are not unmixed with falsehood ; and it is easy to see that the Church is reluctant to own the real reason. This circular is published in the "Turin Journal" of December, 1856, and again in the French " Univers," and reprinted from this in the " Journal desDSbats" of January 3rd, 1857. [Add. to 3rd ed,]


SINOLOGY.

NOTHING perhaps points more directly to a high degree of civilization in China than the almost in credible density of its population, now rated, according to Giitzlaff, at 367 millions of inhabitants. 1 For whether we compare countries or ages, we find on the whole that civilization keeps pace with population.

The pertinacious zeal with which the Jesuit missionaries of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries strove to in culcate their own relatively new doctrines into the minds of this very ancient nation, and their futile endeavours to discover early traces of their own faith in that country, left them no time for a profound study of the belief which prevails there. Therefore Europe has only lately obtained some slight knowledge of the religious state of the Chinese. We now know, that is to say, that in China there exists first of all a worship of Nature, which is universally professed, and dates from the earliest times, even, it is alleged, from before the discovery of fire, wherefore

1 According to a Chinese official Report on the census, printed in Pekin, and found by the English in the Chinese Governor s palace on entering Canton, China had 396 millions of inhabitants in 1852, and allowing for a constant increase, may now have 400 millions. (" Moni- teur de la Flotte," end of May, 1857.)

The Reports of the Russian Clerical Mission in Pekin give the returns of 1842 as 414,687,000.

According to the tables published by the Russian Embassy at Pekin, the population, in 1849, amounted to 415 millions. (" Post-Zeitung," 1858.) [Add. to 3rd ed.]


360 THE WILL IN NATTJEE.

animals were sacrificed raw. The sacrifices offered up publicly at certain seasons or after great events by the Chinese Emperor and the chief dignitaries of the Empire, belong to this worship. These sacrifices are dedicated first and foremost to the blue sky and to the earth to the blue sky in the winter solstice, to the earth in the summer solstice and, after these, to every possible power of Nature : the sea, mountains, rivers, winds, thunder, rain, fire, <fcc. &c. A genius presides over each of these, and each genius has several temples. On the other hand, each genius pre siding over every single province, town, village, or street, nay over family funerals and even sometimes over a mer chant s warehouse, has also temples; only, in the two last cases they are destined exclusively for private wor ship. But public worship is besides offered up to former illustrious Emperors, founders of dynasties and to heroes, i.e. to all such as have benefited (Chinese) mankind by word or deed. Even these have their temples : Confucius alone having no less than 1,650 dedicated to him. This therefore accounts for the great number of small temples found throughout the Empire. With this hero-worship too, is associated the private worship offered up by every respectable family on the tombs of their ancestors. Now besides this worship of Nature and of heroes, which is universal, there are three other prevailing religious doc trines in China, more with a dogmatical intent. First among these is the doctrine of Taossee, founded by Laotse, an older contemporary of Confucius. This is the doctrine of Reason, as the inner order of the Universe or inherent principle of all things, of the great One, the sublime Gable-Beam (Taiki) which supports all the Eafters, yet is above them (properly the all-pervading Soul of the World) and of Tao, i.e. the Way, namely to salvation : that is, to redemption from the world and its misery. We have an exposition of this doctrine taken from the fountain-head in


SINOLOGY. 861

Stanislas Julien s translation (1842) of Laotse s Taotelring, in which we find that theTao-doctrine completely harmonizes with Buddhism both in meaning and in spirit. This sect however seems to have fallen very much into the background, and its teachers to be now looked down upon. Secondly, we find the wisdom of Confucius, which has special attractions for Chinese savants and statesmen. Judging from trans lations, it is a rambling, commonplace, predominantly political, moral philosophy, without any metaphysical support, which has something peculiarly insipid and tire some about it. Finally, there exists for the bulk of the nation Buddha s sublime doctrine full of love. The name, or rather title, of Buddha in China is Fo or Fhu, whilst in Tartary the "Victoriously-Perfect" is more frequently called by his family-name, Shakia-Muni, and also Burkhan- Bakshi; in Birma and Ceylon, he is generally called Gotama or Tagdtata, but his original name was Prince Siddharta. 1 This religion which, on account of its intrinsic

1 For the benefit of those who wish to acquire a fuller knowledge of Buddhism, I here note down those works belonging to its literature, and written in European languages, which I can really recommend, for I possess them and know them well ; the omission of a few others, for instance of Hodgson s and A. Remusat s books, is intentional.

1. " Dsanglun, or the Sage and the Fool," in Tibetan and German, by I. J. Schmidt, Petersburg, 1843, 2 vols. in 4to, con tains in the preface to vol. i. (i.e. the Tibetan volume), from pp. xxxi to xxxviii, a very brief, but excellent, sketch of the whole doctrine, admirably calculated for a first introduction to the knowledge of it : the whole book even, as a part of the Kandshur (canonical books), may be recommended. 2. In the Memoranda of the Academy of St. Petersburg are to be found several lectures by the same excellent author (I. J. Schmidt), which were delivered in German in that Academy in 1829-1832. As they are of very great value for the knowledge of this religion, it is to be hoped that they will be collected and published all together in Germany. 3. By the same writer : " Forschungen iiber die Tibeter und Mongolen." Petersb. 1829, in 4to. (Investigations concerning the Tibetans and Mongols). 4. By the same writer: " Uber die Verwandt- schaft der gnostisch-theosophischen Lehren mit dem Buddhaismus,"


362 THE WILL IN NATURE.

excellence and truth, as well as of the great number of its followers, may be considered as ranking highest among all religions on earth, prevails throughout the greater part of Asia, and according to the latest investigator, Spence

1828. (On the relation between the Gnostic-Theosophic Doctrines and Buddhism.) 5. By the same: " Geschichte der Ost-Mongolen," Petersb.

1 829, in 4to. (History of the Eastern Mongols.) [This is very instructive, especially the explanations and appendix, which give long extracts from writings on Religion, in which many passages clearly show the deep meaning and breathe the genuine spirit of Buddhism. Add. to Srded.] 6. Two treatises by Schiefner in German, in the " Melanges Asiatiques tire s du Bulletin Historico-Philol. de 1 Acad. d. St. Petersburg," Tome 1, 1851. 7. " Samuel Turner s Journey to the Court of the Teshoo- Lama " (at the end), 1801. 8. Bochinger, " La Vie ascdtique chez lea Indous et les Bouddhistes," Strasbourg, 1831. 9. In the 7th vol. of the "Journal Asiatique," 1825, an extremely beautiful biography of Buddha by Deshauterayes. 10. Bournouf, " Introd. a PHist. d. Boud- dhisme," vol. i. in 4to, 1844. 11. " Rgya Tsher Kolpa," traduit da Tibe"tain, par Foucaux, 1848, in 4to. This is the " Lalita Vistara," i.e. life of Buddha, the gospel of the Buddhists. 12. " Foe Koue Ki, relation desroyaumes Bouddhiques," traduit du Chinois par Abel Re"musat, 1836, in 4to. 13. "Description du Tubet," traduit du Chinois en Russe par Bitchourin, et du Russe enFrancais par Klaproth, 1831. 14. Klaproth, " Fragments Bouddhiques," printed separately from the " Nouveaa Journal Asiatique," Mars, 1831. 15. Spiegel, "De officiis sacerdotum Buddhicorum," PaliceetLatine, 1841. 16. The same author s "Anecdote Palica," 1845. [17. " Dhammapadam," palice edidet et latine vertit Fausboll, Hovnise, 1855. Add. to 3rd ed.] 18. Asiatic Researches, vol. vi. Buchanan, " On the Religion of the Burmas," and vol. xx. (Calcutta, 1839), Part 2, contains three important articles by Csoma Korosi, including Analyses of the Books of the Kandshur. 19. Sangermano, " The Burmese Empire," Rome, 1833. 20. Turnour, "The Mahawanzo," Ceylon, 1836. 21. Upham, "The Mahavansi, Raja Ratnacari et Rajavali," 3 vols. 1833. 22. ejusd. "Doctrine of Buddhism," 1839, fol. 23. Spence Hardy, "Eastern Monachism," 1850. 24. ejusd. " Manual of Buddhism," 1853. The two last books, written after a twenty years stay in Ceylon and from oral information supplied by the priests there, have given me a deeper insight into the essence of the Buddhist dogma than any other work. They deserve to be translated into German, but without abridgement, for otherwise the best part might be left out. [25. C. F. Koppen, " Die Religion des


SINOLOGY. 363

Hardy, numbers 369 millions of believers: that is, far more than any other. These three religions, the most widely diffused of which, Buddhism, subsists without any protection whatever from the State, by its own power alone a circumstance which speaks greatly in its favour are far from being hostile to one another, and exist quietly side by side, nay, harmonize even to a certain extent, perhaps by reciprocal influence, so that the sentence: " The three doctrines are only one ", has become proverbial. The Emperor, as such, professes all three ; still many of the Emperors, even up to the most recent times, have been especially devoted to Buddhism. This is shown by their profound respect for the Dalai-Lama, nay, even for the TesJioo-Lama, to whom they unhesitatingly yield prece dence. These three religions are neither monotheistic nor polytheistic, nor are they even pantheistic Buddhism, at any rate, is not ; since Buddha did not look upon a world sunk in sin and suffering, whose tenants, all subject to death, only subsist for a short time by devouring each other, as a manifestation of G-od. Moreover the word Pantheism, properly speaking, contains a contradiction ; for it denotes a self-destroying conception, and has therefore never been understood otherwise than as a polite term of expression by those who know what seriousness means. It accordingly never entered into the heads of the clever, acute philosophers of the eighteenth century, not to take Spinoza for an Atheist, on account of his having called the world Deus ; on the contrary, this discovery was reserved for the sham philosophers of our own times, who know nothing

Buddha," 1857, a complete compendium of Buddhism, compiled not only with great erudition and serious industry but also with intelligence and insight from all the other works I have mentioned above and from many more besides, which contains all that is essential on the subject. 26. " The Life of Buddha," from the Chinese of Palladji, in the " Archiv fur wissenschaftliche Kunde von Kussland," edited by Ennan, vol. xv. Heft 1, 1856. Add. to 3rd ed.J


364 THE WILL IN NATUKE.

but words: they even pique themselves on the achieve ment and accordingly talk about Acomism, the wags ! But I would humbly suggest leaving their meanings to words in short, calling the world, the world; and gods, gods.

In their endeavours to acquire knowledge of the state of Religion in China, Europeans began as usual, and as the Greeks and Romans under similar circumstances had done, by first searching for points of contact with their own belief. Now as, in their own way of thinking, the concep tions of Religion and of Theism were almost identified, or at any rate had grown together so closely, that they could only be separated with great difficulty ; as moreover, till a more accurate knowledge of Asia had reached Europe, the very erroneous opinion had been disseminated for the purpose of argument e consensu gentium that all nations on earth worship a single, or at any rate a highest, God, Creator of the Universe : * when they found them selves in a country where temples, priests and monasteries abounded, they started from the firm assumption that Theism would also be found there, though in some very un usual form. On seeing these expectations disappointed however, and on finding that the very conceptions of such things, let alone the words to express them, were unknown, it was but natural, considering the spirit in which their inquiries were made, that their first reports of these religions should refer rather to what they did not, than to what they did, contain. Besides, for many reasons, it can be no easy task for European heads to enter fully into the sense of these faiths. In the first place, they are brought up in Optimism, whereas in Asia, existence itself is looked upon as an evil and the world as a scene of

1 This is equivalent to imputing to the Chinese the thought, that all princes on earth are tributary to their Emperor. [Add. to 3rd ed.]


SINOLOGY. 365

misery, where it were better not to find oneself. Another reason is to be found in the decided Idealism which is essential to Buddhism and -to Hindooism : a view only known in Europe as a paradox hardly worth a serious thought, advanced by certain eccentric philosophers ; whereas in Asia it is even embodied in popular belief. For in Hin- doostan it prevails universally as the doctrine of Maj a, and in Thibet, the chief seat of the Buddhist Church, it is taught in an extremely popular way, a religious comedy being performed on occasions of special solemnity, in which the Dalai-Lama is represented arguing with the Arch-fiend. The former defends Idealism, the latter Realism, and among other things the Devil says ; " What is perceived through the five sources of all knowledge (the senses), is no deception, and what you teach is not true." After a long argumentation the matter is decided by a throw of the dice: the Realist (the Devil) loses, and is dismissed amid general jeering. 1 Keeping this fundamental diffe rence in the whole way of thinking steadily in view, we shall find it not only excusable, but even natural, that in their investigation of the Asiatic religions Europeans should at first have stopped short at the negative stand point; though, properly speaking, it has nothing to do with the matter. We therefore find a great deal re ferring to this negative stand-point which in no way ad vances our positive knowledge ; it all however amounts to this: that Monotheism an exclusively Jewish doc trine, to be sure is alien to Buddhists and in general to the Chinese. For instance, in the " Lettres Edifiantes " a we find : " The Buddhists, whose views on the migration of

1 " Description du Tubet," traduite du Chinois enRusse par Bitchourin, et du Russe en Francais par Klaproth, Paris, 1831, p. 65. Also in the "Asiatic Journal" new series, vol. i. p. 15. [Koppen, "Die Lamaische Hierarchie," p. 315. Add. to 3rd ed.]

2 " Lettres Edifiantes," Edit, de 1819, vol. viii. p. 46.


366 THE WILL IN NATURE.

souls are universally adopted, are accused of Atheism." In the "Asiatic Kesearches" (vol. vi. p. 255) we find: "The religion of the Birmans (Buddhism) shows them to be a nation far advanced beyond the barbarism of a wild state and greatly influenced by religious opinions, but which nevertheless has no knowledge of a Supreme Being, Creator and Preserver of the world. Yet the sys tem of morality recommended in their fables is perhaps as good as any other taught by the religious doctrines which prevail among mankind. And again, p. 258 : " The followers of Gotama (i.e. of Buddha) are strictly speaking Atheists." Ibid., p. 258 : " Gotama s sect consider the belief in a divine Being, Creator of the world, to be highly impious." Ibid., p. 268, Buchanan relates, that Atuli, the Zarado or High-Priest of the Buddhists at Ava, in an article upon his religion which he presented to a Catholic bishop, " counted the doctrine, that there is a Being who has created the world and all things in it and is alone worthy of adoration, among the six damnable heresies." Sangennano relates precisely the same thing, 1 and closes the list of the six grave heresies with the words : " The last of these impostors taught, that there is a Supreme Being, the Creator of the world and of all things in it, and that he alone is worthy of adoration." Colebrooke too says: 8 " The sects of Jaina and Buddha are really atheistic, for they acknowledge no Creator of the world, nor any Supreme ruling Providence." I. J. Schmidt 3 likewise says : " The system of Buddhism knows no eternal, un created, single, divine Being, having existed before all Time, who has created all that is visible and invisible.

1 " Description of the Burman Empire," Eome, 1833, p. 81.

2 Colebrooke, " Transactions of the Eoyal Asiatic Society," vol. i. j " Essay on the Philosophy of the Hindoos," published also among his " Miscellaneous Essays," p. 236.

  • " Investigations concerning the Tibetans and Mongols," p. 180.


SINOLOGY. 367

This idea is quite foreign to Buddhism and there is not the slightest trace of it anywhere in Buddhistic books." We find the learned sinologist Morrison too l not less desirous to discover traces of a God in the Chinese dogmas and ready to put the most favourable construction upon every thing which seems to point in that direction; yet he is finally obliged to own that nothing of the kind can be clearly discovered. Where he explains the words Thung and Tsing, i.e. repose and movement, as that on which Chinese cosmogony is based, he renews this inquiry and concludes it with the words : " It is perhaps impossible to acquit this system of the accusation of Atheism." And even recently Upham 2 says : " Buddhism presents to us a world without a moral ruler, guide or creator." The G-erman sinologist Neumann too, says in his treatise 3 mentioned further on : "In China, where neither Mahometans nor Christians found a Chinese word to express the theological

conception of the Deity The words God, soul,

spirit, as independent of Matter and ruling it arbitrarily, are utterly unknown in the Chinese language. . . . This range of ideas has become so completely one with the lan guage itself, that the first verse of the book of G-enesis cannot without considerable circumlocution be translated into genuine Chinese." It was this very thing that led Sir George Staunton to publish a book in 1848 entitled : " An Inquiry into the proper mode of rendering the word God in translating the Sacred Scriptures into the Chinese lan guage." *

1 Morrison, " Chinese Dictionary," Macao, 1815, and following years, vol. i. p. 217.

8 Upham, "History and Doctrine of Buddhism," London, 1829, p. 102.

3 Neumann, "Die Natur-und Religions-Philosophic der Chinesen, nacn den Werken des Tchu-hi," pp. 10, 11.

4 The following account given by an American sea-captain, who had come to Japan, is very amusing from the naivete with which he assumes


368 THE WILL IN NATURE.

My intention in giving the above quotations and expla nations, is merely to prepare the way for the extremely re markable passage, which it is the object of the present chapter to communicate, and to render that passage more intelligible to the reader by first making him realize the standpoint from which these investigations were made, and thus throwing light upon the relation between them and their subject. For Europeans, when investigating this matter in China in the way and in the spirit described, always inquiring for the supreme principle of all things, the power that rules the world, &c. &c., had often been re ferred to that which is designated by the word Tien (Engl. T heen). Now, the more usual meaning of this word is " Heaven," as Morrison also says in his dictionary ; still it is a well-known thing that Tien is used in a figurative sense also, and then has a metaphysical signification. In the " Lettres Edifiantes " l we find the following explana tion : " Hing-tien is the material, visible heaven ; Chin-tien the spiritual and invisible heaven. Sonnerat too, 2 in his travels in East-India and China, says : " When the Jesuits disputed with the rest of the missionaries as to the mean ing of the word Tien, whether it was Heaven or God, the

that mankind consists exclusively of Jews. For the " Times " of the 18th October, 1854, relates that an American ship, under command of Captain Burr, had arrived in Jeddo Bay, and gives his account of the favourable reception he met with there, at the end of which we find : " He likewise asserts the Japanese to be a nation of Atheists, denying the existence of a God and selecting as an object of worship either the spiritual Emperor at Meaco, or any other Japanese. He was told by the interpreters that formerly their religion was similar to that of China, but that the belief in a supreme Being has latterly been entirely discarded (this is a mistake) and he professed to be much shocked at Deejunoskee (a slightly Americanised Japanese), declaring his belief in the Deity. [Add. to 3rd ed.]

1 Edition de, 1819, vol. xi. p. 461.

  • Book iv. ch. i.


SINOLOGY. 369

Chinese looked upon these foreigners as restless folk and drove them away to Macao." It was at any rate through this word that Europeans could first hope to find the track of that Analogy of Chinese Metaphysic with their own faith, which had been so persistently sought for ; and it was doubtless owing to investigations of this kind that the results we find communicated in an Essay entitled " Chinese Theory of the Creation " were attained. 1 As to Choo-foo- tze, called also Choo-hi, who is mentioned in it, I observe that he lived in the twelfth century according to our chronology, and that he is the most celebrated of all the Chinese men of learning ; because he has collected to gether all the wisdom of his predecessors and reduced it to a system. His work is in our days the basis of all Chinese instruction, and his authority of the greatest weight. In the passage I allude to, we find : " The word Teen would seem to denote the highest among the great or above all what is great on earth : but in practice its vagueness of signification is beyond all comparison greater, than that of the term Heaven in European languages. . . . Choo-f oo-tze tells us that to affirm, that heaven has a man (i.e. a sapient being) there to judge and determine crimes, should not by any means be said ; nor, on the other hand, must it be affirmed, that there is nothing at all to exercise a supreme control over these things.

" The same author being asked about the heart of heaven, whether it was intelligent or not, answered : it must not be said that the mind of nature is unintelligent, but it does not resemble the cogitations of man. . . .

" According to one of their authorities, Teen is call d ruler or sovereign (Choo), from the idea of the supreme control, and another expresses himself thus : Had heaven (Teen) 110 designing mind, then it must happen, that the

1 To be found in the " Asiatic Journal," vol. xxii. anno 1826, pp. 41 and 42.

B B


370 THE WILL IN NATURE.

cow might bring forth a horse, and on the peach-tree be produced the blossom of the pear/ On the other hand it is said, that the mind of Heaven is deducible from what is the Will of mankind ! "

The agreement between this last sentence and my doc trine is so striking and so astonishing, that if this passage had not been printed full eight years after my own work had appeared, I should no doubt have been accused of having taken my fundamental thought from it. For there are three well-known modes of repelling the attack of new thoughts : firstly, by ignoring them, secondly by denying them, and lastly by asserting that they are not new, but were known long before. But the fact that my funda mental thought was formed quite independently of this Chinese authority, is firmly established by the reasons I have given ; for I may hope to be believed when I affirm, that I am unacquainted with the Chinese language and consequently unable to derive thoughts for my own use from original Chinese sources unknown to others. On further investigation I have elicited the fact, that the passage I have quoted, was most probably, nay almost certainly, taken from Morrison s " Chinese Dictionary," where it may be found under the sign Teen : only I have no opportunity of verifying it. In an article by Neumann 2

1 A note of Schopenhauer s referring to this says : " According to letters from Doss" (a friend of S. s), "dated 26th February and 8th June, 1857, the passages I have here quoted are to be found in Morrison s Chinese Dictionary, Macao, 1815, vol. i. p. 576, under ^C Teen, although in a slightly different order, in nearly the same words. The important passage at the end alone differs and is as follows: Heaven makes the mind of mankind its mind: in most ancient dis cussions respecting Heaven, its mind, or will, was divined (it stands thus, and not derived) from what was the will of mankind. Neumann translated this passage for Doss, independently of Morrison s rendering, and the end was : Through the heart of the people Heaven is usually revealed. " [Editor s Note.]

3 Neumann, "Die Natur-und Religions-Philosophic der Chinten,


SINOLOGY. 371

there are some passages which have evidently a common source with those here quoted from the " Asiatic Journal." But they are written with the vagueness of expression which is so frequent in Germany, and excludes clear comprehen sion. Besides, this translator of Choo-hi evidently did not himself quite understand the original ; though by this no blame need be implied, when we consider the enormous diffi culty of the Chinese language for Europeans, and the insufficiency of the means for studying it. Meanwhile it does not give us the enlightenment desired. We must therefore console ourselves with the hope, that as a freer intercourse with China has now been established, some Englishman may one day give us more minute and thorough information concerning the above-mentioned dogma, of which we have hitherto received such deplorably imperfect accounts.

nach dera Werke des Tschu -hi," an article in Illgen s " Periodical for Historical Theology," vol. vii. 1837, from pp. GO to 63.


REFERENCE TO ETHICS.

FOE, reasons I have stated in the beginning, confirma- mations of the rest of my doctrine are excluded from my present task. Still, in concluding, I may perhaps be allowed to mate a general reference to Ethics.

From time immemorial, all nations have acknowledged that the world has a moral, as well as a physical, import. Everywhere nevertheless the matter was only brought to an indistinct consciousness, which, in seeking for its ade quate expression, has clothed itself in various images and myths. These are the different Religions. Philosophers, on their side, have at all times endeavoured to attain clear comprehension of the thing and, notwithstanding their differences in other respects, all, excepting the strictly materialistic, philosophical systems, agree in this one point : that what is most important, nay, alone essential, in our whole existence, that on which everything depends, the real meaning, pivot or point (sit venia verbo) of it, lies in the morality of human actions. But as to the sense of this, as to the ways and means, as to the possibility of the thing, they all again quite disagree, and find themselves before an abyss of obscurity. Thus it follows, that it is easy to preach, but difficult to found, morality. It is just because that point is determined by our conscience, that it becomes the touchstone of all systems ; since we demand, and rightly demand, that Metaphysic should give support to Ethics : and now arises the difficult problem to show that, con trary to all experience, the physical order of things


KEFERENCE TO ETHICS. 373

depends upon a moral one, and to find out a connection between the force which, by acting according to eternal laws of Nature, gives the world stability, and the morality which has its seat in the human breast. This is therefore the rock on which the best thinkers have foundered. Spinoza occasionally tacks a moral theory on to his Pan theistic Fatalism by means of sophisms, but more often leaves morality terribly in the lurch. Kant, when theo retical Eeason is exhausted, sends his Categorical Im perative, laboriously worked out of mere conceptions, 1 on the stage, as deus ex machina, with an absolute ought. But the mistake he made by it only became quite clear when Fichte, who always took outbidding for outdoing, had spun it out with Christian Wolfian prolixity and wearisomeness to a complete system of moral fatalism in his " System of Moral Doctrine," and subsequently presented it more briefly in his last pamphlet. 2

Now, from this point of view, a system which places the reality of all existence and the root of the whole of Nature in the Will, and in this will places the root of the world, must undeniably carry with it, to say the least, a strong prejudice in its favour. For, by a direct and simple way, it reaches, nay, already holds in its hand before coming to Ethics, what other systems try to reach by roundabout, ever dubious by-paths. Nor indeed can any other road ever lead to this but the insight, that the active and impulsive force in Nature which presents this perceptible world to our intellect, is identical with the will within us. The only Metaphysic which really and immediately supports Ethics, is that one which is itself primarily ethical and constituted out of the material of Ethics. Therefore I had a far greater right to call my

1 See my prize-essay " On the Fundament of Morality," 6.

2 "Die Wissenschaftslehre in allgemeinen Umrisse " (The Doctrine of Science in a general outline), 18, 10.


374 THE WILL IN NATURE.

Metaphysic "Ethics," than Spinoza, with whom the word sounds almost like irony, and whose " Ethics " might be said to bear the name like lucus a non lucendo ; since it is only by means of sophistry that he has been able to tack his morality on to a system, from which it would never logi cally proceed. In general, moreover, he disavows it down right with revolting assurance. 1 On the whole, I can confidently assert, that there has never yet been a philo sophical system so entirely cut out of one piece, so com pletely without any joins or patches, as mine. As I have said in my preface, it is the unfolding of a single thought, by which the ancient dirXovQ b pi/doc rrjg a\r]0elag etyv 2 is again confirmed. Then we must still take into consideration here, that freedom and responsibility those pillars on which all morality rests can certainly be asserted in words without the assumption of the aseity 3 of the will ; but that it is absolutely impossible to think them without it. Whoever wishes to dispute this, must first invalidate the axiom, stated long ago by the Schoolmen : operari sequitur esse (i. e. the acts of each being follow from the nature of that being), or we must demonstrate the fallacy of the inference to be drawn from it: unde esse, inde operari. Respon sibility has for its condition freedom ; but freedom has for its condition primariness. For I will according to what I am ; therefore I must be according to what I will. Aseity of the will is therefore the first condition of any Ethics based on serious thought, and Spinoza is right when he says : JEa res libera dicetur, quce ex sola suce naturce necessitate exis- tit, et a se sola ad agendum determinatur* Dependence, as to existence and nature, united with freedom as to action, is a contradiction. Were Prometheus to call the creatures of his making to account for their actions, they would be

1 For instance, " Eth." iv. prop. 37, Schol. 2.

3 The language of truth is simple. [Tr. s add.]

8 Self-existence 5 self-dependence. 4 " Elk." i. def. 7. [Tr.]


REFERENCE TO ETHICS. 375

quite justified in answering : " We could only act according to our being : for actions arise from nature. If our actions were bad, the fault lay in our nature : this is thine own work ; punish thyself." l And it is just the same with the imperishableness of our true being in death ; for this cannot be seriously thought without the aseity of that being, and can even hardly be conceived without a funda mental separation of the will from the intellect. This last point is peculiar to my philosophy ; but Aristotle had already proved the first thoroughly, by showing at length how that alone can be imperishable which has not arisen, and that the two conceptions condition each other : 2 Tavra CL\\{]\OLQ aKoXovdet, /cat TO re dyivr]Tov afyQapTOv, KCLL TO evriTor. . . . TO yap yf.vt}Tov KOI TO tyQapTov d\\ri\oiQ. d yevrjTOV TI, tydapTov avayKij 3 (hcec mutuo se sequuntur, atque ingenerabile est incorruptibile, et incorruptibile ingenerabile. . . . generabile enim et corruptible mutuo se sequuntur. si generabile est, et corruptibile esse necesse est). All those among the ancient philosophers who taught an immortality of the soul, understood it in this way ; nor did it enter into the head of any of them to assign infinite permanence to a being having arisen in any way. We have evidence of the embarrassment to which the con trary assumption leads, in the ecclesiastical controversy between the advocates of Pre-existence, Creation and Tra- duction.

The Optimism moreover of all philosophical systems is a point closely allied to Ethics which must never fail in any of them, as in duty bound : for the world likes to hear that it is commendable and excellent, and philosophers like

1 Compare "Parerga," i. p. 115, et seqg. (p. 133 of 2nd ed.).

8 Aristot. "De Ccelo," i. 12.

3 " These two go together, the uncreated is imperishable, and the imperishable is uncreated. . . . For the created and the perishable go together. . . . If a thing is created it is necessarily perishable." [Tr.]


376 THE WILL IN NATURE.

to please the world. With me it is different : I have seen what pleases the world, and therefore shall not swerve a step from the path of truth in order to please it. Thus in this point also my system varies from all the others and stands by itself. But when all the others have com pleted their demonstrations to the song of the best of worlds, quite at the last, at the background of the system, like a tardy avenger of the monster, like a spirit from the tomb, like the statue in Don Juan, there comes the question as to the origin of evil, of the monstrous, name less evil, of the awful, heartrending misery in the world : and here they are speechless, or can only find words, empty, sonorous words, with which to settle this heavy reckoning. On the other hand, a system, in whose basis already the existence of evil is interwoven with the existence of the world, need not fear that apparition any more than a vaccinated child need fear the smallpox. Now this is the case when freedom is placed in the esse instead of in the operari and sin, evil and the world then proceed from that esse. Moreover it is fair to let me, as a serious man, only speak of things which I really know and only make use of words to which I attach a quite definite meaning ; since this alone can be communicated with se curity to others, and Yauvenargues is quite right in saying : " la clarte est la bonne foi des philosophies " There fore if I use the words Will, Will to live, this is no mere ens rationis, no hypostasis set up by me, nor is it a term of vague, uncertain meaning ; on the contrary, I refer him, who asks what it is, to his own inner self, where he will find it entire, nay, in colossal dimensions, as a true ens realissimum. I have accordingly not explained the world out of the unknown, but rather out of that which is better known than anything, and known to us moreover in quite a different way from all the rest. As to the paradoxical character finally, with which the ascetic


REFERENCE TO ETHICS. 377

results of my Ethics have been reproached, these results had given umbrage even to Jean Paul, otherwise so favourably disposed towards me, and had induced Herr Riitze also (not knowing that the only course to be adopted against me was silence) to write a book against me in 1820, with the best intentions. They have since become the standing rock of offence in my philosophy; but I beg my readers to take into consideration, that it is only in this north-western portion of the ancient con tinent, and even here only in Protestant countries, that the term paradoxical can be applied to such things ; whereas throughout the whole of vast Asia everywhere indeed, where the detestable doctrine of Islam has not prevailed over the ancient and profound Religions of mankind by dint of fire and sword they would rather have to fear the re proach of being commonplace. I console myself therefore with the thought that, when referred to the Upanishads of the Sacred Vedas, my Ethics are quite orthodox, 1 and that even with primitive, genuine Christianity they stand in no contradiction. As to all other accusations of heresy, I am well armoured and my breast is fortified with triple steel.

1 I refer those who may wish to be briefly, yet thoroughly, informed on this point, to the late Pasteur Bochinger s work : " La vie contem plative, ascetique et monastique chez lez peuples Bouddhistes," Stras bourg, 1831.


OC


CONCLUSION.

r I " HE undoubtedly striking confirmations recorded in JL this treatise, which have been contributed to my doctrine by the Empirical Sciences since its first appearance, but independently of it, will unquestionably have been followed by many more : for how small is the portion which the individual can find time, opportunity and patience to become acquainted with, of the branch of litera ture dedicated to Natural Science which is so actively culti vated in all languages ! Even what I have here mentioned however, inspires me with confidence that the time for my philosophy is ripening ; and it is with heartfelt joy that I see the Empirical Sciences gradually come forward in the course of time, as witnesses above suspicion, to testify to the truth of a doctrine, concerning which a politic, inviolable silence has been maintained for seventeen years by our " philosophers by profession " (some of them give them selves this characteristic name, nay even that of " philoso phers by trade ") ; so that it had been left to Jean Paul, who was ignorant of their tactics, to draw attention to it. For it may have appeared to them a delicate matter to praise it, and, on due consideration, they may have thought it not altogether safe to blame it either, and may have judged it unnecessary besides to show the public, as belonging neither to the profession nor to the trade, that it is quite possible to philosophize very seriously without being either unin telligible or wearisome. Why compromise themselves there fore with it, since no one betrays himself by silence and


CONCLUSION. 379

the favourite secretive method was ready at hand, the ap proved specific against merit ; this much was besides soon agreed upon: that, considering the circumstances of the times, my philosophy did not possess the right qualifica tions for being taught professionally. Now the true, ulti mate aim of all philosophy, with them, is to be taught professionally, so much and so truly is it so, that were Truth to come down stark naked from lofty Olympus, but were what she brought with her not found to correspond to the requirements called for by the circumstances of the times, or to the purposes of their mighty superiors, these gentlemen "of the profession and trade" would verily waste no time with the indecent nymph, but would hasten to bow her out again to her Olympus, then place three fingers on their lips and return quietly to their compendia. For assuredly he who makes love to this nude beauty, to this fascinating syren, to this portionless bride, will have to forego the good fortune of becoming a Government and University professor. He may even congratulate himself if he becomes a garret-philosopher. On the other hand, his audience will consist, not of hungry undergraduates anxious to turn their learning to account, but rather of those rare, select thinkers, thinly sprinkled among the countless multitude, who arise from time to time, almost as a freak of Nature. And a grateful posterity is beckoning from afar. But they can have no idea of the beauty and loveliness of Truth, of the delight there is in pursuing her track, of the rapture in possessing her, who can imagine that anyone who has once looked her in the face can ever desert, deny, or distort her for the sake of the venal approval, of the offices, of the money or the titles of such people. Better to grind spectacle- glasses like Spinoza or draw water like Cleanthes. Henceforth they may take whatever course they like : Truth will not change her nature to accommodate " the trade." Serious philosophy has now


380 CONCLUSION.

really outgrown Universities, where Science stands under State-guardianship. It may however some day perhaps come to be counted among the occult sciences ; while the spurious kind, that ancilla theologice in Universities, that inferior counterfeit of Scholasticism, for which the highest criterion of philosophical truth lies in the country catechism, will make our Lecture-halls doubly re-echo. " You, that way : we, this way." *

1 Shakespeare, " Love s Labour s Lost."


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