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May 07, 1922 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1922-05-07

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By James Harvey Robinson
'ublished by Harper and Brothers) did; Euripides was an object of ab- of change were the illusions of the concourse make all possible combi-
horrence to the conservative of his thoughtless and the simple-minded. nations. a * * There was no per-
Beginning. of Critical Thinking day, and Socrates was actually exe- * * *manence anywhere; all was no more
The Egyptians were the first peo- cuted for his godless teachings. The But there was one group of Greek than the shifting accidental and fleet-
.s h Greek thinkers furnish the first in- thinkers whose general notions of ing combinations of the permanent
s, so far as we know, who invented stance of intellectual freedom of the natural operations correspond in a atoms of which the cosmos was com-
highly artificial method of writing, "self-detachment and self-abnegating striking manner to the conclusions posed. * *
out five thousand years ago, and vigor of'criticism" which is most of the most recent science. These The Epicureans believed the gods
gan to devise new arts beyond those touchingly illustrated in the honest were the Epicureans. Democritus was to exist besause * * * they thought
their barbarious predecessors.* "know-nothingness" of Socrates. in no way a modern experimental sci- we had an innate idea of them. But
theedivine bings led aplfeeofeelegan
. . . They discovered skepticism In the entist, but he met the Eleatic meta- the dive beings led a life of elegant
it in spite of their extraordinary higher and proper slinificance of tle physics with another set of specula- ease and took no account of man;
vance in practical, matter-of-fact word, and this was their supreme eon tive considerations which happened to neither his supplications nor his
owledge they remained very pri- tributilon to human thought. be nearer what is now regarded as the sweet-smelling sacrifices, nor his blas-
tive in their beliefs: The same One of the finest examples of early truth than theirs. He rejected the phemies, ever disturbed their calm.
ay be said of the people of Meso- Greek skepticism was 'the discovery Eleatic decisions against the reality Moreover, the human soul was dissi-
- of Xenophanes that man created the of space and motion on the ground pated at death. So the Epicureans
m ad gods in his own image. He looked that, since motion obviously took flattered themselves that they had de-
tions in general-just as in our own about him, observed the current coii- place, the void must be a reality, even livered man from his two chief appre-
y the practical arts have got a long ceptions of the gods, compared those if the. metaphysician could not con- hensions, the fear of the gods and the
art compared with the' revision of of different peoples, and reached the ceive it. He hit upon the notion that fear of death. * * * Thus one
liefs in regard to man and the gods. conclusion that the way in which a all things were composed of minute, school of Greek thinkers attained to
tribe pictured its gods was not the indestructible particles (or atoms) t a complete rejection of religious be-
outcome of any knowledge of how fixed kinds. Given motion and suffl- iefs in the name of natural science.
It is a delicate task to summarize they really looked and whether they cient timd, these might by fortuitous (Continued on page 4)
ast we owe to the Greeks. Leaving had black eyes or blue, but was a re-
ide their supreme achievements in fSection of the familiarly human. *
erature and art, we can consider The second great discovery of the. Fa-Simile Display of
ly very briefly the general scope Greek thinkers was metaphysics.
Id nature of their thinking as it * * * Nowadays metaphysics is re- THE GREAT MOGUL
ates most closely to our theme. vered by some as our noblest effort to
The chief strength of the Greeks reach the highest truth,and scorned The Most Ancient and Celebrated Indian Diamond
y in their freedom from hamper- by others as the silliest of wild-goose now on display
g intellectual tradition. They had chases. I am inclined to rate it like
venerated classics, no holy books, smoking, as a highly gratifying in- THE IOUGH STONE WEIGHED 787% CARATS
dead languages to master, no au- dulgence to those who like it, and, as Its estimated value is $2,400,000
orities to check their free specula- indulgencies go, relatively innocent.
0n. *** * * We all engage in reveries Now among the crown jewels of Russia
For a long time no technical words and fantasies of a homely, everyday
ere invented to give aloofness and type, concerned with our desires or WATCH OUR WINDOWS FOR- .
eming precision to philosophic and resentments, but the fantasy of the FAC-SIMILES OF THE CELEBRATED DIAMONDS
ientific discussion. Aristotle was I metaphysician busies itself with con-
e first to use words incomprehen- ceptions, abstractions, distinctions, SGHLANDERER & SEYFRIED
b'e to the average citizen. It was hypotheses, postulates, and logical in-l mANoDsE WatEs& Jwely Ean
these conditions that the possibili- ferences. Having made certain postu- tamonds, Watches, Jewelry and
as of human criticism first showed lates of hypotheses, he finds new con- 113 East iber Street
emselves. The primitive notions of clusions, which he follows in a seem-
an, of the gods, and of the workings ingly convincing manner. * *
natural forces began to be over- Let me give two examples of meta-
uled on an entirely new scale. In-j physical. reasoning. We have an idea : s:::4i"°"6' "" :M'. :-
ligence developed rapidly as ex-! of. an omnipotent, all-good, and per-Iz "'.F;,, "
ptionally bold individuals came to feet being. We are incapable, know- I
ve their suspicions of simple, son- hg as we do only imperfect things,.
on ous, and ancient ways of looking of framing such an idea for ourselves,
things. Ultimately there came so it must have been given us by the
en who professed to doubt every- being himself. And perfection must
ing. include existence, so God must exist. ILUEBIRD REARLS < 3}i.
As Ablard long after put it, "By * * *flispa'+>forapp;s".' E
>ubting we come to question, and by A second example of metaphysics
aking we may come upon the truth." may be found in the doctrines of the PEA RL TASSELS
at man is by nature credulous. He Eleatic philosophers, who early ap-
victimized by first impressionsI peared in the Greek colonies on the " AND '
'A d thich he can only escape ith coast of Italy, and thought hard about PEARL BRACELETSF
eatdificuty Heresnt crticsmspace and motion. Empty space seem-
accepted and familiar ideas as he ed as good as nothing, and, as noth- The Parisian Fad that }
sents any unwelcome disturbance of ing could not be said to exist, space is Sweeping the Country
utine. * * * must be an illusion; and as motion
It should not be forgotten that the implied space in which to take place, ?50 s0
reek people were no exception in there could be no motion. So all t. -2 - eac
is matter. Anaxagoras and Aristotle things were really perfectly compact
are banished for thinking as they and at rest, and all our impressions J O H N B. E I B L E R
314 South Main Street
. 9 9 9 113 East Liberty Street -
3 5C E N. T
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