The Idealistic Reaction against Science

The Idealistic Reaction against Science

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The Idealistic Reaction against Science

The Idealistic Reaction against Science

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Excerpt

The Reaction from Intellectualism in Contemporary Philosophy.--One of the essential characteristics of contemporary thought is undoubtedly the reaction from intellectualism in all its forms. The mind of man, which could not rest content with a simple transference of results attained by the methods of the natural sciences to the realm of philosophy, and was reluctant to stay its steps on the threshold of the dim temple of the Unknowable, sought within itself other and deeper activities which should throw open the portals of mystery. Art, moral life, and religious belief were called upon to fill the void left by scientific knowledge; and the reaction went so far as to extend to the human intellect as a whole a distrust which should have been confined to scientific naturalism and its claim to be able to comprehend the infinite riches of mind and nature within a few mechanical formulas. The ruined shrines of the Goddess of Reason, who for so long had tyrannised over the mind, were invaded by the rebel forces of feeling, will, imagination, and every obscure and primitive instinct: thus it came about that Schopenhauer achieved a posthumous triumph over his hated rival Hegel, whose hearers he had in his lifetime vainly endeavoured to entice away, even though he fixed his own lectures for the same hour. Once the blind power of impulse was exalted and the sure guidance of the intellect abandoned, the door was opened to every kind of arbitrary speculation; hence the confusion, Byzantinism, and dabbling in philosophy which during the last twenty years have . . .

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