The Evolution of Theology in the Greek Philosophers: The Gifford Lectures - Vol. 1

By Edward Caird | Go to book overview

LECTURE NINTH.
THE FINAL RESULTS OF THE PLATONIC
PHILOSOPHY.

IN the last two lectures I attempted to show the nature of the transition by which Plato passes from the general doctrine that the idea or universal is the real, to the doctrine that the ultimate reality is to be found in mind. Absolute Being, 'that which is in the highest sense of the word,' must be a principle which transcends the opposition, maintained by the earlier schools, between being and becoming, between the one and the many; and which also transcends the new opposition, which was brought into view by Socrates, between the subject and the object. It cannot be conceived as rest without motion, as permanence without activity; but as little can it be conceived as an objective ideal principle without consciousness or intelligence; or, on the other hand, as a mere subjective thought or state of consciousness without objective reality. If it is intelligence, it is not intelligence as separated by

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