II. German Philosophical Journals

II. German Philosophical Journals[34]

Zeitschrift für Philosophie und philosophische Kritik, herausgegeben von Dr. J. H. v. Fichte, Dr Hermann Ulrici, und Dr. J. U. Wirth, Neue Folge. Bd. 66. u. Bd. 67. Hf. I. Halle, 1875.

The readers of Mind will have regularly presented to them an account of the contents of the philosophical journals in Germany. As a kind of preface to future notices, it seems desirable to indicate briefly the general characteristics of the periodicals which are to be reviewed. In the present number this is nearly all that can be attempted.(10 § 2, item 1 ¶ 1)

The Zeitschrift für Philosophie is undoubtedly entitled to the place of honour. Founded by Dr. Fichte in 1837, it is the oldest of the periodicals specially devoted to philosophical discussion which are still in circulation; it has been the medium of publication for numerous profound treatises of permanent value which would probably never otherwise have seen the light; and it has as yet lost none of its vigour. Its articles were never more elaborate, and its notices of books were never more carefully executed than at present. For many years it was the only German journal dedicated to mental science and speculative philosophy. It was published from 1837 to 1842 at Bonn, and from 1842 until 1847 at Tübingen, under the designation of Zeitschrift für Philosophie und speculative Theologie. In 1847, Dr. Ulrici, widely known to English readers as a literary critic, joined Fichte in its editorsihp, and since that date it has appeared at Halle. In 1852, Dr. Wirth, author of a System der speculativen Ethik, became the editorial colleague of Drs. Fichte and Ulrici, on his abandoning the management of a periodical founded by himself the previous year under the title of Philosophische Studien. Fichte, Ulrici, and Wirth have sometimes been described as pseudo-Hegelians, but certainly without good reason. They have always recognised the greatness of Hegel, and have sought to profit by the truth which he collected, and the truth which he discovered, but during the whole time of their editorship of the Zeitschrift für Philosophie, they have been among the most decided and influential opponents of what is distinctive of Hegelianism both in matter and form, although with praiseworthy liberality they have frequently received contributions from Hegelians of the right, as from other thinkers whose views were very different from their own. So long as Hegelianism was a living power, opposition to Hegelianism was a prominent characteristic of their journal. During later years that has naturally given place in a considerable measure to opposition to materialism, and to the various recent forms of evolutionism professedly based on the results of positive science. The chief aim, however, of the editors has never been a merely polemical one; on the contrary, it has been to do justice to all the philosophical systems of the past, and especially those which have issued from the critical investigations of Kant, to mediate between speculation and empiricism, to harmonise metaphysical philosophy and positive science, and to elaborate and establish a comprehensive Theistic theory of the universe.(10 § 2, item 1 ¶ 2)

The articles in the Zt. f. Ph. are frequently sections of treatises which are continued from number to number for a year or longer, and it is not always possible to judge aright of the parts until the whole has appeared. Occasionally, therefore, the reviewer may find it desirable to delay giving a particular account of the treatises in this periodical until they are completely before him; but this will only happen when their themes and mode of treatment seem to him to give them a special interest for the readers of a journal of scientific psychology and philosophy. There are no less than three series of articles brought to a close in the numbers before us. In the first number of vol. 66, Dr. Grapengiesser has the last of three articles on Kant's Transcendental Deduction, with reference to the wrigins of J. Bona Meyer, O. Liebmann, Kuno Fischer, Ed. Zeller, Herm. Cohen, and Ed. Montgomery. They are full of acute criticisms expressed with great clearness and vivacity. He finds Kant lamentably misinterpreted by his commentators and accusers, and aims throughout at showing that no one has understood him so well as Fries, who ought to be considered as his true successor. In the following number of the same volume Dr. J. Wolf concludes a series of four articles on the Platonic Dialectic. And in the first number of the following volume Dr. A. Dorner has the last of his three articles on the Principles of the Kantian Ethics. In 66. 2. Prof. Teichmüller communicates a hitherto unpublished letter of Kant and another of Fichte. That of Fichte is very characteristic and interesting. In 67. 1. there is an essay of Dr. J. H. Loewe on The Simultaneous Origination of Speech and Thought. More than half of each number of the Zt. f. Ph. is occupied with reviews of books on philosophical subjects; and great care is evidently bestowed on this department. English works are generally noticed by Prof. Ulrici, and Italian works by Prof. v. Reichlin-Meldegg. A considerable number of books in various languages are faithfully summarised and intelligently criticised in the numbers before us. Ulrici's review of Sigwart's Logik (Bd. 66. H. 1.) is valuable as a clear and reasoned statement of the chief points of agreement and difference between these two eminent logicians. Prof. E. Pfleiderer has written (Bd. 66. H. 2.) a most thoughtful disquestion on Realism and Idealism, suggested by Baumann's Philosophie als Orientirung über die Welt. It seems almost invidious, however, to refer specially to those two reviews, when there are so many others equally, or almost as, elaborate.(10 § 2, item 1 ¶ 3)

R. Flint

Zeitschrift für Völkerpsychologie und Sprachwissenschaft. Herausgegeben von Prof. Dr. M. Lazarus und Prof. Dr. H. Steinthal. Achter Band. Drittes Heft. Berlin, 1875.

This periodical was founded in 1859. Only two numbers are published each year, and four numbers make a volume. Its editors are both men of the highest reputation as comparative psychologists and scientific philologists. Dr. Steinthal's treatises are in the hands of all who take an interest in the philosophical study of language, and Dr. Lazarus is the author of a remarkable work entitled, Das Leben der Seele, in Monographien über seine Erscheinungen und Gesetze, which is eminently worthy of being better known in this country than it is. The branch of psychology to the advancement of which their journal is devoted is meant to treat of the collective life of humanity as it presents itself in tribes and nations, with whatever in history is seed or fruit, condition or consequence of the general mental life. The science of speech which it is designed to cultivate is not ordinary philology or empirical linguistics, but a science which seeks to discover, in the way of exact research, the psychological laws according to which human language is realised and developed. Lazarus and Steinthal belong to the school of Herbart, and the psychological principles of Herbart often come into view in the pages of the Zt. f. V. u. S. They are seldom, however, brought very prominently forward, and language is much more frequently employed to throw light on psychology than psychology to throw light on language. Those who are aware how abstruse, complicated, and difficult to follow in its details and applications the Herbartist theory of mind as a psychological mechanism is, will rightly infer that readers, and even reviewers, have reason to be grateful that the light is thus made to shine on the darkness instead of the darkness being brought down upon the light. And, which is more important than the ease of readers, the procedure is one which is correct in itself, and which cannot but be profitable to psychological science. It is only by solving problems which are in great part presented to it from without that any science can be truly advanced. Even mathematics, which has in the character of its fundamental conceptions such an enormous advantage over all other sciences, has found its chief stimulus in the requirements of the natural philosopher, in the problems of astronomy, mechanics, optics, heat, and electricity. And if this is so with the science which is based on such singularly simple, precise, definable, workable conceptions as number and quantity, surely nothing but delusion and emptiness can be expected from a science like psychology, with its vastly vaguer conceptions and vastly subtler objects to start from, attempting to proceed entirely from within and ignoring the combinations of human nature which are presented in history, in literature, and in language. A main reason why the mental world has been so imperfectly explored has doubtless been the abstract, speculative, self-contained nature of our mental science; its neglect of the concrete and spontaneous manifestations of the human mind and life. Among these manifestations none is so likely to prove rich in psychological instruction as language, which is at once far the truest mirror of the present character of man, and far the oldest record of his past history. Philological analysis is often psychological analysis of the subtlest and most delicate kind, the shades of meaning which a term may acquire from the circumstances, time, and mode in which it is used being indefinitely numerous, so that to distinguish them with precision calls for a nicety of discrimination which nothing else would occasion, while it often brings out unexpected and valuable results. We should not wish, then, that the Zt. f. V. u. S. should become less a medium for contributions to the science of language and to comparative human psychology than it at present is; but, perhaps, it is to be desired, now that the Zeitschrift für exacte Philosophie has unfortunately ceased to appear, and that the Herbartist school has, in consequence, no longer a general organ, that its scope and plan were enlarged, its staff of writers increased, and that it were published more frequently.(10 § 2, item 2 ¶ 1)

The greater part of the number before us is written by Prof. Steinthal. He first gives us, as a contribution to the Philosophy of Religion, a very trenchant review of J. Bona Meyer's Philosophische Zeitfragen; then an article on Semitism, indicating what light Schrader's recent researches have thrown on the genius of the Semitic race; and, finally, three notices of books and a note on the Infinitive. G. v. d. Gabelentz concludes his papers on Comparative Syntax. There is unusually little in this number of what is psychological or philosophical.(10 § 2, item 2 ¶ 2)

R. Flint.

Die neue Zeit. Herausgegeben von Dr. Hermann Freiherrn von Leonhardi. Bd. iv., Hfte. 1 u. 2, Prag. 1875.

It is to be hoped that these will not be the last numbers of this interesting periodical. We learn, however, with deep regret, that the editor, Baron von Leonhardi, died at Prague on the 20th of August. The school of Krause has recently suffered heavily from the strokes of death and fate. It is little more than a year since it lost in Prof. Ahrens the most widely known of its German jurists. In Spain alone, three of its members, F. M. Maranges, Thomas Tapia, and Fernando de Castro, all distinguished scholars and friends of the noble Sanz de Rio, died during the previous year. About the end of February last other representatives of it, whose names are still more celebrated, Nicholas Salmeron, Giner de los Rios, &c., were, in that unhappy country, driven from their professorships, exiled and silenced. Now there has come the death of the man whose breadth of culture, whole-hearted acceptance of his master's principles, inexhaustible zeal for their diffusion, and intense interest in every kind of educational progress and social reform, made him not only the universally acknowledged head of the Krausean school in Germany, but an almost ideally perfect representative and embodiment of Krausean doctrine. That doctrine claims to be not only a theory of existence, but a rule of life for the individual in all his relations, and for the family, the nation, and the race in all their stages. Hence, Dr. v. Leonhardi, in founding and directing congresses for the advancement of philosophy, in establishing local associations for its study, in attempting to popularise the teaching of it and to make it a general instrument of culture, in advocating the Kindergarten system and the higher education of women, in endeavouring to organise the profession of teachers and to give it wider and higher aims, and in inculcating peace between nations, legal reforms, hopefulness as regards the future of humanity, &c., was only exemplifying the spirit and principles of Krauseanism, but he exemplified them with an admirable, an unequalled fulness and faithfulness.(10 § 2, item 3 ¶ 1)

The Neue Zeit would have been no true mirror of the mind of its founder, and no true organ of the philosophy of Krause, if its aim had not been at once theoretical and practical, the advancement of science, and the improvement of life. It has, however, been addressed alike to the students of philosophy and to those who are chiefly interested in the social, political, and religious agitations and problems of the age. Of course, present day questions have been always looked at in relation to fundamental and eternal truth, on the one hand, and to the laws and end of human development, on the other, as believed to have been ascertained and proved by Krause.(10 § 2, item 3 ¶ 2)

Of the two numbers which have appeared during the year, the first is almost entirely occupied with the philosophy of history. To begin with, there are eleven lectures delivered by Leonhardi at the University of Prague in 1866–7 on The laws of human development and the problem of human life. They are expressly declared to be founded on Krause's philosophy of history, and we have seen no exposition so good of some of the chief peculiarities of this portion of Krause's system. Then, there is, also from Leonhardi's pen, an article on the accounts of Krause's philosophy of history given by M. Frédéric de Rougemont in his Deux Cités and by the undersigned in his Philosophy of History in France and Germany with which neither of us at least is likely to find much fault. Prof. Zeller will probably feel very differently regarding Dr. Hohlfeld of Dresden's criticism of the exposition of the Krausean system given in the Geschichte der deutschen Philosophie seit Leibnitz. However, Dr. Hohlfeld's objections are mostly well-founded, although they naturally appear more serious to a follower of Krause than they will to others. In the following number Dr. Hohlfeld has two articles. The first entitled The Philosophy of Krause and the German Empire, begins with a defence and eulogy of Krause as a writer. Dr. Hohlfeld expresses high admiration even for the scientific terminology which Krause employed in his later synthetic writings. This admiration, we fear, must appear to all but a very few co-disciples an inexplicable eccentricity of literary taste. In the second portion of his essay he seeks to show the high significance and value of the philosophy of Krause by indicating its chief characteristics. These he considers to be the originality, depth, and cleaness of the idea which it gives of the primary, supreme, and ultimate Being, its completeness and consistency as a doctrine of evolution, its universality or comprehensiveness as regards alike the objects and sources of knowledge, and its practical character, as manifested especially in its philosophy of history, its philosophy of law, and its philosophy of religion. His second article is on The place of the Science of Language in the System of Science. In order to give an intelligible account of it we should require to explain generally Krause's views on the relations of the sciences, and that, ingenious and suggestive although these views be, we must not attempt to do at present. The article of perhaps greatest general interest in the number--that of Prof. Röder On the relation of Law and Government to Religion and the Church--does not concern us here.(10 § 2, item 3 ¶ 3)

R. Flint.

Philosophische Monatschefte. Unter Mitwirkung von Dr. F. Ascherson und Dr. J. Bergmann redigirt und herausgegeben von Dr. E. Bratuscheck. Bd. xi. Hfte. 1–8. Leipzig, 1875.

This periodical had for predecessor the Hegelian journal Der Gedanke, which was edited from 1861 to 1867, by Dr. Michelet of Berlin, and during 1867, by Drs. Michelet and Bergmann. Their partnership ending with the close of that year, the Gedanke was discontinued and Philosophische Monatschefte was founded by Dr. Bergmann, who acted as sole editor of the first seven volumes. Since 1872 it has been edited by Dr. Bratuscheck in conjunction with Drs. Ascherson and Bergmann. Its plan and character have been considerably modified in the course of its history. It will suffice to indicate what they are at present.(10 § 2, item 4 ¶ 1)

The aim which its editors set before them is that of making it a central organ for philosophy in Germany; a publication equally open to all particular schools, and in which none will receive any special favour. They freely allow criticism of the articles and replies to the reviews which appear in it, provided that the polemical do not degenerate into the personal. They seek to have an impartial objective account given of all investigations of importance in every department of philosophy. In order to accomplish this, some numbers of the P. M. have, during the present year, contained no original essays, and the notices of books have been in many instances merely careful summaries, without any critical annotations. In general there is at least one essay in each number. Occasionally, but rarely, there are contributions which extend over several numbers. In each number a list is given by Dr. Ascherson, who is Custos of the University Library of Berlin, of all books, pamphlets, and periodicals which treat of general philosophy, the history of philosophy, logic and the theory of cognition, psychology, metaphysics, philosophy of nature, ethics and the history of culture, the religious question, æsthetics, and pædagogy. The completeness of these most useful lists, and the skill with which the works ennumerated are grouped, are worthy of the editor of Ueberweg's History of Philosophy and of the German Universities' Calendars. Intelligence is also regularly applied by this journal as to the courses of lectures on philosophy delivered in the Universities, the subjects discussed in philosophical societies, the themes prescribed by the Universities for philosophical prize-essays, changes in the philosophical professoriate, and, in fact, all matters likely to interest the student of philosophy. It is undoubtedly the journal best calculated to keep either the native or foreign reader posted up, as the Americans say, on all that is being done in philosophy throughout Germany. Ten numbers are published annually, and compose a volume.(10 § 2, item 4 ¶ 2)

The first essay in the volume before us is Dr. Bratuscheck's (in No. 2) on Positivism in Science. It is an attempt to show that the positivism of Comte is essentially a reproduction of the phenomenalism which was taught by the Greek sophists and refuted by Socrates and Plato; that it is self-contradictory in its principles and arbitrary in its inferences; and that it naturally tends to nihilism in speculation, and slavery in practice. Prof. Dilthey of Breslau, the author of one of the best philosophical biographies of the German language, a Life of Schleiermacher, began in No. 3, a contribution on The Study of the History of the Sciences of Man, of Society, and of the State, which is continued in Nos. 6 and 8, and is not yet concluded. In No. 4, Dr. Merx publishes the inaugural lecture which he delivered as professor of Semitic Philology at Tübingen in 1869, on The Philosophy of Religion of Averroes. It may safely be recommended as an introduction to the study of the doctrine of the celebrated Arabian Aristotelian, and of the works which treat of it, as, for example, those of Renan, Munck, and Müller. Dr. Merx also publishes (in No. 7) the inaugural discourse delivered by him in February, 1875, as professor of Oriental Languages at Giessen, under the title of The Law of Codification. The remarks which it contains on the combination of necessity and freedom in historical development, on the manner in which earlier cognitions and volitions influence and limit later ones, on Lazarus's law of the concretion of ideas, &c. and still more the attempt to show from Hebrew, Arabian, and Roman history how nations at the commencement of new epochs are impelled to save and sum up in Codex and Canon what the past has left to them or evolved for them of a rule of life, will not fail to interest the student of the philosophy of history. The essay of Dr. Vaihinger (in No. 5,) on The present state of the Cosmological Problem, is so full of information that it would scarcely admit of further condensation. Of the longer reviews which have appeared in the numbers before us, we would mention those of Weber's History of European Philosophy, Zimmerman's Kant and Positivism, Poetter's Personal God and the World, Flint's Philosophy of History in France and Germany, Brentano's Psychology, Dühring's Critical History of Philosophy, Vitringa's Man as an Animal and Spiritual Being.(10 § 2, item 4 ¶ 3)

R. Flint.

Athenæum. Monatschrift für Anthropologie, Hygieine, Moralstatistik, Bevölkerungs- und Culturwissenschaft, Pädagogik, höhere Politik und die Lehre von den Krankheitsursachen. Herausgegeben und redigirt von Dr. Edward Reich. Erster Jahrgang. Hefte 1–3. Jena, 1875.

This periodical was started in April last. As its title shows, it is of a very mixed or miscellaneous character, and treats of various subjects which we are not required to notice here. Its aims are described in its prospectus as being at once scientific and practical--the knowledge of the whole man singly and collectively, and the furtherance of the bodily and moral, the individual and general health and welfare. On the foundation of phsyiology and statistics we would raise the lofty watch-tower from which we may descry the entire nature of man, the connection of our race with the world and with civilisation, and the sources of the sufferings which afflict individuals and communities; and the results ascertained we would apply to maintain the health and prosperity of individuals and of humanity, to avert maladies, and to remove their causes. Such is the idea which has originated the publication before us. Without ceasing to be scientific, its articles are intended to be of interest not merely to specialists but to educated persons of all classes.(10 § 2, item 5 ¶ 1)

The first number begins with an article by the editor on The relation of Heredity to the National Mind. It is essentially a statement of the conclusions which Haeckel, Galton Ribot, and a number of recent writers on mental pathology and the transmission of diseases have arrived at on the subject of which it treats. The second article, which is also continued in the following number, is on The bearing of the Doctrine of Descent on Morals and Politics. It is by a very independent thinker, Dr. F. A. von Hartsen, who writes oftener in German and French than in his native Dutch. The first part of it is a plea for the preservation of the weak and deformed, and for the non-prohibition of them of marriage, and an attack on what he calls the slaughter-house theory of certain Darwinian moralists; the next is an endeavour to show that it is futile to explain by heredity either monarchy or aristocracy, and that the intellectual and moral qualities have necessarily far less chance of being transmitted than physical peculiarities; and its concluding section is a refutation of those who have sought in Darwinianism for a justification of the doctrine that might is right, and that a strong people may crush or exterminate a weak one if it find it convenient for itself so to act. In No. 2 Dr. Reich has an article on Suicide, in which he indicates the reasons why the proportion of suicides to population differs within each religion, and why it varies with profession, degree of culture, age and sex. He shows that the causes of suicide are largely of a moral and removable nature, so that society has it in its power greatly to diminish the evil. The essay of Dr. Hartsen on The Conciliation of Religion and Materialism, the first part of which is given in No. 3, the reviewer has already seen in La Critique Philosophique for 29th April, under the more appropriate title of Materialism and Immortality. It is intended to prove that the principle of materialism, far from shaking the dogma of immortality, is its most solid support. Of books reviewed which have an interest to the student of psychology and philosophy we would mention Haeckel's Anthropogenie, Oettingen's Moralstatistik, Ribot's Hérédité, Hartsen's Anfänge der Lebensweisheit, Galton's English Men of Science, Kramar's Problem der Materie, and Hartmann's Wahrheit und Irrthum im Darwinismus. They are all noticed by Dr. Reich himself. German editors of philosophical journals are certainly not idle men.(10 § 2, item 5 ¶ 2)

R. Flint.

10 § 2 n. 1. Reports on other journals--French, Italian, American--are postponed from want of space.—Ed.