- Software name: appdown
- Software type: Microsoft Framwork
- size: 242MB
In the distance is the great mosque which no unbeliever may enter; the doors stand wide open. The only ornaments on the white walls are the lamps, hung with red. In the court of the mosque,[Pg 97] under magnificent trees, are the tombs of the Nizams, with stone lattices, jewellery of marble, fragile pierced work, whereon wreaths of pale flowers are wrought with infinite grace. Near these tombs are two large fountains, where a crowd of men were bathing, talking very loud; and a large basin of porphyry full of grain was besieged by grey pigeons.
"And you want to get home," Balmayne cried. "Pardon me. I will go and see if they are ready for you."
"Ah well, you come from The Netherlands; tell me whether it is true that you have let the Germans through, allowing them to ravish us? Tell me whether this is true?"
That "being a Netherlander" had become my stock-argument, and, as a matter of fact, it made me feel calmer. Quietly I made myself free of the surrounding crowd, in order to proceed on my way; but then they got hold of my arms and gently tried to induce me to go with them, so I had to speak more firmly to make them understand that they could not prevail on me. When at last I was able to resume my march, they looked back frequently, shaking their heads, and in their anxiety for me, their fellow-creature, they seemed to forget for a moment their own hardly bearable sorrows.Formerly an apprentice entered a shop to learn hand skill, and to acquaint himself with a number of mysterious processes; to learn a series of arbitrary rules which might serve to place him at a disadvantage even with those whose capacity was inferior and who had less education; but now the whole is changed. An engineer apprentice enters the shop with a confidence that he may learn whatever the facilities afford if he will put forth the required efforts; there are no mysteries to be solved; nearly all problems are reached and explained by science, leaving a greater share of the shop-time of a learner to be devoted to studying what is special.
It remains to glance at another aspect of the dialectic method first developed on a great scale by Plato, and first fully defined by Aristotle, but already playing a certain part in the Socratic teaching. This is the testing of common assumptions by pushing them to their logical conclusion, and rejecting those which lead to consequences inconsistent with themselves. So understood, dialectic means the complete elimination of inconsistency, and has ever since remained the most powerful weapon of philosophical criticism. To take an instance near at hand, it is constantly employed by thinkers so radically different as Mr. Herbert Spencer and Professor T. H. Green; while it has been generalised into an objective law of Nature and history, with dazzling though only momentary success, by Hegel and his school.
In a copse, women, surrounded by naked children, were breaking stones, which men carried to the road. The women screamed, hitting the hard pebbles with a too small pick, the children fought, the men squabbled and scolded, and amid all this hubbub three Parsees, sitting at a table under the shade of a tamarind tree, were adding up lines of figures on papers fluttering in the wind. There was not a dwelling in sight, no sign of an encampment, nothing but these labouring folk and the bureaucracy out in the open air, under the beating sun.Parmenides, of Elea, flourished towards the beginning of the fifth century B.C. We know very little about his personal history. According to Plato, he visited Athens late in life, and there made the acquaintance of Socrates, at that time a very young man. But an unsupported statement of Platos must always be received with extreme caution; and this particular story is probably not less fictitious than the dialogue which it serves to introduce. Parmenides embodied his theory of the world in a poem, the most important passages of which have been preserved. They show that, while continuing the physical studies of his predecessors, he proceeded on an entirely different method. Their object was to deduce every variety of natural phenomena from a fundamental unity of substance. He declared that all variety and change were a delusion, and that nothing existed but one indivisible, unalterable, absolute reality; just as Descartes antithesis of thought and extension disappeared in the infinite substance of Spinoza, or as the Kantian dualism of object and subject was eliminated in Hegels absolute idealism. Again, Parmenides does not dogmatise to the same extent as his predecessors; he attempts to demonstrate his theory by the inevitable necessities of being and thought. Existence, he tells us over and over again, is, and non-existence is not, cannot even be imagined or thought of as existing, for thought is the same as being. This is not an anticipation of Hegels identification of being with thought; it only amounts to the very innocent proposition that a thought is something and about somethingenters, therefore, into the general undiscriminated mass of being. He next proceeds to prove that what is can neither come into being nor pass out of it again. It cannot come out of the non-existent, for that is inconceivable; nor out of the existent, for nothing exists but being itself; and the same argument proves that it cannot cease to exist. Here we find the indestructibility of matter, a truth which Anaximander18 had not yet grasped, virtually affirmed for the first time in history. We find also that our philosopher is carried away by the enthusiasm of a new discovery, and covers more ground than he can defend in maintaining the permanence of all existence whatever. The reason is that to him, as to every other thinker of the pre-Socratic period, all existence was material, or, rather, all reality was confounded under one vague conception, of which visible resisting extension supplied the most familiar type. To proceed: Being cannot be divided from being, nor is it capable of condensation or expansion (as the Ionians had taught); there is nothing by which it can be separated or held apart; nor is it ever more or less existent, but all is full of being. Parmenides goes on in his grand style: