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character; it is a physiological materialism founded on science, upon positive knowledge and experiment. The new school resembles rather the school of Cabanis, Broussais, and of Littré. What animated Feuerbach was the revolutionary spirit; what animates Moleschott is the spirit of the sciences, the positive spirit. In a word, it is the revenge of experimentism upon the frenzy of rational à priori speculation.


The first publication in which we find the doctrines of the new school expounded is the book of Moleschott, entitled the Circulatory Course of Life," (Kreislauf des Lebens,) a work whose first edition appeared in 1852, and the last or fourth in 1862. It is a collection of letters addressed to the celebrated Liebig, upon the principal matters of philosophy, the soul, immortality, liberty, final causes. In this Moleschott sets forth the principle of the new materialism: "Without matter no force, without force no matter." He maintains the hypothesis of the indefinite circulation of matter, which passes continually from the world of death to the world of life and reciprocally, and he exalts what he calls the omnipotence of its transmutations, (allgewelt des stoffenwechsels.)

Moleschott's book made a great stir in Germany, and shook the lethargy of men's minds toward philosophy. But what above all determined the explosion of the dispute between materialism and spiritualism, was the discourse pronounced at Göttingen before the reunion of German physicians and naturalists, by Mr. Adolphus Wagner, one of the first physiologists of Germany. In this discourse, entitled, "Of the Creation of Man and of the Substance of the Soul," Mr. Wagner examined this question: "Where is physiology to-day, according to its last results, in regard to the hypothesis of an individual soul essentially distinct from the body?" For himself, he declares that nothing in the results of physiology leads him necessarily to admit a distinct soul, but that moral order demands such a hypothesis. In another document published to explain his discourse, and entitled "Science and Faith," he carefully distinguishes these two domains, and says: "In matters of faith I love naïve and implicit faith; in scientific matters I reckon myself among those who love to doubt as much as possible."

This appeal to implicit faith provoked a keen and biting response from a distinguished naturalist, a pupil of Agassiz,

Mr. Charles Vogt, one of the members of the radical party, sitting in the extreme left of the Parliament of Frankfort, since exiled to Geneva, where he has become a professor and Member of the Council of State. He laughs at this double conscience which the savan of Göttingen wished to obtain for himself, one for science and the other for religion, and describes this expedient as "held by lips in a lurch." But it is not in this accidental pamphlet alone that Charles Vogt gives token of materialism. This was done also in his "Pictures of Animal Life,” and in his "Physiological Letters," and finally in his last pamphlet, full of spirit and nerve, which appeared a few weeks since: "Lectures upon Man, his Place in Creation, and in the History of the Earth." Mr. Vogt has made himself notorious, especially in this controversy, by the comment which he offered upon the celebrated definition of Cabanis: "Thought is a secretion of the brain." Vogt, distrusting the intelligence of the reader, conceived that he must improve upon this brutal formula, and he tells us that "The brain secretes thought as the liver secretes bile and as the kidneys secrete urine," a proposition so clearly false that another materialist, Mr. Büchner, thought himself bound to refute it.

Mr. Büchner in his turn is none the less one of the most ardent disciples of Moleschott, and one of the most decided interpreters of the new materialism. His book, entitled "Matter and Force," is of all the writings of this school that which has enjoyed most success; first published in 1856, it has reached seven editions in five years, and has just been translated into our language by a friend and compatriot of the author, who, to tell things gently, would do well to get his translation reviewed by somebody who is skilled in French. However, this book, nervous and concise, full of facts, written with energy and clearness, qualities quite new in a German book, may serve as a summary of all the others, and contains in a few pages the very marrow of the doctrine. This is the true manual of the New Materialism.

To get an idea, if not complete, at least sufficient, of this singular philosophic movement, Mr. Spietz should be mentioned, who, in his " Physiology of the Nervous System," and in his dissertation upon the "Corporeal Conditions of the Soul's Activity," has expounded a materialistic doctrine which he FOURTH SERIES, VOL. XVII.—3

strangely combines with faith in revelation, a fact which has given his system the name of believing materialism. We must add likewise the "System and History of Materialism," by Edward Löwenthal, a work praised as original by Feuerbach, though it seems, after all, merely to contain the old atomic system. What is much more remarkable is, that the author goes still farther than Moleschott and Büchner: he reproaches them with being eclectic materialists, and that on account of their principle of the union of force and matter. According to him, force is not a primordial and essential condition of matter, it is only a result of aggregation. Let us also cite, but with some reserve, Mr. Czolbe, for he deserves rather to be named among the sensualists than among the materialists, as may be seen in his new "Exposition of Sensualism." The common character of all the works we have cited is to base themselves upon the positive sciences, and to abandon almost entirely the psychologic or metaphysic method, which had previously, whether in Germany, France, or England, distinguished philosophy.

If materialism has raised up a fecund and powerful school in Germany, we must acknowledge that spiritualism in turn has made numerous and powerful protestations. It is particularly in philosophy, properly so called, that spiritualism has recruited itself, but it has found skillful defenders also among the savans. We have already said that the fragments of the Hegelian right formed a spiritualistic school of a very marked character. One of the chief representatives is Mr. Fichte, the younger, who bears honorably a name celebrated in science. In his "Anthropology," this philosopher maintains the doctrine of an incorporeal soul, though he seems to admit with Leibnitz that the soul is never without a body; but this wholly speculative book is anterior (at least in its first edition) to the quarrel. Into this Mr. Fichte has more directly entered, by his work upon "The Question of the Soul," which is one of the most important portions of the present debate. The spiritualistic doctrine has been furthermore defended in a philosophic repertory which Mr. Fichte founded, with two of his friends, Messrs. Ulrici and Wirth, which is the most considerable periodical organ that philosophy has in Germany. This is "The Review of Philosophy and Philosophic Criticism," published at Halle. In this repertory the new materialistic doctrine has been exposed and combated

in several articles by Mr. Zeising. One of the editors of the repertory, Mr. Ulrici, professor at Halle, has likewise expounded the spiritualistic ideas, from the religious point of view, in his fine book entitled "God and Nature," (Gott und Natur, Leipzig, 1862.) Spiritualism has also found recruits in the school of Herbart, of which Mr. Drobisch is the main representative. We may connect with the same doctrine, though he has not meddled with the actual quarrel, Mr. Ritter, the great historian of philosophy, and Mr. Trendelenborg, one of the keenest adversaries of the Hegelian philosophy, whose "Logical Researches" is one of the most remarkable books that philosophy has lately produced in Germany. Among the philosophers who have directly attacked Messrs. Moleschott, Büchner, and Vogt, we must name Mr. Julius Schaller, author of "Body and Soul," to which he has since added a work less polemic and more scientific upon "The Spiritual Life of Man ;" Mr. Drossbach, author of "The Essence of Individual Immortality;" Dr. Michaelis, "Materialism Erected into Simple Faith;" Mr. Robert Schellwein, of Berlin, "Criticism of Materialism;" Mr. Tittmann, of Dresden; Mr. Karl Fischer, of Erlangen, etc.; then, as deserving special mention, those who have defended the doctrine of the soul from a positive-science point of view, and among the latter, in the first rank, Mr. Lotze, an eminent physiologist, who, in two celebrated works, "Medical Psychology" and "The Microcosm," has defended the spiritualistic view. Mr. Lotze returns to the Cartesian dualism, and appears inclined to grant that the laws of life must coincide with physical, chemical, and mechanical laws; but he separates thought from the body: he accords to the soul alone the legislative power, and to the body the executive power. As to the explanation of matter itself, Mr. Lotze adopts the monadologic hypothesis of Leibnitz and Herbart, and strives to adjust it to cotemporary science.

These few details will suffice to show that the two camps are both rich in learned, passionate, and self-persuaded defenders. If we could forget, for a moment, that the dearest interests of humanity are thus delivered up to eternal disputes, we might feel a noble joy at seeing such great questions excite, on either side, so many men of science and talent. These great efforts to resolve such grand problems will ever be reckoned among

the noblest employments of human faculties. We are vainly invited to forget these immortal problems; vainly are we told to look at our feet, and no further. The thirst for the invisible and the unknown will not be extinguished in us. They who reduce everything to matter still pretend to understand the ground of things and to penetrate to first principles. Germany, in sifting, as she has done for ten years, the problem of mind and matter, continues worthily the philosophic tradition in which she has so long occupied the first rank. The time for great metaphysical constructions has passed away, at least for the present. Philosophy is in conflict with the real, with the positive spirit of the age. Will she triumph? Will she succeed in maintaining the idea of the mind at a time when matter seems to triumph on all sides? This is the question agitated in Germany, and which, in another form, is also agitated in France. It will in fact escape nobody, that the phases which we have recounted have a very striking analogy with those that French philosophy has exhibited since 1848. The growing progress of naturalism among us is still a mystery to none. However, it is proper to say that, despite the irresistible tendency which bears it onward to its ordinary consequences, French naturalism has not yet dared boldly to hoist the materialistic flag, and that it excuses itself therefrom with hauteur. It is manifest that French non-spiritualistic philosophy is nearly where the Hegelian left was in 1840. Michelet of Berlin, Strauss, Feuerbach even, have representatives to-day among us whom it is useless to name. As to Moleschott and Büchner, we could hardly find their like among us save in certain desperate positivists, who affirm and deny with boldness where the master had commanded absolute self-restraint. Our polemics are therefore addressed to Germany more than to France. Each can make the application of them that he may deem proper.


The principle of the new materialistic school is thus expressed by Dr. Büchner: "No force without matter, no matter without force." Force, according to Moleschott, is not a God giving impulse to matter; a force which hovers above matter is an absurd idea. Force is a property of matter and is inseparable from it. Try to imagine any matter without force; for

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