But numerous as are the obligations, whether real or imaginary, of the Alexandrian to the Athenian teacher, they range over a comparatively limited field. What most interests a modern student in Platonism攊ts critical preparation, its conversational dialectic, its personal episodes, its moral enthusiasm, its political superstructure攈ad apparently no interest for Plotinus as a writer. He goes straight to the metaphysical core of the system, and occupies himself with re-thinking it in its minutest details. Now this was just the part which had either not been286 discussed at all, or had been very insufficiently discussed by his predecessors. It would seem that the revival of Platonic studies had followed an order somewhat similar to the order in which Plato own ideas were evolved. The scepticism of the Apologia had been taken up and worked out to its last consequences by the New Academy. The theory of intuitive knowledge, the ethical antithesis between reason and passion, and the doctrine of immortality under its more popular form, had been resumed by the Greek and Roman Eclectics. Plutarch busied himself with the erotic philosophy of the Phaedrus and the Symposium, as also did his successor, Maximus Tyrius. In addition to this, he and the other Platonists of the second century paid great attention to the theology adumbrated in those dialogues, and in the earlier books of the Republic. But meanwhile Neo-Pythagoreanism had intervened to break the normal line of development, and, under its influence, Plutarch passed at once to the mathematical puzzles of the Timaeus. With Plato himself the next step had been to found a state for the application of his new principles; and such was the logic of his system, that the whole stress of adverse circumstances could not prevent the realisation of a similar scheme from being mooted in the third century; while, as we have seen, something more remotely analogous to it was at that very time being carried out by the Christian Church. Plato own disappointed hopes had found relief in the profoundest metaphysical speculations; and now the time has come when his labours in this direction were to engage the attention hitherto absorbed by the more popular or literary aspects of his teaching. We have already seen how this fundamental division is applied to the universe as a whole. But our philosopher is not content with classifying the phenomena as he finds360 them; he attempts to demonstrate the necessity of their dual existence; and in so doing is guilty of something very like a vicious circle. For, after proving from the terrestrial movements that there must be an eternal movement to keep them going, he now assumes the revolving aether, and argues that there must be a motionless solid centre for it to revolve round, although a geometrical axis would have served the purpose equally well. By a still more palpable fallacy, he proceeds to show that a body whose tendency is towards the centre, must, in the nature of things, be opposed by another body whose tendency is towards the circumference. In order to fill up the interval created by this opposition, two intermediate bodies are required, and thus we get the four elements攅arth, water, air, and fire. These, again, are resolved into the antithetical couples, dry and wet, hot and cold, the possible combinations of which, by twos, give us the four elements once more. Earth is dry and cold, water cold and wet, air wet and hot, fire hot and dry; each adjacent pair having a quality in common, and each element being characterized by the excess of a particular quality; earth is especially dry, water cold, air wet, and fire hot. The common centre of each antithesis is what Aristotle calls the First Matter, the mere abstract unformed possibility of existence. This matter always combines two qualities, and has the power of oscillating from one quality to another, but it cannot, as a rule, simultaneously exchange both for their opposites. Earth may pass into water, exchanging dry for wet, but not so readily into air, which would necessitate a double exchange at the same moment. Doubtless the cool intellect of a Greek and the fervid temperament of an African would always have expressed themselves in widely different accents. What we have to note is that the one was now taking the place of the other because the atmosphere had been heated up to a point as favourable to passion as it was fatal to thought. 五月丁香六月综合缴情 五月丁香综合缴情六月 五月丁香六月综合缴情亚洲 A crack-up would not be as bad, perhaps, as a plunge, a dive into the bay!