§5. Hegelism 2)


40. The critical logicians have been much affiliated to the theological seminaries. About the thinking that goes on in laboratories they have known nothing. Now the seminarists and religionists generally have at all times and places set their faces against the idea of continuous growth. That disposition of intellect is the most catholic element of religion. Religious truth having been once defined is never to be altered in the most minute particular; and theology being held as queen of the sciences, the religionists have bitterly fought by fire and tortures all great advances in the true sciences; and if there be no true continuous growth in men's ideas where else in the world should it be looked for? Thence, we find this folk setting up hard lines of demarcation, or great gulfs, contrary to all observation, between good men and bad, between the wise and foolish, between the spirit and the flesh, between all the different kinds of objects, between one quantity and the next. So shut up are they in this conception of the world that when the seminarist Hegel discovered that the universe is everywhere permeated with continuous growth (for that, and nothing else, is the »Secret of Hegel«) it was supposed to be an entirely new idea, a century and a half after the differential calculus had been in working order.

41. Hegel, while regarding scientific men with disdain, has for his chief topic the importance of continuity, which was the very idea the mathematicians and physicists had been chiefly engaged in following out for three centuries. This made Hegel's work less correct and excellent in itself than it might have been; and at the same time hid its true mode of affinity with the scientific thought into which the life of the race had been chiefly laid up. It was a misfortune for Hegelism, a misfortune for »philosophy,« and a misfortune (in lesser degree) for science.

42. My philosophy resuscitates Hegel, though in a strange costume.


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