Some Turns of Thought in Modern Philosophy

Some Turns of Thought in Modern Philosophy
Five Essays

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Some Turns of Thought in Modern Philosophy by George Santayana

Published:

1933

Pages:

71

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2,139

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Some Turns of Thought in Modern Philosophy
Five Essays

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Book Excerpt

es sleep because it has a dormitive virtue. The virtues or moral uses of things, according to Socrates, were the reason why the things had been created and were what they were; the admirable virtues of opium defined its perfection, and the perfection of a thing was the full manifestation of its deepest nature. Doubtless this moral interpretation of the universe had been overdone, and it had been a capital error in Socrates to make that interpretation exclusive and to substitute it for natural philosophy. Locke, who was himself a medical man, knew what a black cloak for ignorance and villainy Scholastic verbiage might be in that profession. He also knew, being an enthusiast for experimental science, that in order to control the movement of matter--which is to realise those virtues and perfections--it is better to trace the movement of matter materialistically; for it is in the act of manifesting its own powers, and not, as Socrates and the Scholastics fancied, by obeying a foreign magic, that matter sometimes

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