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World's Great Philosophers:
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 Socrates And Plato

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 Epicurus, Zeno, Pyrrho

 The Alexandrians

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 Giordano Bruno


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The Alexandrians

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

Before proceeding to consider the philosophers of the Alexandrian schools, better known, perhaps, as the neo-Platonists, a very few words are needed to describe the death of philosophizing in Greece. The Academy was revived by Arcesilaus, who was an heir of the Skeptics and who improved upon his originals by becoming skeptical of phenomena and essence and all. He was given to disputing on both sides of a question, after the fashion of the Sophists. Reason, with him, was a plain proof that no judgment should be passed on any question whatever not even on skepticism. Little is known of his life, and there is need for little. He was unable to see in all the grand speculations of his predecessors anything that was to be accounted worth thinking about the second time. So careful was he not to pass judgment upon anything that he never even wrote a book. He was given to epigrams, and liked to display himself through the medium of this form of wit.

Once when a youth was questioning him with more than usual pertinacity, Arcesilaus asked "Won't someone stop his mouth with a flail ?" A tippler was once arguing with Arcesilaus that one thing was not greater than another. To his logic the Academician replied by querying whether a cup holding a quart was not larger than one holding a pint. Arcesilaus, although he followed the Skeptics in philosophy, was a follower of Aristippus in practice. He was very extravagant in his habits, was very fond of good eating, and lived with two notorious courtesans at the same time. To justify his philosophy he quoted Pyrrho, and to justify his conduct he quoted Aristippus. Chian, a Stoic of his time, charged him with profligacy and with being a menace to the morals of Athenian youth.

Carneades, who was also one of the brilliant middle Academicians, was a native of Cyrene. He was more able as an orator than original as a philosopher. Most of his time was spent in refuting the doctrines of the Stoics, and he died in the ninetieth year of his age.

The schools of Alexandria are interesting chiefly because of the fact that they present the last of the philosophy and the philosophers that can be called Greek. Athens reached its highest ascendency in Aristotle. What was to follow was decadent. After the last attempt at philosophizing in the revival of the Academy by Arcesilaus, Greece was no longer the home of the wise men. Athenians had grown tired of the philosophers, and were not interested any more in their speculations or their posturing in public. The philosophers and their pupils went else-where. Alexandria was rising rapidly to be the center of science and learning, and thither Athenian students in search of masters journeyed. In Rome, too, the philosophers found that their speculations were listened to with rapture. But philosophy, save of the Stoic stamp, made no lasting impressions on the Romans. In Alexandria alone the speculators found a soil where their seeds would grow. By the side of the noble Museum, with its libraries and its men of science, there sprang up the half mystic, half skeptic religio-philosophy, which is called neo-Platonism. In this strange mixture of thought are to be found, jumbled together, the ideas of the Greek, the Jew, the Hindu, and the Egyptian.

First among the teachers whose names are conspicuous among the Alexandrine philosophers was Philo Judaeus, or Philo the Jew, who lived about the time of Caligula. His philosophy was a kind of pantheism involving the Oriental notion of Emanation. Ammonius Saccas, another Alexandrian who lived about the beginning of the Third Century, left no written account of his philosophy, which has been preserved by Plotinus, his pupil, and who is accounted by some the greatest of the neo-Platonists. Plotinus traveled widely through the Orient, and brought back many of the mystic doctrines that were now being taught in the land of Gautama. He practised asceticism and scoffed at patriotism. Apollonius of Tyana taught the doctrine of metempsychosis, and was reputed to be a worker of miracles. One of the most celebrated of the neo-Platonists was Porphyry, a pupil of Plotinus, and even more widely remembered than his master. This fact is probably due to Porphyry's having removed to Rome, where, toward the end of the Third Century, he wrote vigorously against Christianity and was answered by such eminent Christians as Eusebius, Jerome and Theodosius.

With the passing of ancient philosophy came the rise of the new and inspiring religion which was soon to sweep over the Western world. The Christians, persecuted in their persons and property by the temporal powers of the world, were no less opposed intellectually, and their fiercest intellectual foes were the mystics of Alexandria and the latter's cousins in thought. While Christianity was producing some of its most brilliant apologists, Justin Martyr, Aristides, Athenagoras, Theophilus, Melito, Minucius Felix, and Lactantius, philosophy could do no better than offer its neo-Platonists, neo-Pythagoreans, its magicians, such as Hermes (the Thrice Master), and other compounders of Orientalism, who possess interest now only for the curious. Greek philosophy had passed into the stage where it welcomed the most unhealthy imagination as a beacon. The Gnostics flourished about this time. Indeed, the color of speculative thought had turned into the pale hue of moribundity, and philosophy passed away, to be resuscitated only after centuries of ignorance and intellectual languor in Europe.


Ancient philosophy was a failure in the very nature of things. It could never arrive at the truth as science has done, because it lacked the tools to work with. It is impossible to print a book without types and presses. One may think in a vague way of such a thing as a printed volume, a telephone, a steam engine. Men for ages have dreamed of the marvelous. But it is he who makes the miraculous commonplace whose work advances the world. A thousand dreamers are not of as much value to society as the man who devises movable types, a vibrating diaphragm, or a mechanical method of applying steam power. Modern science differs from ancient philosophy in this, that it does not seek to discover the undiscoverable. It does not attempt to demonstrate that which is undemonstrable, nor does it try to prove as existing that which does not exist.

Much of all this was attempted by some of the ancient and has been attempted by some of the modern philosophers. But while the ancients wasted time in fruitless as well as useless speculation, many of them, as we have already seen, made noble guesses. If Thales and the Ionians did not precisely describe the Natural Selection of Darwin and the Survival of the Fittest of Spencer, their conceptions of Differentiation were not ignoble. They were great pioneers in the unknown and strange lands of thought. They had no naturalists, no biologists, no geologists, to fall back upon. There was no Goethe or Lamarck or Treviranus for Thales or Anaximenes or Anaximander. There was no Linnaeus for Aristotle. These early Greeks were blazers of the way. He was a bold man who, amid the polytheism of those times, could even think of a primal matter, though he thought that matter to be Water.

It has been well said that there is nothing the Greeks did not think of. They turned the human mind inside out and looked at its every fold and wrinkle. In the ten centuries from Thales to the Alexandrians Greek thought presents a complete cycle of growth, and the effort seems to have exhausted intellect for a time and left it helpless and unable to move. Thales began the movement with his speculations on evolution and dissolution speculations that, though crude, are superb and inspiring. The physicists who followed him rapidly proliferated his thought until their ingenuity could suggest nothing more.

They had no microscopes. They did not know Kepler's three laws. There was no science of psychology to explain to them the mechanism of the nervous system and the action of the ganglion cells. There was no chemistry to show them analysis and synthesis. They had no micrometers or spectroscopes to measure the movements or analyze the constituents of the stars. Philology could not teach them the origin of races or comparative anatomy and paleontology the common plan of structure in the animated world and the resemblances between paleolithic and alluvial forms of life. They had no knowledge of nebulae or of protista. They were barehanded and without the great mass of data which modern science has accumulated within a few hundred years, out of which to uprear the science and from which to generalize the highest truths possible to the mind. They were in the childhood of knowledge, and, childlike, they asked questions, often unanswerable, but always indicating the noblest of human aspirations, to know.

But children though they were, the Greeks thought, and by sheer force of thought they arrived at conclusions however far from certainty to which the sciences hinted at in the foregoing paragraph have now safely arrived. The mistake has been made by many to disparage the achievements of modern generalizers, such as Charles Darwin, Spencer, Huxley, and the Germans, by pointing out the similarity that exists between their work and some of the speculations of the Greeks. Such comparisons are, for the most part, drawn by men who are as unfamiliar with the doctrines of modern evolution as they are with the character and nature of Greek speculation. In the cycle of one thousand years run by Greek thought we may observe germs of almost all philosophies and systems and of many of the conclusions of science.

From the primal matter of Thales, Greek speculation runs through the phases of cosmology, idealism, dialectics, skepticism, and mysticism. The physics and meta-physics of the pre-Socratic speculators were dethroned by that Athenian master who insisted on their inutility, and from whose iconoclasm, by a strange perversity of things, sprang the supreme metaphysics of Plato and the supreme physics of Aristotle. The innumerable phases of thought which followed, and complicated the intellectual status of Greece, in turn produced the Epicureans and the Stoics. And the cycle reaches its returning phase with Pyrrho, who, looking for demonstration and demanding definitions with a persistence and pertinacity beside which Socrates is weak, casts all aside as uncertain and futile and holds that things can be known to the mind neither in their phenomena nor in their essences.

Looking at the question from whatever side we will, the Greeks cannot be said to have been the originals of those patient investigators who have builded so surely for humanity. Professor Lester F. Ward wisely says in his work already quoted that there was no reason why the Greek mind was not as capable as is mind now. It lacked only experience, and if its influence failed to generate a growth such as we now see in science, it was because the Greeks were not surrounded by the peculiar environment, physical and psychic, that gave to the world a Bacon and, perhaps, a Giordano Bruno. Greek thought stands alone in intellectual development a complete mosaic, its design touching, but distinct from, other designs; or, to vary the metaphor, it is an episode of the history of intellect complete in itself, but by no means essential to the narrative. Greek influence of any kind but the most tenuously indirect, is absent from the movement that began with Bacon and finds in Spencer its as yet most advanced development.

It is not here contended that modern science and philosophy would be just as they are did not Greek science and philosophy live; but the influence of the Greeks on European thought if not on European civilization and political history is not perhaps as important as it has been made out to be. Few will have the boldness to trace the beginning and advance of modern science to the speculations of the Brahmins and the Buddhists, and the latter are as pertinent to the matter as are the speculations of the Greeks.

The case is different, however, with Greek letters and art. But if we have no hesitancy in acknowledging our debt to these it will be hardly necessary to deprive modern investigation and achievement of the credit that is due to them. The Greeks guessed; the moderns have observed and demonstrated. At the same time, the ancient philosophers have left with us words which, however misused and misunderstood, are permanent symbols; and names which, however shifted and transmuted from their original derivations, will ever serve as reminders of the imperishable fame of the schools, While the Arabians have been celebrated for their science, not much can be said for their metaphysics. Liberty of thought was not encouraged by the stern religion of Islam. The spell of the Koran was over all. So long as philosophy did not teach doctrines in contravention of the sacred book, philosophy might thrive. The moment its speculations led it away from the sacred book, that moment it was doomed. The Caliph Omar ordered the vast treasures of the Alexandrian library destroyed. He said: "If these books disagree with the Koran they are dangerous; if they agree with the Koran they are useless." The magnificent collection was used to heat the public baths, and the fire was maintained by the books for six months, with what loss to man we will never know.

The Caliphs were not averse to lending their assistance to physical science. They encouraged schools. They were fond of wise men. But they were, above all, Mohammedans. The few thinkers who had the courage to originate speculations of their own, or to borrow from the infidels, were persecuted. It was not to be expected, therefore, that philosophy could thrive under a religion which allowed it so little play. The Arabs are distinguished most for their sciences, their chemistry, their astronomy, their mathematics. But they produced some world-famous philosophers, and these are worth remembering here.

Averroes of Cordova, or Corduba, is probably the most noted of the Arabians. His teachings, or such of them as have remained, are preserved in the Hebrew and have been freely commented upon by scholars. He borrowed largely from Aristotle, and, accounting for the peculiar society in which he lived, was more or less free from Islamite influence. This great Arab was born at Cordova, the brilliant capital of the Saracen possessions in Spain. The date of his birth was 1126, and he died in Morocco in 1198. No city in modern Spain can be compared in beauty, intelligence or in culture with the extinct seat of the Saracenic Empire in Europe. Surrounded by the crass ignorance and the degraded state of the cities about it, Cordova flourished, a brilliant spot amid the general blackness in which its neighbors were plunged. Its streets were brilliantly illuminated, and it is said that one of its boulevards was lined on either side for one half a mile with lamps that could vie in beauty and power with modern gas. In the gardens of the Caliphs flashed fountains of quicksilver, and Cordovans were housed in clean and sanitary domiciles, while Cordovan savants pursued their studies in well equipped laboratories and observatories.

Averroes sprang from a noble family, and his boyhood and youth were spent in those pursuits suited to his rank and future prospects. His preceptors trained his mind in the law of the Koran and Mohammed. He was taught to master the theology of the Arabs, and he was not unacquainted with the philosophy of the Greeks and especially of Aristotle, who was accounted the greatest of the philosophers by the Saracens. The advancement of the young Arab was rapid, and he amazed his masters with his precocity and gravity. When his philosophical and theological training was completed, Averroes turned his attention to the sciences and became as proficient in them as he had shown himself in his efforts at more abstruse problems. He was an expert in mathematics, and soon mastered medicine. Now, Averroes was designed by his father for a political career. Statesmanship with the Saracens was not the simple matter it is with us. They did not deem t wise that the man who ruled others should be less informed than his subjects. Averroes, to fit himself for statesmanship, mastered all the learning of his time. He was a wise man.

The father of Averroes was the chief magistrate of Cordova. It was settled that the son should succeed, and when the father died the philosopher was elevated to the important post thus left vacant. With his accession to the chair of the magistracy came the beginning of the greatness of Averroes, and alas ! also the beginning of his woe. His biography is almost as like a romance or a fairy tale as is any of the stories in the "Arabian Nights' Entertainment." It is full of surprises, of sudden transitions, of strange transformations. As a judge Averroes ruled with the wisdom of Solomon. His knowledge, his ability, and his attainments became proverbs. He was looked up to as the master mind in Spain, having all the sapiency of the ancients with his own vast culture added. His fame went abroad. He was admired by Mohammedan and by Christian alike, and he is the one Mohammedan whose life presents a parallel, in many of its aspects at least, with the lives of revered Christian philosophers and reformers.

Word of the greatness of Averroes' wisdom traveled East and came to the ears of the Caliph Almansor, the noted Mauretanian patron of learning. This wise and pious king felt the need of some brilliant master, such as the Cordovan jurist and scholar, for the presidency of a new school of science that had just been opened, under the patronage of the caliphate, at Morocco. An embassy was dispatched to Cordova, and a tender of the presidency of the college was made to the judge. Averroes was delighted with this substantial compliment to his probity and erudition, and readily accepted the commission. He went to Morocco and spent some time in organizing the new institution of education. The Caliph, meanwhile, conferred upon the scholar numerous high dignities and deco-rations, and did not even ask him to relinquish his rights to his offices at home.

With his work thoroughly done and the school well launched on its mission, Averroes expressed the desire to return to the city of his birth and resume his official position among his own people and kinsmen. The request was not denied him, and the philosopher went back to Cordova full of honors and more famous than ever.

But what time he was away in Morocco his enemies had not been idle in Cordova. It was not that Averroes deserved to have enemies, for he was a very just and generous man. But his tremendous successes at the court of the King inspired his former rivals with resentment and jealousy, and it was necessary that something be done to degrade him. In this emergency an old but none the less despicable trick was resorted to. Averroes' character was spotless. His loyalty was unquestioned. His attainments as a man of science and a philosopher were undisputed. The administration of his office was pure. How, then, could he be attacked? The answer is easy : He was charged with heresy. But to accuse one of heresy and to prove the charge are not always the same, and to establish a ground of proof the plotters sent to the philosopher a number of quasi pupils who were in reality spies. These pupils, under the direction of their skilled masters, pro-pounded question after question to the judge. He answered all queries without suspicion. Notes of his words and opinions were taken down on the spot, and these were worked up systematically at their leisure by his enemies. The whole body of proof thus manufactured was presented to the Caliph. Perhaps here and there a point was strained. Who knows? At all events, the Caliph was seriously disturbed in mind and was persuaded that some punishment must be administered to the heretic, the more so as the clique had not failed to make a great scandal of the matter in Cordova.

The Caliph did not demand the life of the offender, but the punishment was more severe than even death could have been to a man of Averroes' birth and education. He was decreed a heretic, stripped of all his offices and titles, his wealth forfeited to the state, and he was condemned to spend the remainder of his life in the ghetto of Cordova, among the Jews, who hated him.

This sentence carried more with it than appears in the reading of it. For all Cordovans who were good Mohammedans were expected to punish the heretic by their taunts and sneers, and by even more degrading obloquy. The philosopher, who, in spite of all this persecution, did not desert his daily religious practices, was pelted with stones and filth as his way led to the mosque. Even the children took part in these demonstrations, and those friends of Averroes who could not be persuaded to join the general execration of their beloved master were compelled to leave the city to escape being politically involved.

Averroes, not willing to retort upon his persecutors, as would a Cynic, or relieve himself of the ignominy of his position by suicide, as would a Stoic, fled from Cordova and hid himself in Fez. Thither he was followed and captured. Almansor, being in doubt what disposition to make of his former favorite, took refuge in a council of state. As is usual in such conclaves, the decision was determined, not by a sense of justice on the part of the judges, but by selfish considerations. The radical religionists were for putting the dangerous blasphemer out of the way without words. The more sensible of the council reflected that a vote for death might be made at the price of their own heads, for Averroes was not without friends who might draw the line at his literal decapitation. So the conservatives won by proposing to set Aver-roes free if the philosopher would consent to publicly recant his follies and his heresies, the alternative being death. The persecuted philosopher, like many a good man before and after him, preferred life with external stultification to death with a martyr's crown or a Stoic's fame. With all the nauseating circumstance of such affairs, amid loudly and insultingly put questions by "holy men" and "true believers," who never even once dreamed that Allah was not Allah, Averroes confessed his crime of heresy and expressed his thrice felt faith in anything whatsoever that was willed. He was then permitted to go.

But, as is the case always in these remarkable and interesting events, by some curious neglect of that nicety of justice which is so admirable when found, his judges forgot to restore him his own property when they mercifully allowed him to keep his own life. Averroes returned to Cordova a pauper.

The bitter of life such as was now his was doubtless mixed with the sweet of friendship. But a heretic, even though he be not torn to pieces or burned with fagots, is never an object of kind consideration among a truly religious people, and Averroes' recantation did not buy him fair words. For years he subsisted in poverty and suffered the contemptuous slings of the vile and ignorant. We would like to present Averroes as dying a noble death, flinging back in the teeth of his cruel tormentors the lofty scorn of his defiance, and immolating himself willingly on the altar of intellectual liberty. Such an ending would be traditional, and would furnish another theme for orators to mouth upon.

Unfortunately for the dramatic literature of philosophy, the death of Averroes was like nothing of the kind. The good people of Cordova at first ceased their imprecations through sheer weariness. It was a duty that wore upon them and grew flat. Then they began to think that their philosopher was not after all such a monster as some interested persons had made him out. Presently they began to realize that Averroes in his day of power was a fair and a just judge, whose decisions plaintiff and defendant both pronounced right. And this reaction became stronger when people met and compared the administration of the man who was now filling Averroes' old function. The spark waxed into a flame, and a deputation was sent to the Caliph asking that the old judge be restored. Again Almansor shifted responsibility from his own shoulders by consulting his statesmen, and again these self-centered gentlemen voted the way the King and the people demanded. Averroes was returned to power, and all his honors restored.

The mortal with average passions will now be prepared to hear how Averroes became revenged upon the men who had been the cause of all his suffering. Again must the biography vary from the customary. Restored to power, Averroes ruled fairly and justly as of old, wiping out all grudges if indeed he ever cherished any and giving the Cordovans an honest administration quite apart from personal considerations.

The world has never produced a gentler or juster man than the sage of Cordova. He was possessed of infinite patience and forgiveness. Fortunate in his great wealth, he was as generous as he was opulent. He gave freely to scholars and men of science who needed money for the leisure to study. When those about him expressed surprise at the astounding fact that the gifts he made were divided equally between his best friends and his bitterest opponents, he would say : "To help one we love is merely following the promptings of common nature. But when we give to a deserving man when he is at enmity with us, we rise above Nature and assimilate ourselves with Virtue."

He condemned the custom and law of capital punishment, and was never known to inflict the sentence of death upon any fellow man. Once, when delivering a speech in public, an opponent approached and, in order to disconcert the philosopher, whispered into his ear words of the most iniquitous reprobation. Averroes listened with great interest, apparently as if the man were delivering important messages of state, and bowing, with a knowing gesture, continued his speech. This enemy became his friend.

Averroes was temperate, continent, pure in habit and speech, urbane and courteous to all men, compassionate and tender. His character is equaled by few of the really great men of any age; it is excelled by none.

After a short service in the judicial capacity at Cordova, he took his chattels and retired to Morroco, in which his earliest and most happy associations centered. Surrounded by friends who had no thought of heresy or recantation; blessed with goodly and pleasant things and faces about him; serene to the last in mind and in the possession of that philosophy which made his life and works conspicuous in manners and morals, he died at the ripe age of seventy-two. He was veritably "Abou ben Adhem," whose name leads all his tribe.

The name of the Arabian philosopher that is ever coupled with that of Averroes is Al Gazel, or, as he is more generally known, Al Gazali. The two philosophers were widely different in their teachings. Averroes was the moralist; Al Gazali the metaphysician. As a philosopher Gazali was a thorough skeptic, but it must not be supposed that he was a skeptic like Pyrrho. On the contrary, he was imbued with a deep sense of the religious. His own human name was Abou-Hamed-Mohommed-ibn-Mohammed. His name Gazali was derived from the trade of his father, who was a thread merchant.

Gazali was born at Totus and died in Khorassan. The date of his birth is 1038; that of his death 1111. He was highly honored among the Mohammedans and taught in Bagdad as a professor of theology. His following was very large, and he was never interfered with for the reason that not even his most malignant foe could accuse him of irreverence or heresy. The philosophy of Gazali consists in his almost pathetic attempt to show that philosophizing is a fool's dream, and that nothing can be wrought out by the efforts of Reason. He is par excellence the skeptic of the Arabians. Western students have become familiar with the views of Gazali through a French translation of some of his works the whole quantity is enormous made by M. Schmölders.

The Arabian, after carefully considering the questions of mind and matter from all standpoints, gives up the problem in despair. Gazali himself explains all the emotions and counter-emotions he passed through before he came to the decision that philosophy was futile. Long thought and careful meditation landed him in utter uncertainty and doubt. He doubted the validity of sensational evidence; doubted that there could be any starting point, any first principle upon which Reason could build. His influence on Arabian metaphysics was deadly, the more -so that, in casting aside Intelligence and Reason as safe guides, he turned to God and Religion as the only consolation for the inquiring mind. The two books from which his opinions are judged are entitled "Tendency of Philosophers," and the "Overthrow of Philosophy." In the first book he prepares the reader for what is to be expected in the second. In the introductory work Gazali writes as the expositor. He sums up, in a manner that has been pronounced clear and accurate, the views of philosophers in general and the various systems that had been thought out to that time, together with a summarization of the sciences. It is only just, he explains, to state what one is about to destroy before proceeding to destroy it. With his work thus planned Gazali launches into his second book and ad-dresses himself to the overthrow of the philosophers he has outlined.

His arguments in the "Overthrow" called Tchafot in the original remind one of the logic of the Pyrrhonists. The fact that two things co-exist, he argues, does not necessarily mean that one of them is the effect of the other. A man born blind and who has his sight restored to him, but in such manner as to be able to use his eyes only in the daytime, would never attribute color to the light of the sun, but would believe that colors were presented directly to him without the agency of light. Gazali denied the truth of what are called laws of nature. If we see certain effects following certain causes invariably, these effects are not therefore inevitable, but follow only because God wills that it shall be so. This is a denial of causality, as the principle is now generally understood. We have knowledge, according to the Arabian, of cause and effect because God has knowledge of past and future (i. e., of his own will) , and permits us to partake in some degree of that knowledge and prescience. But, to Gazali's way of thinking, it is worse than absurd to hold that there can be any principle or any law in nature which acts independent of the Supreme Will. Such a tenet would be, for him, the equivalent of holding that the Supreme itself may be fettered.

All cause and effect are cause and effect only by the will of God. For example, cotton, which we know to be one of the most inflammable of substances, could readily take on some property by which it would become non-inflammable and yet not cease to be cotton if God so willed it. The weakness of his argument here is plain, and is due solely to Gazali's neglect of definitions. If he will admit that cotton when sattirated with water is still cotton, no miracle need be introduced to make it noninflammable. On the other hand, if one of the definitive properties of cot-ton be inflammability then, evidently, no miracle can make the inflammable noninflammable. Many of the arguments of Gazali are of a similar nature. Averroes charged him with sophistry and lack of faith. Whatever basis the Cordovan may have for this opinion is of no importance. It is true, however, that Gazali, through this kind of ratiocination labored with himself until his mind was in a condition to accept Soufism. Modern Soufism is not far different from what Soufism was in the days of the Bagdad doctor. Attempts have been made even to intro-duce it into America, and there are a few Oriental Soufis now in this country. But they have had little success.

Gazali, who could not trust to the evidence of his senses in the slightest degree, joyfully accepted a mysticism that pressed him into enormities of credulity. Rejecting the philosophies of all schools and becoming convinced that he could place faith in nothing that was tangible or visible, he placed unbounded faith in the fantasies and illusions of ecstasy. Spurning Reason, he plunged into Imagination. If Gazali has been praised as having been more brilliant than Averroes there can be no question as to which of the two Arabians, the Asiatic or the European, was the more useful to his fellow-man. Gazali and Averroes were the two most important of the Arabian philosophers. Notice of others in that class is not necessary here.

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