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      CHAPTER XX SANDY TURNS OVER A NEW LEAFBy watching in and around the hangar to-nightand this time our bait will be this life preserver that I discovered in the swamp. I guessed the ghost was searching the amphibian and the seaplane for the right life preserver. I devised a plan to get rid of the caretaker while Jeff and I made a complete, exhaustive search, this noon. We found nothing; so Jeff flew me over the swamp and we gotthis.

      391Much the same idea made Dick peer anxiously over the cowling.

      From utter confusion to extreme nihilism there was but a single step. This step was taken by Gorgias, the Sicilian rhetorician, who held the same relation towards western Hellas and the Eleatic school as that which Protagoras held towards eastern Hellas and the philosophy of Heracleitus. He, like his eminent contemporary, was opposed to the thinkers whom, borrowing a useful term from the nomenclature of the last century, we may call the Greek physiocrats. To confute them, he wrote a book with the significant title, On Nature or Nothing: maintaining, first, that nothing exists; secondly, that if anything exists, we cannot know it; thirdly, that if we know it, there is no possibility of communicating our knowledge to others. The first thesis was established by pushing the Eleatic arguments against movement and change a little further; the second by showing that thought and existence are different, or else everything that is thought of would exist; the third by establishing a similar incommensurability between words and sensations. Grote96 has attempted to show that Gorgias was only arguing against the existence of a noumenon underlying phenomena, such as all idealists deny. Zeller has, however, convincingly proved that Gorgias, in common with every other thinker before Plato, was ignorant of this distinction;72 and we may add that it would leave the second and third theses absolutely unimpaired. We must take the whole together as constituting a declaration of war against science, an assertion, in still stronger language, of the agnosticism taught by Protagoras. The truth is, that a Greek controversialist generally overproved his case, and in order to overwhelm an adversary pulled down the whole house, even at the risk of being buried among the ruins himself. A modern reasoner, taking his cue from Gorgias, without pushing the matter to such an extreme, might carry on his attack on lines running parallel with those laid down by the Sicilian Sophist. He would begin by denying the existence of a state of Nature; for such a state must be either variable or constant. If it is constant, how could civilisation ever have arisen? If it is variable, what becomes of the fixed standard appealed to? Then, again, supposing such a state ever to have existed, how could authentic information about it have come down to us through the ages of corruption which are supposed to have intervened? And, lastly, granting that a state of Nature accessible to enquiry has ever existed, how can we reorganise society on the basis of such discordant data as are presented to us by the physiocrats, no two of whom agree with regard to the first principles of natural order; one saying that it is equality, another aristocracy, and a third despotism? We do not say that these arguments are conclusive, we only mean that in relation to modern thought they very fairly represent the dialectic artillery brought to bear by Greek humanism against its naturalistic opponents.But Larry had seen a chance that they might turn to their own advantage if once the mans eyes could be diverted from Jeff. Just before he had clambered onto the forward bracing to spin the amphibians propeller, Jeff had laid down the sturdy wrench he had used for bending the pipes; evidently he meant to transfer it to his own tool kit but had wished to start the amphibians engine first.

      During the early days of the war the papers published a report, of German origin, that Vis had been destroyed because francs-tireurs had appeared. I was therefore not a little amazed when, arriving there on August 8th, I found the townlet entirely undamaged, and even the German military admitted that they had not heard a word about francs-tireurs.

      He did not forget to assure himself, by a final look at the windsock indicating the wind direction, that the breeze had not shifted.

      The introduction of Teichmüllers name affords me an opportunity for mentioning that my attention was not directed to his brilliant researches into various questions connected with Greek philosophy, and more particularly with the systems of Plato and Aristotle, until it was too late for me to profit by them in the present work. I allude more particularly to his Studien zur Geschichte der Begriffe (Berlin, 1874), and to his recently published Literarische Fehden im vierten Jahrhundert vor Chr. (Breslau, 1881). The chief points of the former work are, that Plato was really a pantheist or monist, not, as is commonly believed and as I have myself taken for granted, a dualist; that, as a consequence of the suppression of individuality which characterises his system, he did not really accept or teach the doctrine of personal immortality, although he wished that the mass of the people should believe it; that Plato no more attributed a transcendent existence to his ideas than did Aristotle to his substantial forms; and that in putting an opposite interpretation on his old masters theory, Aristotle is guilty of gross misrepresentation. The most important point of the Literarische Fehden is that Aristotle published his Ethicsxix while Plato was still alive and engaged in the composition of his Laws, and that certain passages in the latter work, of which one relates to free-will and the other to the unity of virtue (861, A ff. and 962 ff.) were intended as a reply to Aristotles well-known criticisms on the Platonic theory of ethics.



      Were the vines ranked and trimmed with pruning-knives,Hes swinging the boat out to open water again! cried Sandy.


      Yes, but she is a high-strung girl, argued the lady; and during the silence that followed, she turned to her relative.