it to be,
and however economical the changes may be, provided it is infinite.
We are therefore forced to conclude: (1) either that the universe
began its activity at a given moment of time and will end in a similar
fashion,--but the beginning of activity is absurd; if a state of
equilibrium had been reached it would have persisted to all eternity;
(2) Or there is no such thing as an endless number of changes, but
a circle consisting of a definite number of them which continually
recurs: activity is eternal, the number of the products and states of
energy is limited.
If all the possible combinations and relations of forces had not
already been exhausted, then an infinity would not yet lie behind
us. Now since infinite time must be assumed, no fresh possibility
can exist and everything must have appeared already, and moreover an
infinite number of times.
The present world of forces leads back to a state of greatest
simplicity in these forces: it likewise leads forwards to such a
state,--cannot and must not _both_ states be identical? No incalculable
number of states can evolve out of a system of limited forces, that
is to say, out of a given quantity of energy which may be precisely
measured. Only when we falsely assume that space is unlimited, and that
therefore energy gradually becomes dissipated, can the final state be
an unproductive and lifeless one.
First principles.--The last physical state of energy which we can
imagine must necessarily be the first also. The absorption of energy
in latent energy must be the cause of the production of the most vital
energy. For a highly positive state must follow a negative state Space
like matter is a subjective form, time is not. The notion of space
first arose from the assumption that space could be empty. But there is
no such thing as empty space. Everything is energy.
We cannot think of that which moves and that which is moved together,
but both these things constitute matter and space. We isolate.
Concerning the resurrection of the world.--Out of two negatives, when
they are forces, a positive arises. (Darkness comes of light opposed to
light, cold arises from warmth opposed to warmth, &c, &c.)
An uncertain state of equilibrium occurs just as seldom in nature as
two absolutely equal triangles. Consequently anything like a static
state of energy in general is impossible. If stability were possible it
would already have been reached.
Either complete equilibrium must in itself be an impossibility, or
the changes of energy introduce themselves in the circular process
before that equilibrium which is in itself possible has
That these wholly different scientific and aesthetico-ethical impulses have been associated under a common name, a kind of sham monarchy, is shown especially by the fact that philology at every period from its origin onwards was at the same time pedagogical.Page 1
With this contrast the so heartrending and dogmatic tradition follows in a _theory_, and consequently in the practice.Page 2
The reason of this want of piety and reverence must lie deeper; and many are in doubt as to whether philologists are lacking in artistic capacity and impressions, so that they are unable to do justice to the ideal, or whether the spirit of negation has become a destructive and iconoclastic principle of theirs.Page 3
The eyes of those critics were tirelessly on the lookout for discrepancies in the language and thoughts of the two poems; but at this time also a history of the Homeric.Page 5
Homer was for him the flawless and untiring artist who knew his end and the means to attain it; but there is still a trace of infantile criticism to be found in Aristotle--i.Page 6
In this backward examination, we instinctively feel that away beyond Herodotus there lies a period in which an immense flood of great epics has been identified with the name of Homer.Page 7
The more the first school looked for inequalities, contradictions, perplexities, the more energetically did the other school brush aside what in their opinion obscured the original plan, in order, if possible, that nothing might be left remaining but the actual words of the original epic itself.Page 8
The people now understood for the first time that the long-felt power of greater individualities and wills was larger than the pitifully small will of an individual man; they now saw that everything truly great in the kingdom of the will could not have its deepest root in the inefficacious and ephemeral individual will; and, finally, they now discovered the powerful instincts of the masses, and diagnosed those unconscious impulses to be the foundations and supports of the so-called universal history.Page 9
genius set upon their empty heads.Page 10
Since literary history first ceased to be a mere collection of names, people have attempted to grasp and formulate the individualities of the poets.Page 11
This imaginary contest with Hesiod did not even yet show the faintest presentiment of individuality.Page 12
he usually piles conception on conception, and endeavours to adjust his characters according to a comprehensive scheme.Page 13
We everywhere find traces of the fact that philology has lived in company with poets, thinkers, and artists for the last hundred years: whence it has now come about that the heap of ashes formerly pointed to as classical philology is now turned into fruitful and even rich soil.Page 14
Let us hear how a learned man of the first rank writes about Homer even so late as 1783: "Where does the good man live? Why did he remain so long incognito? Apropos, can't you get me a silhouette of him?" We demand _thanks_--not in our own name, for we are but atoms--but in the name of philology itself, which is indeed neither a Muse nor a Grace, but a messenger of the gods: and just as the Muses descended upon the dull and tormented Boeotian peasants, so Philology comes into a world full of gloomy colours and pictures, full of the deepest, most incurable woes; and speaks to men comfortingly of the beautiful and godlike figure of a distant, rosy, and happy fairyland.Page 15
Now, therefore, that I have enunciated my philological creed, I trust you will give me cause to hope that I shall no longer be a stranger among you: give me the assurance that in working with you towards this end I am worthily fulfilling the confidence with which the highest authorities of this community have honoured me.