Antisthenes and his school, of which Diogenes is the most popular and characteristic type, were afterwards known as Cynics; but the name is never mentioned by Plato and Aristotle, nor do they allude to the scurrility and systematic indecency afterwards associated with it. The anecdotes relating to this unsavoury subject should be received with extreme suspicion. There has always been a tendency to believe that philosophers carry out in practice what are vulgarly believed to be the logical consequences of their theories. Thus it is related of Pyrrho the Sceptic that when6 out walking he never turned aside to avoid any obstacle or danger, and was only saved from destruction by the vigilance of his friends.9 This is of course a silly fable; and we have Aristotle’s word for it that the Sceptics took as good care of their lives as other people.10 In like manner we may conjecture that the Cynics, advocating as they did a return to Nature and defiance of prejudice, were falsely credited with what was falsely supposed to be the practical exemplification of their precepts. It is at any rate remarkable that Epictêtus, a man not disposed to undervalue the obligations of decorum, constantly refers to Diogenes as a kind of philosophical saint, and that he describes the ideal Cynic in words which would apply without alteration to the character of a Christian apostle.11Before entering on our task of reconstruction, we must turn aside to consider with what success the same enterprise has been attempted by modern German criticism, especially by its chief contemporary representative, the last and most distinguished historian of Greek philosophy. The result at which Zeller, following Schleiermacher, arrives is that the great achievement of Socrates was to put forward an adequate idea of knowledge; in other words, to show what true science ought to be, and what, as yet, it had never been, with the addition of a demand that all action should be based on such a scientific knowledge as its only sure foundation.87 To know a thing was to know its essence, its concept, the assemblage of qualities which together constitute its definition, and make it to be what it is. Former thinkers had also sought for knowledge, but not as knowledge, not with a clear notion of what it was that they really wanted. Socrates, on the other hand, required that men should always be prepared to give a strict account of the end which they had in view, and of the means by which they hoped to gain it. Further, it had been customary to single out for exclusive attention that quality of an object by which the observer happened to be most strongly impressed, passing over all the others; the consequence of which was that the philosophers had taken a one-sided view of facts, with the result of falling into hopeless disagreement among themselves; the Sophists had turned these contradictory points of view against one another, and thus effected their mutual destruction; while the dissolution of objective certainty had led to a corresponding dissolution of moral truth. Socrates accepts the Sophistic scepticism so far as it applies to the existing state of science, but does not push it to the same fatal con118clusion; he grants that current beliefs should be thoroughly sifted and, if necessary, discarded, but only that more solid convictions may be substituted for them. Here a place is found for his method of self-examination, and for the self-conscious ignorance attributed to him by Plato. Comparing his notions on particular subjects with his idea of what knowledge in general ought to be, he finds that they do not satisfy it; he knows that he knows nothing. He then has recourse to other men who declare that they possess the knowledge of which he is in search, but their pretended certainty vanishes under the application of his dialectic test. This is the famous Socratic irony. Finally, he attempts to come at real knowledge, that is to say, the construction of definitions, by employing that inductive method with the invention of which he is credited by Aristotle. This method consists in bringing together a number of simple and familiar examples from common experience, generalising from them, and correcting the generalisations by comparison with negative instances. The reasons that led Socrates to restrict his enquiries to human interests are rather lightly passed over by Zeller; he seems at a loss how to reconcile the alleged reform of scientific method with the complete abandonment of those physical investigations which, we are told, had suffered so severely from being cultivated on a different system.
The most important result of the old Pythagorean teaching was, that it contributed a large element—somewhat too large, indeed,—to Plato’s philosophy. Neo-Pythagoreanism bears precisely the same relation to that revived Platonism which was the last outcome of ancient thought. It will be remembered that the great controversy between Stoicism and Scepticism, which for centuries divided the schools of Athens, and was passed on by them to Cicero and his contemporaries, seemed tending towards a reconciliation based on a return to the founder of the Academy, when, from whatever cause, Greek speculation came to a halt, which continued until the last third of the first century after Christ. At that epoch, we find a great revival of philosophical interest, and this revival seems to have been maintained for at least a hundred years, that is to say, through the whole of what is called the age of the Antonines. In the struggle for existence among the rival sects which ensued, Platonism started with all the advantages that a great inheritance and a great name could bestow. At the commencement of this period, we find the Academy once more professing to hold the doctrines of its founder in their original purity and completeness. Evidently the sober common-sense view of Antiochus had been discarded, and Plato’s own writings were taken as an authoritative standard of truth. A series of industrious commentators undertook the task of elucidating their contents. Nor was it only in the schools that their influence was felt. The beauty of their style must have strongly recommended the Dialogues to the attention of literary men. Plutarch, the most considerable Greek writer of his time, was a declared Platonist. So251 also was the brilliant African novelist, Apuleius, who flourished under Marcus Aurelius. Celsus, the celebrated anti-Christian controversialist, and Maximus, the Tyrian rhetorician, professed the same allegiance; and the illustrious physiologist Galen shows traces of Platonic influence. Platonism, as first constituted, had been an eminently religious philosophy, and its natural tendencies were still further strengthened at the period of its revival by the great religious reaction which we have been studying in the present chapter; while, conversely, in the struggle for supremacy among rival systems, its affinities with the spirit of the age gave it an immense advantage over the sceptical and materialistic philosophies, which brought it into still closer sympathy with the currents of popular opinion. And its partisans were drawn even further in the same direction by the influence of Neo-Pythagoreanism, representing, as this did, one among the three or four leading principles which Plato had attempted to combine.
CHAPTER III. THE SCEPTICS AND ECLECTICS: GREEK PHILOSOPHY IN ROME.
After resolving virtue into knowledge of pleasure, the next questions which would present themselves to so keen a thinker were obviously, What is knowledge? and What is pleasure? The Theaetêtus is chiefly occupied with a discussion of the various answers already given to the first of these enquiries. It seems, therefore, to come naturally next after the Protagoras; and our conjecture receives a further confirmation when we find that here also a large place is given to the opinions of the Sophist after whom that dialogue is named; the chief difference being that the points selected for controversy are of a speculative rather than of a practical character. There is, however, a close connexion between the argument by which Protagoras had endeavoured to prove that all mankind are teachers of virtue, and his more general principle that man is the measure of all things. And perhaps it was the more obvious difficulties attending the latter view which led Plato, after some hesitation, to reject the former along206 with it. In an earlier chapter we gave some reasons for believing that Protagoras did not erect every individual into an arbiter of truth in the sweeping sense afterwards put upon his words. He was probably opposing a human to a theological or a naturalistic standard. Nevertheless, it does not follow that Plato was fighting with a shadow when he pressed the Protagorean dictum to its most literal interpretation. There are plenty of people still who would maintain it to that extent. Wherever and whenever the authority of ancient traditions is broken down, the doctrine that one man’s opinion is as good as another’s immediately takes its place; or rather the doctrine in question is a survival of traditionalism in an extremely pulverised form. And when we are told that the majority must be right—which is a very different principle from holding that the majority should be obeyed—we may take it as a sign that the loose particles are beginning to coalesce again. The substitution of an individual for a universal standard of truth is, according to Plato, a direct consequence of the theory which identifies knowledge with sense-perception. It is, at any rate, certain that the most vehement assertors of the former doctrine are also those who are fondest of appealing to what they and their friends have seen, heard, or felt; and the more educated among them place enormous confidence in statistics. They are also fond of repeating the adage that an ounce of fact is worth a ton of theory, without considering that theory alone can furnish the balance in which facts are weighed. Plato does not go very deep into the rationale of observation, nor in the infancy of exact science was it to be expected that he should. He fully recognised the presence of two factors, an objective and a subjective, in every sensation, but lost his hold on the true method in attempting to trace a like dualism through the whole of consciousness. Where we should distinguish between the mental energies and the physical processes underlying them, or between the207 elements respectively contributed to every cognition by immediate experience and reflection, he conceived the inner and outer worlds as two analogous series related to one another as an image to its original.
The same principle may be extended in a different direction if we substitute for knowledge, in its narrower significance, the more general conception of associated feeling. We shall then see that belief, habit, emotion, and instinct are only136 different stages of the same process—the process by which experience is organised and made subservient to vital activity. The simplest reflex and the highest intellectual conviction are alike based on sensori-motor mechanism, and, so far, differ only through the relative complexity and instability of the nervous connexions involved. Knowledge is life in the making, and when it fails to control practice fails only by coming into conflict with passion—that is to say, with the consolidated results of an earlier experience. Physiology offers another analogy to the Socratic method which must not be overlooked. Socrates recommended the formation of definite conceptions because, among other advantages, they facilitated the diffusion of useful knowledge. So, also, the organised associations of feelings are not only serviceable to individuals, but may be transmitted to offspring with a regularity proportioned to their definiteness. How naturally these deductions follow from the doctrine under consideration, is evident from their having been, to a certain extent, already drawn by Plato. His plan for the systematic education of feeling under scientific supervision answers to the first; his plan for breeding an improved race of citizens by placing marriage under State control answers to the second. Yet it is doubtful whether Plato’s predecessor would have sanctioned any scheme tending to substitute an external compulsion, whether felt or not, for freedom and individual initiative, and a blind instinct for the self-consciousness which can give an account of its procedure at every step. He would bring us back from social physics and physiology to psychology, and from psychology to dialectic philosophy.
Socrates, then, did not create the cross-examining elenchus, but he gave it two new and very important applications. So far as we can make out, it had hitherto been only used (again, after the example of the law-courts) for the purpose of detecting error or intentional deceit. He made it an instrument for introducing his own convictions into the minds of others, but so that his interlocutors seemed to be discovering them for themselves, and were certainly learning how, in their turn, to practise the same didactic interrogation on a future occasion. And he also used it for the purpose of logical self-discipline in a manner which will be139 presently explained. Of course, Socrates also employed the erotetic method as a means of confutation, and, in his hands, it powerfully illustrated what we have called the negative moment of Greek thought. To prepare the ground for new truth it was necessary to clear away the misconceptions which were likely to interfere with its admission; or, if Socrates himself had nothing to impart, he could at any rate purge away the false conceit of knowledge from unformed minds, and hold them back from attempting difficult tasks until they were properly qualified for the undertaking. For example, a certain Glauco, a brother of Plato, had attempted to address the public assembly, when he was not yet twenty years of age, and was naturally quite unfitted for the task. At Athens, where every citizen had a voice in his country’s affairs, obstruction, whether intentional or not, was very summarily dealt with. Speakers who had nothing to say that was worth hearing were forcibly removed from the bêma by the police; and this fate had already more than once befallen the youthful orator, much to the annoyance of his friends, who could not prevail on him to refrain from repeating the experiment, when Socrates took the matter in hand. One or two adroit compliments on his ambition drew Glauco into a conversation with the veteran dialectician on the aims and duties of a statesman. It was agreed that his first object should be to benefit the country, and that a good way of achieving this end would be to increase its wealth, which, again, could be done either by augmenting the receipts or by diminishing the expenditure. Could Glauco tell what was the present revenue of Athens, and whence it was derived?—No; he had not studied that question.—Well then, perhaps, he had some useful retrenchments to propose.—No; he had not studied that either. But the State might, he thought, be enriched at the expense of its enemies.—A good idea, if we can be sure of beating them first! Only, to avoid the risk of attacking somebody who is stronger than ourselves, we must140 know what are the enemy’s military resources as compared with our own. To begin with the latter: Can Glauco tell how many ships and soldiers Athens has at her disposal?—No, he does not at this moment remember.—Then, perhaps, he has it all written down somewhere?—He must confess not. So the conversation goes on until Socrates has convicted his ambitious young friend of possessing no accurate information whatever about political questions.90
II.Institute of Plasma Physics, Hefei Institutes of Physical Science (ASIPP, HFIPS) undertakes the procurement package of superconducting conductors, correction coil, superconducting feeder, power supply and diagnosis, accounting for nearly 80% of China's ITER procurement package.
"I am so proud of our team and it’s a great pleasure for me working here," said BAO Liman, an engineer from ASIPP, HFIPS, who was invited to sit near Chinese National flay on the podium at the kick-off ceremony to represent Chinese team. BAO, with some 30 ASIPP engineers, has been working in ITER Tokamak department for more than ten years. Due to the suspended international traveling by COVID-19, most of the Chinese people who are engaged in ITER construction celebrated this important moment at home through live broadcasting.
One of ASIPP’s undertakes, the number 6 poloidal field superconducting coil (or PF6 coil) , the heaviest superconducting coil in the world, was completed last year, and arrived at ITER site this June. PF6 timely manufacturing and delivery made a solid foundation for ITER sub-assembly, it will be installed at the bottom of the ITER cryostat.
Last year, a China-France Consortium in which ASIPP takes a part has won the bid of the first ITER Tokamak Assembly task, TAC-1, a core and important part of the ITER Tokamak assembly.
Exactly as Bernard BIGOT, Director-General of ITER Organization, commented at a press conference after the ceremony, Chinese team was highly regarded for what they have done to ITER project with excellent completion of procurement package.
The kick-off ceremony for ITER assembly (Image by Pierre Genevier-Tarel-ITER Organization)
the number 6 poloidal field superconducting coil (Image by ASIPP, HFIPS)
ITER-TAC1 Contract Signing Ceremony (Image by ASIPP, HFIPS)
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