Much of Shaftesbury's career, increasingly so as it came near its close, is incapable of defence; but it has escaped most of his critics that his life up to the Restoration, apparently full of inconsistencies, was evidently guided by one leading principle, the determination to uphold the supremacy of parliament, a principle which, however obscured by self-interest, appears also to have underlain his whole political career.
These inconsistencies are best explained by the hypothesis that our author was drawing upon a literary fixed tradition.
That there are many inconsistencies and signs of carelessness in his work has been proved in detail by Langen.
Fichte's general views on philosophy seem to have changed considerably as he advanced in years, and his influence has been impaired by certain inconsistencies and an appearance of eclecticism, which is strengthened by his predominantly historical treatment of problems, his desire to include divergent systems within his own, and his conciliatory tone.
Through Condillac, the inconsistencies were purged out, and materialism was ready for the next comer to affirm - though it may be said with R.