Of these difficulties the philosophies of Berkeley and Hume are systematic treatments.
It ranks, up to our own day, as the last of the great philosophies, and the boldest of all.
In the early essays we find the principles of the current philosophies, those of Leibnitz and English empiricism, applied in various directions to those problems which serve as tests of their truth and completeness; we note the appearance of the difficulties or contradictions which manifest the one-sidedness or imperfection of the principle applied; and we can trace the gradual growth of the new conceptions which were destined, in the completed system, to take the place of the earlier method.
First (as Arnobius and Eusebius reminded their heathen opponents), the allegorical explanations are purely arbitrary, depend upon the fancy of their author, and are all equally plausible and equally unsupported by evidence.6 Secondly, there is no proof at all that, in the distant age when the myths were developed, men entertained the moral notions and physical philosophies which are supposed to be " wrapped up, " as Cicero says, " in impious fables."
Even philosophies such as logic and aesthetic would be necessary for such an investigation, if thought and artistic production are normal.