Yet this apparently incoherent aggregate held its ground successfully against the powerful armies often sent against the place both by the king of Dahomey from the west, and by the people of Ibadan from the north-east.
At the same time, the essence of eclecticism is the refusal to follow blindly one set of formulae and conventions, coupled with a determination to recognize and select from all sources those elements which are good or true in the abstract, or in practical affairs most useful ad hoc. Theoretically, therefore, eclecticism is a perfectly sound method, and the contemptuous significance which the word has acquired is due partly to the fact that many eclectics have been intellectual trimmers, sceptics or dilettanti, and partly to mere partisanship. On the other hand, eclecticism in the sphere of abstract thought is open to this main objection that, in so far as every philosophic system is, at least in theory, an integral whole, the combination of principles from hostile theories must result in an incoherent patchwork.
The historically important characteristics of his moral philosophy, if we take (as we must) his teaching and character together, may be summarized as follows: - (i) an ardent inquiry for knowledge nowhere to be found, but which, if found, would perfect human conduct; (2) a demand meanwhile that men should act as far as possible on some consistent theory; (3) a provisional adhesion to the commonly received view of good, in all its incoherent complexity, and a perpetual readiness to maintain the harmony of its different elements, and demonstrate the superiority of virtue by an appeal to the standard of selfinterest; (4) personal firmness, as apparently easy as it was actually invincible, in carrying out consistently such practical convictions as he had attained.
He supposes that evolution is primarily integration, from the incoherent to the coherent, exemplified in the solar nebula evolving into the solar system; secondly differentiation, from the more homogeneous to the more heterogeneous, exemplified by the solar system evolving into different bodies; thirdly determination, from the indefinite to the definite, exemplified by the solar system with different bodies evolving into an order.
Adequate and vivid) from obscure, fragmentary and incoherent conceptions.
In the following year appeared Sigurd the Volsung, a version full of heroic vigour, movement and vitality, but somewhat too lengthy and incoherent in design to preserve the epic interest intact to the British taste.
He shows how morality can be viewed physically, as evolving from an indefinite incoherent homogeneity to a definite, coherent heterogeneity; biologically, as evolving from a less to a more complete performance of vital functions, so that the perfectly moral man is one whose life is physiologically perfect and therefore perfectly pleasant; psychologically, as evolving from a.
When Rostov asked what was the matter, he only uttered some incoherent oaths and threats in a hoarse, feeble voice.
The incoherent efforts which he made to repair by the secret diplomacy of the comte de Broglie the evils caused by his official policy only aggravated his shortcomings and betrayed his weakness.
Their incoherent efforts only confirmed the Jacobin supremacy.