Spring 1941 • Vol. III No. 2 Nonfiction |

T.S. Eliot: The Illusion of Reaction (II)

6. Determinism We have seen that the entire tendency of Eliot's thought is toward a deterministic view of literature. Yet Eliot is very severe in his comments upon deterministic views when he is able to recognize them. In the essay on John Bramhall,8 he writes as follows: Hobbes' philosophy is not so much a philosophy as it is an adumbration of the universe of material atoms regulated by laws of motion which formed the scientific view of the world from Newton to Einstein. Hence there is quite naturally no place in it for consciousness either, or for human beings. So his only philosophical theory is a theory of sense perception, and his psychology leaves no place in the world for his theory of government. His theory of government has no philosophic basis: it is merely a collection of discrete opinions, prejudices, and genuine reflections upon experience which are given a spurious unity by a shadowy metaphysic. The attitude of Hobbes toward moral philosophy has by no means

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