M. Emile Boutroux delivered the first of the Hyde lectures in New Lecture Hall yesterday afternoon at 4 o'clock. The lectures, which are given in French, are under the auspices of the Cercle Francais and are open to the public. The subject was "Pascal and his Apology for Religion."
The term "apology" is not really adequate, for Pascal was more than an apologist for religion; he aimed not only at writing an abstract defence of religion, but also at converting the atheists and re-establishing true Christianity against those who partially confused it with paganism. The originality in Pascal's point of view lies in this: from a consideration of human nature he shows that communion with the Christian God is necessary for a man to re-establish harmony within his being. Thus a rational connection is shown between man's nature and his spiritual life. This view we must keep, and adhere to the supreme idea that the one man in us infinitely overcomes the other man.
Pascal, however, went too far and turned religion to asceticism; we ought rather to try to unite nature with spirit by mingling with nature and men. Nature is not altogether corrupted; it has its good sides, and they are not all reserved for the future. As Emerson says, "The sun shines today also."
The dates and titles of the three remaining lectures are:
March 10.--Auguste Comte.
March 17.--L'essence de la religion.
March 24.--Le mouvement philosophique contemporain en France.
Lecture Before Philosophy 4.
M. Boutroux will deliver the second of his lectures in connection with Philosophy 4 in Emerson D this afternoon at 4.30. These lectures are now open to the public. Like the Hyde lectures, the whole series will be delivered in French.
The subject of this lecture will be "The Great Scientifical Laws"; it will deal with the main results of science as they concern the physical, biological, and mental worlds.