It was not at all clear at the time that his work would transcend the ages.
For Jacobi understanding, or the logical faculty, is purely formal or elaborative, and its results never transcend the given material supplied to it.
In short, if the difficulty be put in its ultimate form, no existence thought as a distinct individual can transcend itself, or imply relation to any other existence.
Such are modes of quantity in space, and time and number, under which Locke reports that we find ourselves mentally impelled towards immensity, eternity and the innumerable - in a word, towards Infinity which seems to transcend quantity; then there is the complex thought of Substance, to which we find ourselves mysteriously impelled, when the simple phenomena of the senses come to be regarded as qualities of " something "; again there is the obscure idea of the identity of persons, notwithstanding their constant changes of state; and there is, above all, the inevitable tendency we somehow have to refund a change into what we call its " Cause," with the associated idea of active power.
Such a position is a reductio ad absurdum of the attempt to transcend the ultimate character of those intuitions and feelings which prompt men to benevolence.