How I Arrived at This Conclusion: A Philosophical Memoir by Charles Renouvier
Charles Renouvier(1815-1903) is properly regarded as one of France's greatest philosophers of the nineteenth century and an important figure in the modern history of French politics and education.
Not only is this memoir, "Comment je suis arrive a cette" conclusion, the first work by Renouvier to be translated into English, but as Renouvier claimed for it, the first published philosophical memoir, tracing the development of a philosopher's mature philosophical position.
In critically distinguishing his views from from those of the major philosophers including those of Immanuel Kant, he has written a most useful ancillary text for the study of modern western philosophy. More, both as a philosopher and a man, Renouvier influenced the work of the American psychologist and philosopher, William James, who regarded him as a mentor. Among others influenced by Renouvier was the French sociologist, Emile Durkheim, the American philosopher, Charles Sanders Pierce, the German philosopher, Karl Marx, the French philosopher, Octave Hamlin, the French poet and novelist, Victor Hugo, and the French novelist and critic, Julien Benda.
The most recent attempts to replace philosophical as well as religious explanations of the origins and existence of the universe with purely scientific ones should heighten the interest in Renouvier's memoir. For, while he attempts a purely scientific explanation, he arrives at startlingly different conclusions.
Bernard J. Looks holds a Ph.D. in modern European History from Columbia University. He has published "Triumph Through Adversity," a memoir of the life and work of Martin S. Dworkin, a book of Dworkin's poetry, entitled, "Unfinished Ruins," and articles on education and film criticism."
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