Introduction to Philosophy: An Inquiry After a Rational System of Scientific Principles in Their Relation to Ultimate Reality

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C. Scribner's Sons, 1891 - Philosophy - 426 pages
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"Though this book is called an "Introduction," no special pains have been taken to simplify or popularize its treatment. For those accustomed to think in the lines it follows, its views will, I hope, always be found clearly and candidly expressed. It is not to be expected that these views will all find acceptance with those most competent to judge. For beginners in philosophy some expressions will doubtless seem obscure, or hard to be understood. But, then, reflection is the indispensable method of philosophy; and he who does not learn to reflect over the meanings which the words employed in philosophical writings bear, cannot hope to make progress in philosophical study. For if, when entering upon this study, the plain and thoughtful man needs no special equipment besides his own powers of reflection, the keenest and most showily educated mind cannot dispense with reflection. Finally, the expert readers--if such the book should find--will not be long in discovering that the so-called "Introduction" is by no means a perfectly colorless affair. Doubtless a system of philosophy (or at least the sketch and protocol of such a system) lies concealed in these pages. If the subject were urged to the point of a confession, it would appear that the author has views of his own to which he wishes to introduce his readers. These views are to a certain large extent positive as well as critical. The attempt has been made, however, to prevent their expression in a form unreasonably and offensively dogmatic. Whether they are sound and defensible, each reader must, on due consideration, judge for himself. But a "system of philosophy" has only been suggested and sketched. The expansion and more detailed discussion of its separate departments by the same hand must abide their time"--Preface. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved).

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Page 320 - Whatever power such a being may have over me, there is one thing which he shall not do : he shall not compel me to worship him. I will call no being good, who is not what I mean when I apply that epithet to my fellowcreatures ; and if such a being can sentence me to hell for not so calling him, to hell I will go.
Page 85 - This therefore being my purpose, to inquire into the original, certainty, and extent of human knowledge, together with the grounds and degrees of belief, opinion, and assent...
Page 178 - I had therefore to remove knowledge, in order to make room for belief. For the dogmatism of metaphysic, that is, the presumption that it is possible to achieve anything in metaphysic without a previous criticism of pure reason, is the source of all that unbelief, which is always very dogmatical, and wars against all morality.
Page 396 - What sort of philosophy one chooses depends, therefore, on what sort of man one is; for a philosophical system is not a dead piece of furniture that we can reject or accept as we wish; it is rather a thing animated by the soul of the person who holds it.

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