Philosophy of the Sciences

Philosophy of the Sciences

Philosophy of the Sciences

Philosophy of the Sciences

Excerpt

The field within which a subject may be chosen for a course of lectures on the Tarner foundation his been defined as "the philosophy of the sciences and the relations or want of relations between the different departments of knowledge". Within this large field there are, doubtless, questions as to the relation of one particular science or sphere of thought to some other, any single one of which might admit of discussion in sufficient detail to exhaust the half-dozen hours that lie at a lecturer's disposal. But rather than to deal with any such special problem I propose to take over the founder's formula, which I have quoted, in its comprehensiveness, as the title of the course which I have been invited to deliver. This will involve treatment of a wide subject with the brevity that courts the danger of superficiality or else of unintelligibility. I therefore hasten to add that I shall confine myself as far as possible to tracing but one among the several threads of connexion which might be followed, and that I shall attempt thus to relate only the broader divisions, and not the subdivisions, into which knowledge falls. The relation of our various knowledges --to revive an obsolete expression--in respect of their origination, their developement out of crude experience, and their exemplification, severally, of what knowledge consists in, may perhaps be profitably discussed without . . .

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