The History of European Philosophy: An Introductory Book

The History of European Philosophy: An Introductory Book

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The History of European Philosophy: An Introductory Book

The History of European Philosophy: An Introductory Book

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The purpose I have had in mind to fulfill in writing this book has been solely pedagogical. I have not endeavored to add anything whatever to our knowledge of the history of philosophy, and if by chance I have anywhere offered new points of view, this has been quite subordinate to my main purpose. On the contrary, I have in several chapters deliberately depended upon one selected secondary source and in a few chapters I have ventured even to quote my secondary authority at length. (I have indicated this indebtedness wherever I have thought it of any importance to the reader to do so.)

Two pedagogical considerations have determined the character of the book. First, my experience is, that the traditional and conventional text-book on the history of philosophy, however excellent and scholarly, is not well adapted to the needs of undergraduate students. Such a book is an epitome of the doctrines of the great philosophical thinkers, and is both unintelligible to the beginner and too detailed to be learned and remembered by him. It attempts to make the student acquainted with the difficult and detailed doctrines and reasonings of the philosophers when only a long and careful study of their writings can really bring this about. Moreover, it fails by not relating the information it gives to the other historical information prerequisite to the study of the history of philosophy, and thus it forms, if learned, a sort of logictight compartment with no openings into the fields of psychology and anthropology, of general political, social and economic history, and of the history of literature . . .

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