A History of Philosophical Systems

A History of Philosophical Systems

A History of Philosophical Systems

A History of Philosophical Systems

Excerpt

There are already many excellent texts in the history of philosophy. In justification of another volume, it may be pointed out that this one has been planned on different lines: a cooperative work by many minds and with an emphasis upon periods of thought and upon broad characterizations of schools or systems.

Those who have joined in this venture are especially qualified in the particular field or subject upon which they have written. Invited to participate by reason of the special study each has given to his subject in which he has already gained reputation among professional philosophers or by reason of courses he is now giving in the particular subject in college, university or graduate-school, each author gives to his article the weight of mature thought and authority. It is becoming increasingly clear that no one historian can be expected to deal with the whole range of philosophic thought in full competence where the specialization of scholarship is bringing to light fresh data and interpretations and in view of the many ramifications of the complicated subject-matter. Philosophers like all research-specialists turn to definite areas for study and a history of so vast a field must take into consideration the results of this scholarship. A cooperative volume thus justifies itself.

By "systems" is here meant not necessarily those types of thought which may be characterized as "symphonic." If so, many philosophies would necessarily have to be omitted. Rather, by "systems" is here meant the general trend or course of thought of a particular time, school or group of thinkers. While references, of course, are made to classical and less-well-known names of the philosophical hierarchy with attention paid to their individual thought, the main purpose of the volume is to direct attention not to the thinkers as such but to the main patterns of thought represented by them and their school. Questions of detailed analysis and technical points of dispute have been passed by in the interest of an over-all exposition of the various currents of thought. Each writer has had in mind . . .

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