American Philosophic Addresses, 1700-1900

American Philosophic Addresses, 1700-1900

American Philosophic Addresses, 1700-1900

American Philosophic Addresses, 1700-1900

Excerpt

The chief purpose of the editor of this collection of addresses is to provide materials for students of the history of American thought. Herbert W. Schneider History of American Philosophy is another, closely connected aspect of the same enterprise. Experience in teaching this subject has shown that it is essential to provide both a historical account of the career of ideas in America and examples of the elaboration of these ideas in works of literary value. The History of American Philosophy is designed to meet the first of these needs; American Philosophic Addresses, 1700-1900, to meet the second.

After considering the various types of material which might be used for the second purpose, the editor decided to use these addresses, because: (1) each is an outstanding example of a literary form much cultivated in America; (2) each is a carefully prepared and clearly expressed formulation of a characteristic philosophic position; (3) together they give impressive evidence of the degree to which American thinking for particular occasions in the major areas which the addresses span was universalized by general considerations and led to philosophical formulation. A further consideration was that each address could be presented in full as a finished composition and an adequate development of a theme.

In the introductions to the addresses an attempt has been made to place each speech in its historical context, to define its relation to the total thought of its author, and to indicate its salient points. Additional data on the first topic can be found in the History of American Philosophy.

In general the texts of the addresses have been reproduced as they were found, with their many inconsistencies of typography and spelling unchanged. Obvious typographical errors have been corrected, and in a few cases forms of spelling and punctuation which would hamper the modern reader have been altered to conform to presentday usage. Except where indicated, all footnotes to the texts are those of the authors. In a few cases, a complimentary closing bearing no . . .

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