Metaphysics: A Study in First Principles

Metaphysics: A Study in First Principles

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Metaphysics: A Study in First Principles

Metaphysics: A Study in First Principles

Read FREE!

Excerpt

That works on metaphysics are always useless, and generally absurd, is the profound conviction of many. This conviction, indeed, has seldom been reached by reflection, but is the outcome of echo, hearsay, and party-tradition. Such creeds are always of the strongest; for, not being founded upon argument, argument cannot shake them. Fashion, or rather that somewhat variable and multiform sprite, the spirit of the times, determines both their coming and their going. Hence, holders of the creed mentioned generally cherish a profound scorn for metaphysical writers, which scorn is, not infrequently, met with an equal and opposite contempt. Metaphysicians are apt to think, with Schelling, that philosophy is not everybody's affair; and if others find their writings useless or superfluous, they reply, with Fichte, that such persons do not belong to those for whom they wrote. But neither scorn nor contempt proves anything which it is important to have established. In the last resort, the decision concerning the true and the false must depend, not on sneers and supercilious assumption, nor even on the spirit of the times, be that sprite one or many, but on plain fact and logic.

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