The Principles and Problems of Philosophy

The Principles and Problems of Philosophy

The Principles and Problems of Philosophy

The Principles and Problems of Philosophy

Excerpt

Insight into situations and relations, rather than mere information, is the heart of philosophy. It follows that a good introduction to the subject must possess an inner momentum sufficient to carry the student from stage to stage of his intellectual and spiritual adventure. This quality is one that cannot be achieved by the mere cataloging of past positions.

Add to this need for vitality the difficulty due to the actual divergence in philosophical views, and it is not surprising that nearly all teachers of philosophy assert that a satisfactory introduction is still to seek. I do not wish to make exaggerated claims for the present work, but I have assuredly tried to make it a step in the right direction.

The Principles and Problems of Philosophy is partly a revision, partly a supplementation, of my earlier work, The Essentials of Philosophy. It still retains, I hope, the good features of that work while avoiding its shortcomings. It is my belief that the student who goes through the argument will at least have a feel for philosophy, that is, will have a sense for its problems, methods and aims. And this is by no means an unimportant attainment.

I would recommend that this introductory course be accompanied, or followed, by a semester's work in logic. A year's work in the history of philosophy, in addition, should give an excellent foundation.

In writing the present book, I have been guided by three principles: (1) It should not be superficial, (2) it should bring into relief problems and distinctions even to the point of technicality, and (3) it should follow the path of my . . .

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