Doctor Johnson: A Study in Eighteenth Century Humanism

Doctor Johnson: A Study in Eighteenth Century Humanism

Doctor Johnson: A Study in Eighteenth Century Humanism

Doctor Johnson: A Study in Eighteenth Century Humanism

Excerpt

Doctor Johnson is not, perhaps, precisely the type of humanist so much needed in our present welter of opinions; but his personality is so impressive, his general ideas upon life are so sound, and his thoroughgoing common sense so refreshing, that an adequate study of his intellectual life may well become of very real value to many who are groping for permanent standards by which they may weigh the shifting sands of opinion. Humanism, the doctrine and the discipline which had its rise in the revival of classical scholarship in the Renaissance and took form in the following generations, is the truest and sanest force opposing the vagaries of our undisciplined democracy. A discussion of Johnson's position in this long tradition of conservative forces should illuminate many things concerned with our trying problems to-day.

It is the author's pleasure to acknowledge his indebtedness to certain men whose share in this work has not been inconsiderable. Professor George L. Kittredge of Harvard University habitually puts in his debt any student who comes in contact with him. Professor, now President, William A. Neilson had a chief formative influence upon the composition of this book. Professor Irving Babbitt was unusually generous in giving aid, both in the classroom and outside, to a . . .

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