The Human Enterprise: An Attempt to Relate Philosophy to Daily Life

The Human Enterprise: An Attempt to Relate Philosophy to Daily Life

The Human Enterprise: An Attempt to Relate Philosophy to Daily Life

The Human Enterprise: An Attempt to Relate Philosophy to Daily Life

Excerpt

One who writes on philosophy is supposed to speak with peculiar finality. Plato set the fashion and his successors followed it. Even William James deemed it the prime philosophic problem to lay hold of "the first whence and the last whither of the whole cosmic procession."

This makes the situation awkward for the author of this book. To comprehend all things in their totality, or to dig through appearances to the ultimate nature of being, is magic beyond his powers. The reader must therefore expect something different from universal and absolute truth. Should he be tempted to conclude that this leaves no reason to philosophize at all, the answer may be made that the search for all-inclusiveness is the vice, not the virtue, of philosophy. The spirit of philosophy is the quest for depth and richness of meaning, for wisdom of life, a quest that is endless; abstract formulas, closed systems, pronouncements on ultimates, these are the letter of philosophy.

The intent of this remark is constructive. It is not made in disparagement of philosophy. Too often, however, the claims of philosophy are overstated by philosophers, and philosophic achievements are overrated by the interested . . .

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