Idealism as a Philosophy

Idealism as a Philosophy

Idealism as a Philosophy

Idealism as a Philosophy

Excerpt

Both as a student at Oxford and, later, during more than twenty years of teaching experience, I have often felt the need of a book which, like a map, would help a beginner to thread his way through the tangled mazes of idealistic theory. Such a book I have here tried to write. Whether I have succeeded or failed, the reader must judge for himself.

I have aimed at presenting idealism in such a way that a student, whilst having much to add and amplify, should have little to unlearn. I have tried to lay foundations on which he can securely build, whatever direction his interest in idealism may take. I have tried, above all, to give him the right approach to the subject, to put into his hands the clues by the intelligent use of which he can unravel the rest for himself through first-hand study of the writings of the great idealists. Such study is, of course, essential, and this book is meant to be an introduction to, and not a substitute for, it. I want to open avenues, not to close them.

For this reason I have deliberately left many loose threads of arguments and touched on many problems without pursuing them to the end. My chief fear, to confess it frankly, was that I might imbue the reader with a false sense of finality and encourage him to think that this book tells him all he needs to know about idealism. I provide only the appetizer: he must get the dinner for himself.

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