The Nineteenth Century [Routledge History of Philosophy, V. 7]

By C. L. Ten | Go to book overview

General editors’ preface

The history of philosophy, as its name implies, represents a union of two very different disciplines, each of which imposes severe constraints upon the other. As an exercise in the history of ideas, it demands that one acquire a ‘period eye’: a thorough understanding of how the thinkers whom it studies viewed the problems which they sought to resolve, the conceptual frameworks in which they addressed these issues, their assumptions and objectives, their blind spots and miscues. But as an exercise in philosophy, we are engaged in much more than simply a descriptive task. There is a crucial critical aspect to our efforts: we are looking for the cogency as much as the development of an argument, for its bearing on questions which continue to preoccupy us as much as the impact which it may have had on the evolution of philosophical thought.

The history of philosophy thus requires a delicate balancing act from its practitioners. We read these writings with the full benefit of historical hindsight. We can see why the minor contributions remained minor and where the grand systems broke down: sometimes as a result of internal pressures, sometimes because of a failure to overcome an insuperable obstacle, sometimes because of a dramatic technological or sociological change, and, quite often, because of nothing more than a shift in intellectual fashion or interests. Yet, because of our continuing philosophical concern with many of the same problems, we cannot afford to look dispassionately at these works. We want to know what lessons are to be learned from the inconsequential or the glorious failures; many times we want to plead for a contemporary relevance in the overlooked theory or to consider whether the ‘glorious failure’ was indeed such or simply ahead of its time: perhaps even ahead of its author.

We find ourselves, therefore, much like the mythical ‘radical translator’ who has so fascinated modern philosophers, trying to understand an author’s ideas in their and their culture’s eyes, and, at the same time, in our own. It can be a formidable task. Many times we fail in the

-vii-

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The Nineteenth Century [Routledge History of Philosophy, V. 7]
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • General Editors' Preface vii
  • Acknowledgements x
  • Chronology xiv
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - The Early Utilitarians 5
  • Chapter 2 - Whewell's Philosophy of Science and Ethics 32
  • Chapter 3 - J. S. Mill 62
  • Bibliography 96
  • Chapter 4 - J. S. Mill 98
  • Chapter 5 - Sidgwick 122
  • Chapter 6 - Comte and Positivism 148
  • Bibliography 174
  • Chapter 7 - Nietzsche 177
  • Chapter 8 - Dilthey 206
  • Bibliography 235
  • Chapter 9 - Logic and the Philosophy of Mathematics in the Nineteenth Century 242
  • Chapter 10 - Philosophy of Biology in the Nineteenth Century 272
  • Bibliography 296
  • Chapter 11 - The Separation of Psychology from Philosophy 297
  • Chapter 12 - American Pragmatism 357
  • Chapter 13 - American Pragmatism 381
  • Bibliography 405
  • Chapter 14 - Green, Bosanquet and the Philosophy of Coherence 408
  • Bibliography 434
  • Chapter 15 - Bradley 437
  • Bibliography 458
  • Glossary 459
  • Index 461
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