New Lamps for Old: A Sequel to the Enchanted Glass

By Hardin Craig | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
ETERNAL IDEAS

The Socratic dialectic only set itself to gain the art of right thinking for the immediate use of individuals to purify their crude presentations into concepts: the practice of dialectic was therefore at the same time education; intellectual and moral activity coincided, as much for the work of the philosopher in itself as for its effect on others. The Platonic dialectic, on the other hand, was subservient to the formation of a system: it has therefore, as compared with the Socratic, larger outlines and a more fixed form.-- Jowett, Dialogues of Plato.

PERHAPS IT would be agreed that intelligent and sincere observation is a starting-point; indeed, it would be conceded that for us and our subject, however it may be with scientists, experience is the basis of comprehension. This becomes a special and individual act since the stupid man or woman sees only what he or she is told to look for; sees nothing or little for itself until something like interest or purpose or concern enters and brings with it an emotional element. This drive becomes part of thought itself.

One need not, however, speak so generally. The record of what has been thought and felt and done we call literature. It has, or may have, a value not only as a record of the wisdom of the ages but as a pattern of action. It takes on, as a construction of symbolization, inevitably, although in varying degrees of adequacy, a

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New Lamps for Old: A Sequel to the Enchanted Glass
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Chapter I - An Open World 1
  • Chapter II - Enclosed Areas 26
  • Chapter III - Eternal Ideas 47
  • Chapter IV - Partial Truth 65
  • Chapter VI - Freedom 119
  • Chapter VII - The History of Avoidance 140
  • Chapter VIII - Scholarship and Criticism 166
  • Chapter IX - Renaissance 1 185
  • Chapter X - Renaissance 2 208
  • Bibliographical Notes 227
  • Index 239
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