Handbook of the History of Philosophy

Cover of book Handbook of the History of Philosophy
Categories: Nonfiction

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nsistent logically, bad he put chronology entirely to the ront. Hesigning this pretension, then, we must content ourselves if, in reproducing to thought the course which reflection has taken as a whole, there exhibit itself, on the main historical stations, a rational progress, and if the historian of philosophy, surveying the serial development, find really in it a philosophical acquisition, the acquisition of a new idea ; but we shall be cautious of applying to each transition and the whole detail the postulate of immanent law and logical nexus. History marches often in serpentine lines, often apparently in retreat . Philosophy, especially, has not unfrequently resigned some wide and fruitful territory, in order to turn back on some narrow strip of land, if only all the more to turn this latter to account. Sometimes thousands of years hare expended themselves in vain attempts, and brought to light only a negative result. Sometimes a profusion of philosophical ideas is compressed into -the space of a single generation. Here reign no unalterable, regularly recurrent laws of nature ; history, as the domain of free-will, will only in the last of days reveal itself as a work of reason. n.?Division of the Subject. ON this a few words may suffice. Where and when does philosophy begin ? After what has been said, manifestly there where an ultimate principle, an ultimate ground of existence, is first philosophically sought. Consequently with the philosophy of the Greeks. The Oriental (Chinese and Indian) so-called philosophy (rather theology or mythology), and the mythical cosmogonies of Greece itself at first, fall thus outside of our (more limited) undertaking. With us, as with Aristotle, the history of philosophy begins with Thales. For similar reasons we exclud...

Handbook of the History of Philosophy
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