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PREFACE No excuse is needed for presenting to the English reader a History of Mediæval Jewish Philosophy. The English language, poor enough in books on Jewish history and literature, can boast of scarcely anything at all in the domain of Jewish Philosophy. The Jewish Encyclopedia has no article on Jewish Philosophy, and neither has the eleventh edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Hastings' Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics will have... more...

READER. Meeting by chance with this ingenuous offer, I thought it might not be improper since I found it in another dresse, to make it speak another Language too, which among the most creditable of Europe, hath not desisted from its claim to Antiquity: There are very few Nations but have, at sometime or other, laid in their pretences to a supremacy for their Language, and have boasted an assistance from unsuspected reason and Authority: But... more...

THE SCHOOL OF MILETUS The question of Thales—Water the beginning of things—Soul in all things—Mystery in science—Abstraction and reality—Theory of development I. THALES.—For several centuries prior to the great Persian invasions of Greece, perhaps the very greatest and wealthiest city of the Greek world was Miletus. Situate about the centre of the Ionian coasts of Asia Minor, with four magnificent harbours... more...

INTRODUCTION. The special subject of the greater part of the letters and essays of Schiller contained in this volume is Aesthetics; and before passing to any remarks on his treatment of the subject it will be useful to offer a few observations on the nature of this topic, and on its treatment by the philosophical spirit of different ages. First, then, aesthetics has for its object the vast realm of the beautiful, and it may be most adequately... more...

INTRODUCTION Since the early nineteenth century it has been known that Frances Reynolds, the sister of Sir Joshua, was the author of an essay on taste, which she had printed but did not publish. Yet persistent search failed to turn up a single copy. It remained one of those lost pieces which every research scholar hoped someday to discover. In 1935 it appeared that the search was over. Among some manuscripts of Mrs. Thrale-Piozzi, long hidden... more...


It may seem wonderful that language, which is the only method of conveying our conceptions, should, at the same time, be an hindrance to our advancement in philosophy; but the wonder ceases when we consider, that it is seldom studied as the vehicle of truth, but is too frequently esteemed for its own sake, independent of its connection with things. This observation is remarkably verified in the Greek language; which, as it is the only repository... more...

I. INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER I THE MEANING OF THE WORD "PHILOSOPHY" IN THE PAST AND IN THE PRESENT I must warn the reader at the outset that the title of this chapter seems to promise a great deal more than he will find carried out in the chapter itself. To tell all that philosophy has meant in the past, and all that it means to various classes of men in the present, would be a task of no small magnitude, and one quite beyond the scope of such a... more...

CHAPTER I A. INTRODUCTION The Protestant Reformation marked an era both in life and thought for the modern world. It ushered in a revolution in Europe. It established distinctions and initiated tendencies which are still significant. These distinctions have been significant not for Europe alone. They have had influence also upon those continents which since the Reformation have come under the dominion of Europeans. Yet few would now regard the... more...

PREFACE SUPPOSING that Truth is a woman—what then? Is there not ground for suspecting that all philosophers, in so far as they have been dogmatists, have failed to understand women—that the terrible seriousness and clumsy importunity with which they have usually paid their addresses to Truth, have been unskilled and unseemly methods for winning a woman? Certainly she has never allowed herself to be won; and at present every kind of... more...

CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION. "Grau, theurer Freund, ist alle Theorie, Und grün des Lebens goldner Baum." (Faust.) There is a saying of Hegel's, frequently quoted, that "a great man condemns the world to the task of explaining him." The condemnation is a double one, and it generally falls heaviest on the great man himself, who has to submit to explanation; and, probably, the last refinement of this species of cruelty is to expound a poet. I... more...