The World a Spiritual System: An Outline of Metaphysics

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Independently Published, 2 нояб. 2019 г. - Всего страниц: 330
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The closing paragraph of Rudolph Eucken's great work, "The Problem of Life," is an eloquent and timely plea for the study of Metaphysics."We feel", he says, "with increasing force the need to synthesize life afresh; the need of some unifying, sustaining system of ideas... We must have recourse to Metaphysics."It is certain that our intense and absorbing devotion each man to his own special, and mostly narrow, field has made us near-sighted. Or in the familiar figure "We cannot see the wood for the trees."We hear a good deal of the revival of interest in philosophy, but the evidence of such a revival is not abundant. The fruit of such revival as there may be is not very satisfactory. Much of it is unsatisfactory because it is so evidently partial and partisan; often a mere scrap of metaphysics dragged in to flavor a novel or sustain some scheme of sociology or therapeutics.Many of the most readable contributions to the discussion of philosophic subjects are the work of enthusiastic amateurs who take us on pleasant excursions, but keep near the shore and avoid the high seas of Metaphysics very carefully. Even the best of our philosophers seem to have lost heart and are ready to leave the high seas altogether and settle down in some snug harbor, like Pragmatism, for the rest of their days. Others drift over the line that separates philosophy from poetry, and cruise about in the pleasant waters of verse.Still the situation is not hopeless. Indeed it is the more hopeful because it is so unsatisfactory. The need of more serious, sane and patient study of Metaphysics has become obvious; and the world's need is ever the scholar's opportunity, therefore we hope for better things in the near future. The psychologist and physiologist and moralist and physicist are crying aloud for the metaphysician to put their work together -- to show the plans and specifications of the world. And we have not only hope, but some achievements to encourage us. Such men as James and Paulsen and Eucken are a great deal to have in one generation. And it is with joy as well as hope that wesee one of our sanest and boldest thinkers taking his pen in hand in this good cause.He gains our good will, first of all, by writing English that can be read with pleasure. We may not be able to agree with all he says; but we can at least parse it, and that is a good deal.His thinking is straight and consistent. It is not all easy reading of course--it requires more than large type to enable one to read Philosophy--but the reader who brings an earnest mind and fair intelligence to the reading will have no trouble and much pleasure.He has the courage of his convictions; does not evade the difficulties; does not select his ground, but comes out into the open and defends his positions fairly.He is devout and shows a fitting reverence for the sublime themes which he discusses. It may be only our taste, but we dislike the fellow who makes jokes about the solar system or is "smart" in his remarks on the universe....--"The Princeton Theological Review," Vol. 9

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