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Initiation into Philosophy   By: (1847-1916)

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INITIATION INTO PHILOSOPHY

by Émile Faguet of the French Academy

Author of "The Cult Of Incompetence," "Initiation Into Literature," etc.

Translated from the French by Sir Homer Gordon, Bart.

1914

PREFACE

This volume, as indicated by the title, is designed to show the way to the beginner, to satisfy and more especially to excite his initial curiosity. It affords an adequate idea of the march of facts and of ideas. The reader is led, somewhat rapidly, from the remote origins to the most recent efforts of the human mind.

It should be a convenient repertory to which the mind may revert in order to see broadly the general opinion of an epoch and what connected it with those that followed or preceded it. It aims above all at being a frame in which can conveniently be inscribed, in the course of further studies, new conceptions more detailed and more thoroughly examined.

It will have fulfilled its design should it incite to research and meditation, and if it prepares for them correctly.

E. FAGUET.

CONTENTS

PART I ANTIQUITY

CHAPTER I BEFORE SOCRATES

Philosophical Interpreters of the Universe, of the Creation and Constitution of the World.

CHAPTER II THE SOPHISTS

Logicians and Professors of Logic, and of the Analysis of Ideas, and of Discussion.

CHAPTER III SOCRATES

Philosophy Entirely Reduced to Morality, and Morality Considered as the End of all Intellectual Activity.

CHAPTER IV PLATO

Plato, like Socrates, is Pre eminently a Moralist, but he Reverts to General Consideration of the Universe, and Deals with Politics and Legislation.

CHAPTER V ARISTOTLE

A Man of Encyclopaedic Learning; as Philosopher, more especially Moralist and Logician.

CHAPTER VI VARIOUS SCHOOLS

The Development in Various Schools of the General Ideas of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.

CHAPTER VII EPICUREANISM

Epicureanism Believes that the Duty of Man is to seek Happiness, and that Happiness Consists in Wisdom.

CHAPTER VIII STOICISM

The Passions are Diseases which can and must be Extirpated.

CHAPTER IX ECLECTICS AND SCEPTICS

Philosophers who Wished to Belong to No School. Philosophers who Decried All Schools and All Doctrines.

CHAPTER X NEOPLATONISM

Reversion to Metaphysics. Imaginative Metaphysicians after the Manner of Plato, but in Excess.

CHAPTER XI CHRISTIANITY

Philosophic Ideas which Christianity Welcomed, Adopted, or Created; How it must Give a Fresh Aspect to All Philosophy, even that Foreign to Itself.

PART II IN THE MIDDLE AGES

CHAPTER I FROM THE FIFTH CENTURY TO THE THIRTEENTH

Philosophy is only an Interpreter of Dogma. When it is Declared Contrary to Dogma by the Authority of Religion, it is a Heresy. Orthodox and Heterodox Interpretations. Some Independent Philosophers.

CHAPTER II THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY

Influence of Aristotle. His Adoption by the Church. Religious Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas.

CHAPTER III THE FOURTEENTH AND FIFTEENTH CENTURIES

Decadence of Scholasticism. Forebodings of the Coming Era. Great Moralists. The Kabbala. Sorcery.

CHAPTER IV THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY

It Is Fairly Accurate to Consider that from the Point of View of Philosophy, the Middle Ages Lasted until Descartes. Free thinkers More or Less Disguised. Partisans of Reason Apart from Faith, of Observation, and of Experiment.

PART III MODERN TIMES

CHAPTER I THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY

Descartes. Cartesianism.

CHAPTER II CARTESIANS

All the Seventeenth Century was under the Influence of Descartes. Port Royal, Bossuet, Fénelon, Malebranche, Spinoza, Leibnitz.

CHAPTER III THE ENGLISH PHILOSOPHERS OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.

Locke: His Ideas on Human Liberty, Morality, General Politics, and Religious Politics.

CHAPTER IV THE ENGLISH PHILOSOPHERS OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY

Berkeley: A Highly Idealist Philosophy which Regarded Matter as Non existent... Continue reading book >>




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