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Lectures on the true, the beautiful and the good   By:

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LECTURES

ON

THE TRUE, THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE GOOD.

BY M. V. COUSIN.

INCREASED BY

An Appendix on French Art.

TRANSLATED, WITH THE APPROBATION OF M. COUSIN, BY

O. W. WIGHT,

TRANSLATOR OF COUSIN'S "COURSE OF THE HISTORY OF MODERN PHILOSOPHY," AMERICAN EDITOR OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF SIR WILLIAM HAMILTON, BART., AUTHOR OF "THE ROMANCE OF ABELARD AND HELOISE," ETC., ETC.

"God is the life of the soul, as the soul is the life of the body." THE PLATONISTS AND THE FATHERS.

NEW YORK: D. APPLETON AND COMPANY, 549 & 551 BROADWAY. 1872.

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1854,

BY D. APPLETON & CO.,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York.

TO

SIR WILLIAM HAMILTON, BART.,

Professor of Logic and Metaphysics in the University of Edinburgh:

WHO HAS CLEARLY ELUCIDATED, AND, WITH GREAT ERUDITION,

SKETCHED THE HISTORY OF THE DOCTRINE OF

COMMON SENSE;

WHO, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF HIS ILLUSTRIOUS COUNTRYMAN, REID

HAS ESTABLISHED THE DOCTRINE OF THE

IMMEDIATENESS OF PERCEPTION,

THEREBY FORTIFYING PHILOSOPHY AGAINST THE ASSAULTS OF SKEPTICISM;

WHO, TAKING A STEP IN ADVANCE OF ALL OTHERS,

HAS GIVEN TO THE WORLD A DOCTRINE OF THE

CONDITIONED,

THE ORIGINALITY AND IMPORTANCE OF WHICH ARE ACKNOWLEDGED BY THE

FEW QUALIFIED TO JUDGE IN SUCH MATTERS; WHOSE

NEW ANALYTIC OF LOGICAL FORMS

COMPLETES THE HITHERTO UNFINISHED WORKS OF ARISTOTLE;

THIS TRANSLATION OF M. COUSIN'S

Lectures on the True, the Beautiful, and the Good,

IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED,

IN ADMIRATION OF A PROFOUND AND INDEPENDENT THINKER,

OF AN INCOMPARABLE MASTER OF PHILOSOPHIC CRITICISM;

AS A TOKEN OF ESTEEM FOR A MAN IN WHOM GENIUS

AND ALMOST UNEQUALLED LEARNING

HAVE BEEN ADORNED BY

TRUTH, BEAUTY, AND GOODNESS OF LIFE.

AUTHOR'S PREFACE.

For some time past we have been asked, on various sides, to collect in a body of doctrine the theories scattered in our different works, and to sum up, in just proportions, what men are pleased to call our philosophy.

This résumé was wholly made. We had only to take again the lectures already quite old, but little known, because they belonged to a time when the courses of the Faculté des Lettres had scarcely any influence beyond the Quartier Latin, and, also, because they could be found only in a considerable collection, comprising all our first instruction, from 1815 to 1821.[1] These lectures were there, as it were, lost in the crowd. We have drawn them hence, and give them apart, severely corrected, in the hope that they will thus be accessible to a greater number of readers, and that their true character will the better appear.

The eighteen lectures that compose this volume have in fact the particular trait that, if the history of philosophy furnishes their frame work, philosophy itself occupies in them the first place, and that, instead of researches of erudition and criticism, they present a regular exposition of the doctrine which was at first fixed in our mind, which has not ceased to preside over our labors.

This book, then, contains the abridged but exact expression of our convictions on the fundamental points of philosophic science. In it will be openly seen the method that is the soul of our enterprise, our principles, our processes, our results.

Under these three heads, the True, the Beautiful, the Good, we embrace psychology, placed by us at the head of all philosophy, æsthetics, ethics, natural right, even public right to a certain extent, finally theodicea, that perilous rendez vous of all systems, where different principles are condemned or justified by their consequences... Continue reading book >>




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