This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1922 edition. Excerpt: ... The Doctrines of the Philosophers THE founders of this lectureship desire to help carry forward the eternal quest of mankind for ...Read MoreThis historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1922 edition. Excerpt: ... The Doctrines of the Philosophers THE founders of this lectureship desire to help carry forward the eternal quest of mankind for ways and means with which to control its social destiny for noble ends. Some of the most splendid traditions of the race are associated with this search. The mystic Plato, the sagacious Aristotle, the gentle Sir Thomas More, and the courageous Condorcet, to mention none nearer our time, sought far and wide for the key to the great mystery. The fruits of their labors are a priceless heritage. The imperious Burke likewise thought the theme worthy of his talents, but he soon gave it up, confessing defeat. "I doubt," he says, "whether the history of mankind is yet complete enough, if it ever can be so, to furnish ground for a sure theory on the internal causes which necessarily affect the fortune of a state. I am far from denying the operation of such causes: but they are infinitely uncertain, and much more obscure and much more difficult to trace than the foreign causes that tend to raise, to depress, and sometimes to overwhelm a community. It is often impossible, in these political inquiries, to find any proportion between the apparent force of any moral causes we may assign and their known operation. We are therefore obliged to deliver up that operation to mere chance, or, more piously (perhaps, more rationally), to the occasional interposition and irresistible hand of the Great Disposer." In short, confronted by the complex and bewildering facts of social life, Burke cries aloud, with the mediaeval priest overwhelmed by the horror of the Black Death, "Deus vult." In the field of natural science, such a confession is a plea of intellectual bankruptcy. In that sphere persistent and penetrating research, relentless and...Read Less
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