The aim of this translation is the same as that of the original work. Each is the outcome of experience in university instruction in philosophy, and is intended to furnish a manual which shall be at once scientific and popular, one to stand midway between the exhaustive expositions of the larger histories and the meager sketches of the compendiums. A pupil of Kuno Fischer, Fortlage, J.E. Erdmann, Lotze, and Eucken among others, Professor Falckenberg began his career as Docent in the university of Jena. In the year following the first edition of this work he became Extraordinarius in the same university, and in 1888Ordinarius at Erlangen, choosing the latter call in preference to an invitation to Dorpat as successor to Teichmueller. The chair at Erlangen he still holds. His work as teacher and author has been chiefly in the history of modern philosophy. Besides the present work and numerous minor articles, he has published the following: Ueber den intelligiblen Charakter, zur Kritik der Kantischen Freiheitslehre 1879;Grundzuege der Philosophie des Nicolaus Cusanus, 1880-81; and Ueber die gegenwaertige Lage der deutschen Philosophie, 1890 (inaugural address at Erlangen). Since 1884-5 Professor Falckenberg has also been an editor of the Zeitschrift fuer Philosophie und philosophische Kritik, until 1888 in association with Krohn, and after the latter's death, alone. At present he has in hand a treatise on Lotze for a German series analogous to Blackwood's Philosophical Classics, which is to be issued under his direction. Professor Falckenberg's general philosophical position may be described as that of moderate idealism. His historical method is strictly objective, the aim being a free reproduction of the systems discussed, as far as possible in their original terminology and historical connection, and without the intrusion of personal criticism.
The translation has been made from the second German edition (1892), with still later additions and corrections communicated by the author in manuscript. The translator has followed the original faithfully but not slavishly. He has not felt free to modify Professor Falckenberg's expositions, even in the rare cases where his own opinions would have led him to dissent, but minor changes have been made wherever needed to fit the book for the use of English-speaking students. Thus a few alterations have been made in dates and titles, chiefly under the English systems and from the latest authorities; and a few notes added in elucidation of portions of the text. Thus again the balance of the bibliography has been somewhat changed, including transfers from text to notes and vice versa and a few omissions, besides the introduction of a number of titles from our English philosophical literature chosen on the plan referred to in the preface to the first German edition. The glossary of terms foreign to the German reader has been replaced by a revision and expansion of the index, with the analyses of the glossary as a basis. Wherever possible, and this has been true in all important cases, the changes have been indicated by the usual signs.
The translator has further rewritten Chapter XV., Section 3, on recent British and American Philosophy. In this so much of the author's (historical) standpoint and treatment as proved compatible with the aim of a manual in English has been retained, but the section as a whole has been rearranged and much enlarged.
The labor of translation has been lightened by the example of previous writers, especially of the translators of the standard treatises of Ueberweg and Erdmann. The thanks of the translator are also due to several friends who have kindly aided him by advice or assistance: in particular to his friend and former pupil, Mr. C.M. Child, M.S., who participated in the preparation of a portion of the translation; and above all to Professor Falckenberg himself, who, by his willing sanction of the work and his co-operation throughout its progress, has given a striking example of scholarly courtesy.
Wesleyan University, June, 1893.
PREFACE TO THE FIRST GERMAN EDITION.
Since the appearance of Eduard Zeller's Grundriss der Geschichte der griechischen Philosophie (1883; 3d ed. 1889) the need has become even more apparent than before for a presentation of the history of modern philosophy which should be correspondingly compact and correspondingly available for purposes of instruction. It would have been an ambitious undertaking to attempt to supply a counterpart to the compendium of this honored scholar, with its clear and simple summation of the results of his much admired five volumes on Greek philosophy; and it has been only in regard to practical utility and careful consideration of the needs of students—concerning which we have enjoyed opportunity for gaining accurate information in the review exercises regularly held in this university—that we have ventured to hope that we might not fall too far short of his example.
The predominantly practical aim of this History—it is intended to serve as an aid in introductory work, in reviewing, and as a substitute for dictations in academical lectures, as well as to be a guide for the wider circle of cultivated readers—has enjoined self-restraint in the development of personal views and the limitation of critical reflections in favor of objective presentation. It is only now and then that critical hints have been given. In the discussion of phenomena of minor importance it has been impossible to avoid the oratio obliqua of exposition; but, wherever practicable, we have let the philosophers themselves develop their doctrines and reasons, not so much by literal quotations from their works, as by free, condensed reproductions of their leading ideas. If the principiant view of the forces which control the history of philosophy, and of the progress of modern philosophy, expressed in the Introduction and in the Retrospect at the end of the book, have not been everywhere verified in detail from the historical facts, this is due in part to the limits, in part to the pedagogical aim, of the work. Thus, in particular, more space has for pedagogical reasons been devoted to the “psychological" explanation of systems, as being more popular, than in our opinion its intrinsic importance would entitle it to demand. To satisfy every one in the choice of subjects and in the extent of the discussion is impossible; but our hope is that those who would have preferred a guide of this sort to be entirely different will not prove too numerous. In the classification of movements and schools, and in the arrangement of the contents of the various systems, it has not been our aim to deviate at all hazards from previous accounts; and as little to leave unutilized the benefits accruing to later comers from the distinguished achievements of earlier workers in the field. In particular we acknowledge with gratitude the assistance derived from the renewed study of the works on the subject by Kuno Fischer, J.E. Erdmann, Zeller, Windelband, Ueberweg-Heinze, Harms, Lange, Vorlander, and Puenjer.
The motive which induced us to take up the present work was the perception that there was lacking a text-book in the history of modern philosophy, which, more comprehensive, thorough, and precise than the sketches of Schwegler and his successors, should stand between the fine but detailed exposition of Windelband, and the substantial but—because of the division of the text into paragraphs and notes and the interpolation of pages of bibliographical references—rather dry outline of Ueberweg. While the former refrains from all references to the literature of the subject and the latter includes far too many, at least for purposes of instruction, and J.B. Meyer's Leitfaden (1882) is in general confined to biographical and bibliographical notices; we have mentioned, in the text or the notes and with the greatest possible regard for the progress of the exposition, both the chief works of the philosophers themselves and some of the treatises concerning them. The principles which have guided us in these selections—to include only the more valuable works and those best adapted for students' reading, and further to refer as far as possible to the most recent works—will hardly be in danger of criticism. But we shall not dispute the probability that many a book worthy of mention may have been overlooked.
The explanation of a number of philosophical terms, which has been added as an appendix at the suggestion of the publishers, deals almost entirely with foreign expressions and gives the preference to the designations of fundamental movements. It is arranged, as far as possible, so that it may be used as a subject-index.
JENA, December 23, 1885.
PREFACE TO THE SECOND GERMAN EDITION.
The majority of the alterations and additions in this new edition are in the first chapter and the last two; no departure from the general character of the exposition has seemed to me necessary. I desire to return my sincere thanks for the suggestions which have come to me alike from public critiques and private communications. In some cases contradictory requests have conflicted—thus, on the one hand, I have been urged to expand, on the other, to cut down the sections on German idealism, especially those on Hegel—and here I confess my inability to meet both demands. Among the reviews, that by B. Erdmann in the first volume of the Archiv fuer Geschichte der Philosophie, and, among the suggestions made by letter, those of H. Heussler, have been of especial value. Since others commonly see defects more clearly than one's self, it will be very welcome if I can have my desire continually to make this History more useful supported by farther suggestions from the circle of its readers. In case it continues to enjoy the favor of teachers and students, these will receive conscientious consideration.
For the sake of those who may complain of too much matter, I may remark that the difficulty can easily be avoided by passing over Chapters I., V. (Sec.Sec. 1-3), VI., VIII., XII., XV., and XVI.
Professor A.C. Armstrong, Jr., is preparing an English translation. My earnest thanks are due to Mr. Karl Niemann of Charlottenburg for his kind participation in the labor of proof-reading.
ERLANGEN, June 11, 1892.
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