Bockshammer on the Freedom of the Human Will

Bockshammer on the Freedom of the Human Will

Kaufman, A.

Andover: Gould & Newman, 1835.

199, [1] pages. Bound in publisher's binding. Paper spine label. Head of spine chipped. Hardcover. Library stamp.  Clean, unmarked pages.

"The Author of the present investigation has either no justifying reason to offer why his views on the Freedom of the human Will are here made known after so much has been thought and published by others, and why he may have chosen the most difficult of all problems of philosophy as the object of his first literary effort:--or if he have, that justification must be found in the work itself. Hence all further anxiety to justify the undertaking before the public in a preface, or any effort to excuse it, must necessarily be superfluous, or would be vain. It only remains then that the preface attempt to bring the reader to an understanding with respect to some of the more external circumstances of the writing. To him who at the very commencement may wish to come as quickly as possible to a clear knowledge of the book, it may, indeed, seem to be a deficiency, that it is not definitely announced at the beginning to what scientific system the author belongs. It is true that by making such a declaration the introductory survey might be rendered more easy and clear, there would be an anticipation of the results, and in general an immediate classification might be made. But this small inconvenience was unavoidable from the circumstance that the Author did not start out from any finished system either of another's or of his own; nor was it his design simply to set forth results previously determined upon, and to encompass them with proofs. His purpose was rather to search out results themselves and to deduce them from the investigation. Although not now philosophizing for the first time, yet the Author believed that as he had undertaken to consider the Freedom of the Will anew, it was obligatory upon him to preserve the freedom of investigation also as pure as might be. Philosophical Principles, however, from which one can proceed to conclusions, have always appeared to him to be something entirely different from prepared Forms into which the thoughts are to be moulded. Much rather are these principles productive, when, like germs, they are still enveloped, and from which, in proportion to the energy of their plastic power, the growth of scientific knowing may develope itself organically. In the present condition of science the thoughts and discoveries of earlier inquirers unquestionably belong to the elements and conditions of this developing process; and although the names of authors and the titles of books are not here quoted, yet whatever of others the present writing may have appropriated to itself, it does not for that reason deny, but would expressly acknowledge. The Author found it necessary to dwell more circumstantially upon Schelling's work on the Essence of human Freedom, inasmuch as a scientific examination of that object would of itself more than once lead to a consideration of the work named : and the more so, since it not only treats fully of freedom itself and the most important objects kindred with it, but also stands in the strictest connexion with the whole of a peculiar scientific system, whose influence upon the age cannot be misapprehended, and in reference to which to be ignorant, or to act as if ignorant, would, to say the least, not be compatible with a living interest in the present state of German Science"--Preface.

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