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Some problems of philosophy PDF book by Archibald Alexander (1886)

Some problems of philosophy PDF book by Archibald Alexander (1886)

Some problems of philosophy


To enumerate all of the difficulties of Philosophy which have thus far not been wholly removed would be to give a synopsis of a philosophical system. It is possible, however, to classify the problems and the difficulties which lie in the way of those who study Philosophy, and the recognition of obstacles is usually the first step toward their removal. The most apparent difficulties of philosophical investigation are what may be called popular difficulties. They are seldom real.

They are usually fictitious, created by ignorant or superficial persons.
They are intended to excite prejudice against philosophical science by emphasizing its inutility, its absurdity, sometimes its mischievous character. Those who raise these difficulties ordinarily talk about " Metaphysics " as if it were all of Philosophy. Some of them imagine that each man has his own system, which is as good as the system of any other man.


They will expound their views about the idleness of " metaphysical study " as lightly as they will tell an after-dinner story. It is not uncommon to hear them scoff at the study of Logic, and in this is often to be found an explanation of their position. It is not worthwhile for me to criticize such views. A man who has not learned the alphabet is usually deficient in a knowledge of grammar. A surgeon who does not know anatomy is not likely to inspire confidence. The philosophical dilettante who plunges into the solution of problems of great importance without scientific preparation may be left to the task of u drawing out leviathan with a hook," and one need not be disturbed if his unsuccessful efforts lead him to the conclusion that " metaphysics " is obscure, useless, and irreligious.


Contents of the book:
I. The Difficulties of Philosophy.
II. The Problem of the Ultimate Nature of Matter ...... 23

III. The Problem of the Origin of Organic Being ...... 39

IV. Some Difficulties connected with any
The doctrine of the Ego . . . 44
V. The unconscious Mental States. 47
VI. The Problem of Physiological Psychology 53

VII. Reason in Contradiction to Reason. 64

VIII. The Relation of Belief to Knowledge 66

IX. The Problem of the Human Will. jy

X. The Immortality of the Soul. 80

XL The Feeling of Obligation and Moral

Knowledge. 83

XII. Is Hedonism equivalent to Pessimism? 93

XIII. The Ethical Conflict. .97


XIV. The Doctrine of a First Cause. 104

XV. The Infinite . . . . . 112

XVI. God and the Principle of Right. 118

XVII. The Atheistic Meaning of Pantheism. 121

XVIII. The Doctrine of Cause and Effect. 123



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