Fate of man by Crane Brinton PDF book (1961)

The fate of man by Crane Brinton PDF book (1961)

The fate of man by Crane Brinton

THE VERY DISPARATE WRITINGS GATHERED IN THIS BOOK ARE THEREFOR

a purpose. They are part — a very small part indeed — of what an interested mid-twentieth-century American might use to help locate himself in the bewildering world of twentieth-century thought on the great questions we still call philosophical.

The book is frankly and unashamedly didactic. It is one of a genre that, lowly though it is in the hierarchy of literary genres, is surely indispensable in our democracy: the do-it-yourself book. Make, if you must and can, your own world-view. I shall shortly attempt to explain more fully what might be done with the materials here collected. But first, in fairness to the prospective reader, I must make clear what this anthology is not. It is not a collection of excerpts from the best books, the greatest books, the books everyone ought to read. It is not a chronologically arranged book of readings in formal philosophy or in the now fashionable history of ideas, designed to accompany a systematic textbook in these subjects.

 It is not a collection of "primary" source materials in original forms. Indeed, I have not hesitated to use "secondary" materials, good clear expositions of one man's ideas by another man, especially when the original is gracelessly written, very technical, difficult, as, for example, the writings of Aristotle in the form we have received them.

This book is not, though a sampling of its later pages might make it appear so, a collection of essays on contemporary "problems," a collection designed to elicit thoughtful and literate compositions from freshman English classes. It is not a collection of pieces that I like, or agree with, or even find always very interesting. But it is, I hope, a useful and only very roughly systematic assemblage of a wide range of human thinking about man's place in the universe. It is meant for the relatively few who feel a need to do such thinking for themselves.


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