The philosophy of change (1906) by Daniel Pomeroy Rhodes - PDF

The philosophy of change

The philosophy of change
The philosophy of change


contents of the book:
Illusion and reality.--The knowing.--The fiction of a universe.--Reason and will.--Devolution.--A rational view of death.--Immediate implications of a rational view of death.--The love of truth.--Style and the philosophy

Excerpt
I Must warn you, reader, at the outset, of certain feats that are to be perpetrated and of certain others that are to be omitted in the course of these pages. Otherwise, as I have it on excellent authority, you may dislike or even despise me and will be free to revile me for having shamelessly led you into a discussion such as you had no reason to look for under the cover of any book bearing a conventional title. The purpose of this book is to show that truth has never been, and cannot now be, demonstrated by man as a whole or in any part; that all our so-called truths are of necessity merely errors making in the direction of that universal truth which can never be attained but once, and once attained, cannot endure. But — and this is to be well noted — once this truth is supplanted by error, this error can have no other goal than a universal truth. What we commonly regard as the error will be seen to have been derived invariably from one of two sources: (1) that which has once been regarded as truth, and (2) conceptions of illusions impossible in fact

Hence between human knowledge and human error, there is no fundamental distinction but only an apparent and practically useful one. To this statement, the single exception is embodied in the first principle of this philosophy, and it will be seen that this principle itself is not a complete or perfect truth, but is dependent for its perfection upon the unknown sum of its constituent parts. It will be observed that time is first implied as a condition of this universal process, and is then denied the value which is commonly assigned to it. 

This question will form one of the interesting considerations of the book; it is, however, hardly to be approached before a more detailed investigation has supplied the necessary material and terms. As with truth, so with happiness, which will be found to be indistinguishable from truth. It will be shown that did we once attain happiness, our chief concern would be lest it should endure, — i.e. if we could have any concerns when we had attained absolute truth. Finally will be considered the relation of this philosophy to our daily lives upon Earth, both now and in a conceivable distant future. Its outcome should, I think, be called a new, rational, and workable optimism. As I have already stated, the philosophy does not explain the experience in the least or most superficial of its phases.


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