Page:A Brief History of Modern Philosophy.djvu/6

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INTRODUCTION

infer the ultimate consequences of our knowledge, what principles will furnish an adequate explanation of the universe?

The nature and method of the treatment of these problems will vary with the instruments of knowledge and the historical conditions of the different periods. And in those problems which lie on the borderland of thought even the personality of the thinker will likewise have its effect. It is for this reason that a comparative treatment of the problems as history presents them is of such great importance. The various statements and solutions of the problem possess more than a purely philosophic interest. They have likewise an important bearing on the history of civilization and on psychology. They are responses in a great discussion which is proceeding through ages. Each response is something more than a mere intellectual structure, it is likewise the sign of a spiritual current. The history of philosophy therefore bears a direct relation to the general history of culture and of mind