Page:Popular Works of Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1889) Vol 2.djvu/31

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In the first place, let him who desires to be met with the same honest purpose which I presume leads him here, cast back a kindly glance upon our former lecture. It appears that many of this assembly have not been able altogether to follow the greater part of that which I said at the beginning of my previous address. In so far as this may have any other cause than want of acquaintance with the style, voice, and manner of the lecturer, and the novelty of the whole situation,—all of which may be overcome by a few minutes’ custom,—allow me, as some consolation should the like happen again, to add the following:—That which some of my hearers have been unable thoroughly to comprehend, does not so much belong to the subject itself, as to the practice of the art which we now employ,—the art of philosophizing. It is serviceable to us in finding an introduction and commencement in the circle of other knowledge from which to set forth our subject, and in strictly defining our point of separation from this system of knowledge; it is a part of the account which we teachers and masters must render of our manner of working. Every other art,—as poetry, music, painting,—may be practised without the process showing forth the rules according to which it is conducted;—but in the self-cognizant art of