The Works of Charles Follen (v. 3)
Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.
Publisher: Date:8/5/2009 - General Books LLC
By: Charles Follen
Excerpt from book: LECTURE II. I Have stated, in my introductory address, the reasons which make me consider an acquaintance with the history of Moral Philosophy, as the best preparation for the study itself. We, in this way, possess ourselves of all the treasures, which our predecessors in the pursuit of truth have laid up for their posterity, to save us from wasting our strength in speculations, which have been already successfully accomplished by others, or in those, which the examples of their errors should teach us to avoid. It prevents our ploughing over again, the ground that has been tilled already, or that which the most faithful toil has found absolutely barren: that we may begin the work of intellectual culture where others have left it: and having put our hand to the plough, strike deep and press forward. In this investigation of the philosophical attainments of former times, in morals, religion, and law, I am limited by the extent of this course, both as regards the principles of which I shall give the history, and the works in which they are made the subject of inquiry. This historical sketch can embrace only the general rules of conduct, the leading principles andfundamental truths of morality : and the most interesting systems advanced in ancient or modern times. I proceed to give a brief account of the Moral Philosophy of antiquity, that is, before the introduction of Christianity. When we compare the attainments in Moral Philosophy, as well as in every other department of knowledge, in different ages and parts of the world, and endeavour to ascertain in what quarters this light was first kindled and successively received, our investigation lights upon Asia, and more particularly India, as the mother country of religion, science, and the arts : and upon Greece, as the first...