Excerpt from The Problem of Human Life: As Viewed by the Great Thinkers From Plato to the Present Time; Translated From the German
IT is a genuine pleasure to me to see The Problem of Human Life in an English Version, particularly as the translation has been prepared with gre... at care by esteemed friends, and is, I think, entirely successful.
The present book forms the essential complement of all my other works. It is designed to afford historical confirmation of the view that conceptions are determined by life, not life by conceptions. Under the guidance of this conviction the book traverses the whole spiritual development of the Western world, in the hope that the several phases of the development, and, above all, its great personalities, will be brought nearer to the personal experience of the reader than is customarily done. Particularly in an age of predominant specialisation, when the pursuit of learning too often endangers the completeness of living, such an endeavour is fully justified.
I hope that the English-speaking public will give the book a sympathetic reception. With their own thinkers, the problem of life has always stood in the foreground, and scientific re search steadily regarded the whole life of man. Thus my book presents nothing foreign to the genius of the English-speaking peoples: may it be felt and welcomed by them as something kindred to their own aims!
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