BLTC Press Titles

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The Bhagavad Gita


Mortal Coils

Aldous Huxley

The Souls of Black Folk

W. E. B. DuBois

Vanity Fair

William Thackery

Letters on the laws of man's nature and development

by Henry George Atkinson


"The true end, scope, or office of knowledge, I have set down to consist not in any plausible, delectable, reverend, or admired discourse, or any satisfactory arguments, but in effecting and working, and in discovery of particulars not revealed before, for the better endowment and help of Man's life." — Bacon: Interpretation of Nature.

"Concerning the publication of novel facts, there can be but one judgment; for facts are independent of fashion, taste, and caprice, and are subject to no code of criticism. They are more useful, perhaps, even when they contradict, than when they support, received doctrines; for our theories are only imperfect approximations to the real knowledge of things." — Sir H. Davy.

"The state of the speculative faculties, the character of the propositions assented to, essentially determines the moral and political state of the community, as we have already seen that it determines the physical. Every considerable change historically known to us in the condition of any portion of mankind, has been preceded by a change of proportional extent in the state of their knowledge, or in their prevalent beliefs." — Mill: System of Logic.

"The deep philosopher sees chains of causes and effects so wonderfully and strangely linked together, that he is usually the last person to decide upon the impossibility of any two series of events being independent of each other; and in Science, so many

natural miracles, as it were, have been brought to light,

that the physical inquirer is seldom disposed to assert, confidently, on any abstruse subjects belonging to the order of natural things; and still less so, on those relating to the more mysterious relations of moral events and intellectual natures." — Sir H. Davy: on Omens.

"The Ancients, whose genius was less limited, and whose philosophy was more extended, wondered less than we do at facts which they could not explain. They had a better view of Nature, such as she is: a sympathy, a singular correspondence, was to them only a phenomenon, while to us it is a paradox, when we cannot refer it to our pretended laws of motion." — Buffon.

"It does not become the spirit which characterizes the present age, distrustfully to reject every generalization of views, and every attempt to examine into the nature of things, by the process of reason and induction." — Humboldt: Introduction to Cosmos.

"With regard to authority, it is the greatest weakness to attribute infinite credit to particular authors, and to refuse his own prerogative to Time, the author of all authors, and, therefore, of all authority. It is not wonderful, therefore, if the bonds of antiquity, authority, and unanimity hare so enchained the power of Man, that he is unable (as if bewitched) to become familiar with things themselves." — Bacon: Nov. Org., Aph. 84.

"Moreover, in these mixtures of divinity and philosophy, the received doctrines only of the latter are included; and any novelty, even though it be an improvement, scarcely escapes banishment and extermination." — Bacon: Nov. Org., Aph. 89.

"For if they mean that the ignorance of a second cause doth make men more devoutly to depend upon the Providence of God, as supposing the effect to come immediately from his hand, I demand of them, as Job demanded of his friends, * Will you lie for God, as man will for man, to gratify him ?' " — Bacon: Interpretation of Nature.

"It is to Philo Jucheus that we owe the doctrine that nothing can subsist without certain properties. It is only the metaphysical theologians that have embraced the error that all activity and all action is owing to a spiritual being, and that inertia is the essence of matter." — Gall.

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