BLTC Press Titles


available for Kindle at Amazon.com


The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Arthur Edward Waite


The Story of Doctor Dolittle

Hugh Lofting


Tao Te Ching

Lao Tzu, James Legge (trans.)


The Revolt of the Netherlands

Friedrich Schiller


Critique of pure reason

by Immanuel Kant

Excerpt:

Time was, when she was the queen of all the sciences; and, if we take the will for the deed, she certainly deserves, so far as regards the high importance of her object-matter, this title of honour. Now, it is the fashion of the time to heap contempt and scorn upon her; and the matron mourns, forlorn and forsaken, like Hecuba,

"Modo maxima rerura, Tot generis, natisque potens . . . Nunc trshor exul, inops." *

\ At first, her government, under the administration of the

* Ovid, Metamorphoses.

b

dogmatists, was an absolute despotism. But, as the legislative /continued to show traces of the ancient barbaric rule, her; . empire gradually broke up, and intestine wars introduced the j reign of anarchy; while the sceptics, like nomadic tribes, who ; hate a permanent habitation and settled mode of living, I attacked from time to time those who had organised themselves into civil communities?] But their number was, very happily, small; and thus they could not entirely put a stop to the exertions of those who persisted in raising new edifices, although on no settled or uniform plan. In recent times the hope dawned upon us of seeing those disputes settled, and the legitimacy of her claims established by a kind of physiology of the human understanding—that of the celebrated Locke. But it was found that,—although it was affirmed that this so-called queen could not refer her descent to any higher source than that of common experience, a circumstance which necessarily brought suspicion on her claims,—as this genealogy was incorrect, she persisted in the advancement of her claims to sovereignty. Thus metaphysics necessarily fell back into the antiquated and rotten constitution of dogmatism, and again became obnoxious to the contempt from which efforts had been made to save it. At present, as all methods, according to the general persuasion, have been tried in vain, there reigns nought but weariness and complete indifferentism—the mother of chaos and night in the scientific world, but at the same time the source of, or at least the prelude to, the re-creation and reinstallation of a science, when it has fallen into confusion, obscurity, and disuse from ill-directed effort.

For it is in reality vain to profess indifference in regard to such inquiries, the object of which cannot be indifferent to humanity. \ Besides, these pretended indifferenlists, however much they, may try to disguise themselves by the assumption of a popular style and by changes on the language of the schools, un- j avoidably fall into metaphysical declarations and propositions,' which they profess to regard with so much contempt) At the same time, this indifference, which has arisen in the world of science, and which relates to that kind of knowledge which we should wish to see destroyed the last, is a phenomenon that well deserves our attention and reflection. It is plainly not the effect of the levity, but of the matured judgment* of the

very often hear complaints of the shallowness of the present age,

age, which refuses to be any longer entertained with illusory knowledge. It is, in fact, a call to reason, again to undertake the most laborious of all tasks—that of self-examination, and to establish a tribunal, which may secure it in its well-ground8d claims, while it pronounces against all baseless assumptions and pretensions, not in an arbitrary manner, but according to its own eternal and unchangeable laws. This tribunal is nothing less than the Critical Investigation of Pure Reason.

I do not mean by this a criticism of books and systems, but a critical inquiry into the faculty of reason, with reference to the cognitions to which it strives to attain without the aid of. ." experience; in other words, the solution of the question regarding the possibility or impossibility of Metaphysics, and the determination of the origin, as well as of the extent and limits of this science. All this must be done on the basis of principles.


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