Six Major Prophets by Edwin Emery Slosson

Six Major Prophets

byEdwin Emery Slosson

Kobo ebook | September 10, 2014

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A few years ago it occurred to me that there were living on the same planet and at the same time as myself some interesting people whom I had never seen and did not know so much about as I should. Since they or I might die at any moment, I determined not to delay longer. So I prepared a list of twelve men who seemed to me most worth knowing, and then I set out to see them; not with the hope of becoming personally acquainted with them or even with the object of interviewing them, but chiefly to satisfy myself that they really existed. One does not go to Switzerland to find out how high the Alps are or how they look. The traveler can get their altitude from Baedeker and their appearance from photographs, but if he is to talk about them with any sense of self-confidence he must have come within hailing distance of the mountains themselves. It is sufficient to say that I got close enough to the Alps I had chosen to be able to vouch for their actuality.
The men I selected for study were those who, whether they called themselves philosophers or not, seemed to me to have a definite philosophy of life, those who had a message for their own times of sufficient importance and distinctiveness to merit public attention. It is my purpose in these sketches to show the trend and importance of these diverse theories, so that a reader who had not had the opportunity to range over the complete works of a dozen authors might find which of them was best adapted to serve him as "guide, philosopher, and friend." In a word, my part is merely to act as the host at a reception who introduces his guests and then leaves them to follow up such acquaintanceships as seem profitable. My aim is exposition rather than criticism. Although I have not thought it necessary absolutely to suppress my own opinions, I trust this has not prevented me from giving a fair and sufficiently sympathetic presentation of each man's views in turn.
My list of the "Twelve Major Prophets of Today" consisted of the following names: Maurice Maeterlinck, Henri Bergson, Henri Poincaré, Elie Metchnikoff, Wilhelm Ostwald, Ernst Haeckel, George Bernard Shaw, Herbert George Wells, Gilbert Keith Chesterton, F. C. S. Schiller, John Dewey, and Rudolf Eucken. I had not taken nationality into consideration, but I found that I had chosen four from England, three from Germany, two from France, and one each from Belgium, Russia, and the United States of America. Four of the twelve were professors of philosophy; four were men of science, one of these a mathematician, one a physician, one a zoologist, one a chemist; and four were men of letters, authors of novels, dramas, or essays. The twelve sketches appeared in The Independent during the last few years, but they have been considerably extended for book publication. The first six named above were published in the volume "Major Prophets of To-day." The other six are given in the following pages.

Title:Six Major ProphetsFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:September 10, 2014Publisher:BOSTON LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANYLanguage:English

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