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JOHN WATSON, LL.D.,

PROFESSOR OF MORAL PHILOSOPHY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF QUEEN'S COLLEGE,
KINGSTON, CANADA, AUTHOR OF "KANT AND HIS ENGLISH CRITICS."

New York:

MACMILLAN AND CO.

1888.

HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY FROM THE LIBRARY OF PHILIP HOWES SEARS JANUARY 5, 1934

PREFATORY NOTE.

My reason for presenting to the public these translations from the philosophical writings of Kant will be best understood if I state how they came to be made. The teacher of philosophy soon finds that a very powerful irritant is needed to awaken his pupils from their "dogmatic slumber." I do not doubt that it is possible to secure the desired end by a systematic criticism of the preconceptions that stand in the way of genuine philosophical comprehension. But my experience is that it is almost impossible, by this method, to prevent the average student from accepting what he is told without mastering it and making it his own. Thus he passes from one form of dogmatism to another, and with the new dogmatism comes the great enemy of all education, a conceit of knowledge without its reality. The study of philosophy is of little value if it does not teach a man to think for himself. The process of self-education is necessarily a severe one, and, therefore, distasteful to the natural man. Yet any attempt to evade it by some "short and easy method" defeats the end. What is required is a process by which the student who is really in earnest may pass, gradually and surely, from a lower to a higher plane of thought. The philosophical writings

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