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“Man is not born to solve the mystery of Existence; but he must,
For I doubt not through the ages one increasing purpose runs,
SERIES I.-ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY.
IN TWO VOLUMES.- VOL. I.
To write the Biography of Philosophy while writing the Biographies of Philosophers is the aim of the following work. The expression “ Biography of Philosophy," though novel, may perhaps be pardoned, because it characterizes a novel attempt. There have been numerous histories of philosophical schools : some of these learned and laborious chronicles being little more than a collection of fragments and opinions; others critical estimates of various systems, and others attempting to unite both of these plans. But the rise, growth, and development of Philosophy, as exhibited in these philosophical schools,-in a word, the Life of Philosophy,—has yet, I believe, had no biographer.
My conception of such a task, and the principles which have guided the composition of the present attempt, are stated in the introduction.
It is usual, in presenting to the public a work destined for instruction, to show that such a work is wanted ; and, if other works on the subject already exist, to express a proper dissatisfaction at them, as an excuse for one's own audacity. So reasonable a practice invites imitation, even at the risk of appearing presumptuous.
That a History of Philosophy is an important subject may be taken for granted; and, although I by no means claim for the present work that it