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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: In contrast with this external method of pronouncing sentence, the scientific history of philosophy must place itself upon the standpoint of immanent criticism, the principles of which are two: formal lo/jical consistency and intellectual fntitfulness. Every philosopher grows into a certain set of ideas, and to these his thinking remains bound, and is subjected in its development to psychological necessity. Critical investigation has to settle how far it has been possible for him to bring the different elements of his thinking into agreement with each other. The contradiction is almost never actually present in so direct a form that the same thing is expressly maintained and also denied, but always in such a way that various positions are put forward which, only by virtue of their logical consequences, lead to direct contradiction and really irreconcilable results. The discovery of these discrepancies is formal criticism; it frequently coincides with pragmatic explanation, for this formal criticism has been performed in history itself by the successors of the philosopher in question, and has thus determined for them their problems. Yet this point of view alone is not sufficient. As purely formal it applies without exception to all attested views of a philosopher, but it gives no criterion for decision on the question, in what the philosophical significance of a doctrine really consists. For it is often the case that philosophy has done its work just in conceptions which must by no means be regarded as in themselves perfect or free from contradiction ; while a multitude of individual convictions, which there is no occasion to oppose, must remain unnoticed in a corner, so far as our historical survey is concerned. In the history of philosophy great errors are weightier than sm...
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