modern problems

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: Ill BALFOUR AND BERGSON 1 More than thirty years ago, when many of us were still in the unfledged student period, Mr. Balfour published a book which rebelled to some extent against the orthodox philosophy of that day. Its aim was to show that the most positive science was based on a tacit system of axioms and postulates—and, for that matter, of intuitions— which were no whit stronger in reality than those on which some of the main religious doctrines are based. But the title, A Defence of Philosophic Doubt, deceived many of the public; they took it to be a defence of religious scepticism—the popular word "doubt" being almost more alarming than the technical term "scepticism" which had been discarded from the title—so the timid orthodox ignored it, while the few who were attracted rather than repelled by the suggestion soon foundit useless for their purpose. Nevertheless, the advance of modern thought certainly tends in the direction advocated by that book; and it is natural for Mr. Balfour, in approaching a criticism of M. Bergson, to preface his remarks by an allusion to this book and a repetition of part of its thesis: 1 An Article in the Hibbert Journal for January 1912 in response to an Article in the preceding issue, by Mr. Balfour, commenting on and partly criticizing the philosophy of Professor Bergson. "that the theory of experience and of induction from experience needs further examination; that the relation between a series of beliefs connected logically, and the same beliefs mixed up in a natural series of causes and effects, involves speculative difficulties of much interest; and that investigations into the ultimate grounds of belief had better begin with the beliefs which everybody holds, than with those which are held only by a philosophic or religious m...
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