This book is not a monograph, but a fragment of a larger work which the author has thought fit to publish before the complete work is ready for publication. He is apparently an Englishman, who has resolved to write in German for two reasons—first, because he considered it most fitting to meet the great philosopher of Königsberg in his own language; and, secondly, because the most eminent judges of the Kantian philosophy and the chief defenders of scientific Transcendentalism are Germans. If we may judge by the profusion of epithets of abuse which he uses to pour unmitigated contempt upon the transcendentalists and their allies, and by the vigour of his style, he would certainly seem not to lack command over the language which he has selected. His introductory chapter is, indeed, a pattern of downright hearty abuse, mingled with the bitterest contempt, of the à priori idealistic philosophers, and a laudation, somewhat too hyperbolical for our taste, of empiricism. We believe with him in the mighty mission which Science has in the future; with him, too, we feel no doubt of the heavy blows which it has already dealt to many beliefs of the past; but we do not believe in the wisdom of abuse, or in the usefulness of exaggeration. Science can well afford to go calmly and confidently on its own way, and it is a grievous pity when its disciples imitate the bigotry and intolerance of theological warfare. It has been wittily said of a certain eminent scientific person that science was his forte and omniscience his foible, and we fear the description might sometimes be justly applied to other followers of science, who, with more zeal than discretion, seem to claim for its revelations an infallibility which they would be the first to deny to revelations of another kind.
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