Review Of Recent French Works In Metaphysical Science -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 008:29 (Jan 1851)
Article: Review Of Recent French Works In Metaphysical Science
Author: Anonymous

Review Of Recent French Works In
Metaphysical Science

In 1836, the Academy of Moral and Political Science of the French Institute, at the suggestion of the Philosophical section, proposed a critical examination of German philosophy, as a subject of competition. The result is contained in the above works.

The competitors were to adhere to the following conditions: 1. By extended analysis to render an account of the principal German

systems, from Kant to the present time. 2. To give special attention to the system of Kant, with which all the others are connected. 3. To give a critical estimate of the German philosophy; to discuss the principles on which it is founded, the methods it employs, the results it has attained; to seek out what of error and what of truth have met together in it, and to discriminate what, in the last result, may legitimately remain in one form or another of the philosophical movement in modern Germany.

In 1838, six memoirs were presented. They were adjudged insufficient, and the proposals were renewed, with a limit of two years. Seven competitors then offered their works; the section “jujea ce concours fort et brillant;” but no one essay was thought sufficiently complete to fulfil the conditions of the programme. The final judgment was prorogued till 1844; and then three memoirs survived, which are the subject of the Report of De Rémusat.

This report is admirably drawn up; it is a kind of model of what such reports should be; and it is such a document as perhaps only a Frenchman could produce. It is eminently candid, and also strict; there is an air of courteous authority about it which is as it should be; it goes into the subject matter just about enough, and it gives a full account of the memoirs themselves, in all their parts. Honorable mention is made of M. Fortuné Gairan, the author of one of the essays; but the prize is decreed to M. Willm, as having given the most satisfactory exposition of the whole subject. His work is described as solid, faithful and conscientious; executed with care rather than with art; the style is simple, just, and for the most part clear; he shows, however, the traces of familiarity with German idioms, and sometimes has too many words, and too many strange words, though the latter fault is natural to one who is trying to transfer German philosophy into the French tongue. Parts of his work are specially signalized as of unusual ability and novelty — that, for example, upon the philosophy of Hegel. The report concludes, of course, with an assertion of the claims of the French philosophy as compared with the German. The results of the latter, it is said, inspire distrust; they are contrary to that truth which it is the ob...

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