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His earliest writings were historical in character, and consisted mainly
of learned essays upon the classical and German philosophers.
Following upon these appeared valuable studies in the history of
philosophy, which brought out, too, to some extent, Eucken's own
His latest works have been more definitely constructive. In _Life's
Basis and Life's Ideal_, and _The Truth of Religion_, he gives
respectively a full account of his philosophical system, and of his
ideas concerning religion.
Several smaller works contain his ideas in briefer and more popular
As a lecturer he is charming and inspiring. He is not always easy to
understand; his sentences are often long, florid, and complex.
Sometimes, indeed, he is quite beyond the comprehension of his
students--but when they do not understand, they admire, and feel they
are in the presence of greatness. His writings contain many of the
faults of his lectures. They are often laboured and obscure, diffuse and
But these faults are minor in character, compared with the greatness of
his work. There is no doubt that his is one of the noblest attempts ever
made to solve the great question of life. Never was a philosophy more
imbued with the spirit of battle against the evil and sordid, and with
the desire to find in life the highest and greatest that can be found in
I have to thank Professor Eucken for the inspiration of his lectures and
books, various writers, translators, and friends for suggestions, and
especially my wife, whose help in various ways has been invaluable.
Passages are quoted from several of the works mentioned in the
Bibliography, especially from Eucken's "The Truth of Religion," with the
kind permission of Messrs. Williams & Norgate--the publishers.
ABEL J. JONES.
I. THE PROBLEM OF LIFE
II. HAS THE PROBLEM BEEN SOLVED?
III. ANOTHER SEARCH FOR TRUTH
IV. THE PAST, PRESENT, AND THE ETERNAL
V. THE "HIGH" AND THE "LOW"
VI. THE ASCENT TO FREEDOM AND PERSONALITY
VII. THE PERSONAL AND THE UNIVERSAL
VIII. RELIGION: HISTORICAL AND ABSOLUTE
IX. CONCLUSION: CRITICISM AND APPRECIATION
THE PROBLEM OF LIFE
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