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PREF A C E.
HE following Lectures have, for the most part, T been repeatedly delivered, in substance at least, in the Courses which I have read as Professor of Moral Philosophy. But I have of late years found it necessary to introduce into my Course new matter, to an extent which makes it difficult to find room for these. Nevertheless it is convenient for me, in dealing with the subject, to be able to assume that my hearers have such a knowledge of its history as these Lectures contain. I have therefore published them, in the hope that they may be of use to our students, and other persons who feel an interest in the progress of moral speculation in this country.
Being written for oral delivery, they will be found to contain repetitions, and certain inequalities of style which, if I had composed them for the general reader, it would have been my business to avoid.
Some of these peculiarities appeared to contribute to the favourable reception of the Lecture when first delivered ; and I have ventured to retain them, trusting that the reader will excuse them in consideration of their original occasion.
Of course I have not forgotten the Dissertations of Dugald Stewart and of Mackintosh, which occupy nearly the same ground as that over which I here travel; indeed the latter work I have myself edited. But it appeared to me that to review the works of the authors here criticized from my own point of view, was a task naturally suggested by my position; and this I attempted to do in the Lectures now published.
To obviate confusion I may mention that I have already (in 1841) published “Two Introductory Lectures” delivered in 1839 and 1841, (one of which is here republished,) and (in 1846) eight other Lectures under the title “Lectures on Systematic Morality, delivered in Lent Term, 1846.”