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I want to show the world, that the sceptical philosophy is contradictory to itself, and destructive of genuine philosophy, as well as of religion and virtue; that it is in its own nature so paltry a thing (however it may have been celebrated by some,) that to be despised it needs only to be known; that no degree of genius is necessary to qualify a man for making a figure in this pretended science; but rather a certain minuteness and suspiciousness of mind, and want of sensibility, the very reverse of true intellectual excellence; that metaphysics cannot possibly do any good, but may do, and actually have done, much harm; that sceptical philosophers, whateverPg xxxi they may pretend, are the corrupters of science, the pests of society, and the enemies of mankind. ...The scenery of a mountainous country, the ocean, the Pg xxxviiisky, thoughtfulness and retirement, and sometimes melancholy objects and ideas, had charms in my eyes, even when I was a schoolboy: and at a time when I was so far from being able to express, that I did not understand my own feelings, or perceive the tendency of such pursuits and amusements; and as to poetry and music, before I was ten years old I could play a little on the violin, and was as much master of Homer and Virgil as Pope's and Dryden's translations could make me.'
About James Beattie, the Author:
His Essay on the Nature and Immutability of Truth, intended as an answer to David Hume, which had great immediate success, and led to an introduction to the King, a pension of £200, and the degree of LL.D. from Oxford; and ...Categories: 1735 births1803 deaths18th-century Scottish people19th-century Scottish peoplePeople educated at Aberdeen Grammar SchoolAcademics of the University of AberdeenAlumni of the University of AberdeenPeople from Kincardine and MearnsScottish literary criticsScottish scholars and academicsScottish poetsScottish essayistsMembers of the Philosophical Society of EdinburghFellows of the Royal Society of EdinburghScottish philosophersEnlightenment philosophersScottish schoolteachersScottish translators