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My chief object in translating Dr. Fischer's excellent work on Bacon and the realistic philosophy, was to lay before English readers a brief but complete digest of two books, which, allimportant as they are in the history of science, are most assuredly commended much oftener than they are read. Whatever veneration may be paid in England to the treatise “De Augmentis Scientiarum” and to the “Novum Organum,” few indeed are the students who would elaborate for themselves so perfect a summary of the doctrines contained in those celebrated productions as is presented by Dr. Fischer within the space of a few brief chapters. Whether his estimate of the English philosopher merits approval or not, the value of the descriptive part of his book
remains indubitable. To heighten this value, and to bring Bacon more immediately before the reader than he is in the original German, I have given extracts in the margin, where Dr. Fischer has only given references; and wherever it has been possible, I have introduced the Baconian words into the text.
In performing the work of translation, I have endeavoured, as much as possible, to make my version readable. Dr. Fischer does not, it is true, indulge in those technicalities which have been introduced into the German language by the successors of Kant; indeed, with the exception of a few Kantisms, generally explained by the context, his book is free from technicalities altogether. Nevertheless, the German language, independently of the influence of philosophical schools, contains expressions which cannot be verbally rendered without producing a result totally unintelligible to any one but a German scholar. I have, therefore, endeavoured to render sentence for sentence rather than word for word, certain that I should thus render a greater service to the