BOOK V - DIALOGUES  pp. 307-308


By James Hinton

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Hylas.—You set out upon the same principles that Academics, Cartesians, and the like sects usually do; and for a long time it looked as if you were advancing their philosophical scepticism; but in the end your conclusions are directly opposite to theirs.

Philonous.—You see the water of yonder fountain, how it is forced upwards to a certain height; at which it breaks and falls back into the basin from whence it rose: its ascent as well as descent proceeding from the same uniform law or principle of gravitation. Just so, the same principles which at first view lead to scepticism, pursued to a certain point, bring men back to common sense.

The following Dialogues are expository, not controversial. They do not profess to answer all objections to the views that have been proposed, but are designed rather to exhibit them in relation with a wider circle of thought. To a large extent, arguments already suggested are urged under fresh aspects, and with the view of guarding against misapprehension the same essential conception is presented in varied modes of expression and illustration. Each of the Dialogues, however, embraced subjects not previously treated.