Idealistic Studies 2 (2):182-189 (1972)

The informal letters of great philosophers often provide valuable clues not only to the development of their thought processes but also to their inner personalities. The austere and distant Hegel comes alive as a man in his correspondence, and the rigorous Spinoza takes on the blood and flesh of a gracious friend in his letters. In Kant’s correspondence, we occasionally find helpful interpretations of his thought as he answers questions put to him by friends and inquirers. And the letters of William James to his wide circle of friends are uniformly charming. We do not usually find a great deal of profound significance in the extant personal correspondence of philosophers but there is an occasional insight, often a clue to the unfolding of a personality, or an unguarded comment here or there which suggests a tendency or trait.
Keywords Continental Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0046-8541
DOI idstudies19722212
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