Excerpt from The History of Materialism and Criticism of Its Present Importance, Vol. 1 of 3
The "History of Materialism" was hailed, upon its original publication in Germany, as a work likely to excite considerable interest. In this country, Professor Huxley suggested, in the "Lay Sermons, Lectures, and Addresses" (published in 1870), that a translation of the book would be "a great service to philosophy in England." Soon afterwards there was published a second - thoroughly re-modelled and re-written - edition of the work. And then, in the autumn of 1874, attention was again specially directed to it by Professor Tyndall's acknowledgment of his indebtedness "to the spirit and to the letter" of the work in his memorable address as President of the British Association at Belfast.
It was shortly after this that, seeing with regret that the book had so long awaited a translator, I ventured to apply to the author for his authority to undertake the task. The causes that have delayed its completion, since they are personal to myself, it would be an impertinence to trouble the reader with. The only one that is not so, is to be deplored on other grounds besides that of mere delay. The lamented death of the author, in November 1875, deprived me of the hoped-for opportunity of submitting my rendering to his friendly criticism.
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