Part 2 - Copy letter from Henry Sidgwick to Lady Victoria Welby-Gregory

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Add. MS c/105/45/2

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Copy letter from Henry Sidgwick to Lady Victoria Welby-Gregory

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  • Feb 1906? (Creation)

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1 doc

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Typewritten copy of letter dated 11 August 1891. Says that her two pamphlets she sent him have greatly interested him; believes that her Great Cloud of Witnesses will be most improving to the reader, 'if it does not reduce him to a too depressing state of scepticism.' Observes that it is difficult 'to persuade a plain man to go through the process necessary to attain precision of thought': attempted to do something similar in The Principles of Political Economy, but fears that he 'bored the readers horribly'. Would much like to see Herbert Spencer's answer to her Apparent Paradox; refers to the belief in ancestral ghosts. If she wants 'to call Locke as a "witness", it would be easy to find suitable quotations in Chap. ix of Book III of the Essays on the Human Understanding, which deals with the "Imperfection of Words".' Also refers to 'Aphorism xv in [Bacon's] Novum Organum'. However, he believes modern instances to be more impressive, 'as it might be supposed that the progress of science had removed the evils pointed out by Bacon and Locke.'

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