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My Friends:

When, in the turmoil of my daily occupation, I received an invitation,
several months ago, from several hundred students of this famous
university, to give them a brief summary, in short special lectures, of
the principal and fundamental conclusions of criminal sociology, I
gladly accepted, because this invitation fell in with two ideals of
mine. These two ideals are stirring my heart and are the secret of my
life. In the first place, this invitation chimed with the ideal of my
personal life, namely, to diffuse and propagate among my brothers the
scientific ideas, which my brain has accumulated, not through any merit
of mine, but thanks to the lucky prize inherited from my mother in the
lottery of life. And the second ideal which this invitation called up
before my mind's vision was this: The ideal of young people of Italy,
united in morals and intellectual pursuits, feeling in their social
lives the glow of a great aim. It would matter little whether this aim
would agree with my own ideas or be opposed to them, so long as it
should be an ideal which would lift the aspirations of the young people
out of the fatal grasp of egoistic interests. Of course, we positivists
know very well, that the material requirements of life shape and
determine also the moral and intellectual aims of human consciousness.
But positive science declares the following to be the indispensable
requirement for the regeneration of human ideals: Without an ideal,
neither an individual nor a collectivity can live, without it humanity
is dead or dying. For it is the fire of an ideal which renders the life
of each one of us possible, useful and fertile. And only by its help can
each one of us, in the more or less short course of his or her
existence, leave behind traces for the benefit of fellow-beings. The
invitation extended to me proves that the students of Naples believe in
the inspiring existence of such an ideal of science, and are anxious to
learn more about ideas, with which the entire world of the present day
is occupied, and whose life-giving breath enters even through the
windows of the dry courtrooms, when their doors are closed against it.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940013650213
  • Publisher: SAP
  • Publication date: 8/5/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 61 KB

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