The author's preface states that this book is 'substantially the outcome of the public lectures delivered by me in .... Edinburgh, ...1893, at the close of my tenure of the Shaw Fellowship'. It consists of several continuous philosophical essays - a somewhat less didactic and more reflective way of presenting his thoughts on this very specialised subject. His stated aim was to have 'made him [Schopenhauer] speak and appear to be significant' - his readers would of course be the judges as to whether he succeeded in this. That it was considered an important text for philosophy students is clear from the number of entries found on a brief Google search - almost every university library in the world would seem to have a copy!
William Caldwell (1863-1942) was born in Edinburgh and educated at Edinburgh University, where he won the Shaw Fellowship. After post-graduate work in Germany, France and Cambridge, he went to the United States in 1891, and taught philosophy at Cornell, the University of Chicago, and Northwestern University. In 1903 he became Macdonald Professor of Moral Philosophy at McGill, a position he held until his retirement in 1929. Caldwell's travels and lectures in Europe took a new turn after the First World War when he developed a special interest in the new nations of Eastern Europe, particularly Poland under its philosopher-president, Masaryk. He was decorated by the governments of Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia for his promotion of their interests in the English-speaking world. Caldwell also wrote two major philosophical studies on Schopenhauer and on Pragmatism and Idealism.
Our copy is in good general condition considering its age, bound in dark blue cloth with title etc in somewhat dulled gilt letters on the spine. Externally there are signs of wear consistent with age and use - some light patches on the back, with smaller light spots elsewhere, rubbing along the edges and angles, bumping of corners (frank damage to the 2 bottom ones), and some shelf wear to top & bottom of the spine. Page tops somewhat darkened; long edges are rough cut. Inside, however, while the dark blue/black endpapers are inclined to shed colour on to a finger, they are intact and clean, the binding is firm, and all pages clean and bright apart from a slight grubbiness on the half-title page and the page preceding it. An interesting ink 'inscription' on the first side of that preceding page may be a previous owner's initials. Some pages remain uncut.