chapter  I
21 Pages


The basis for a comparative philosophy must be sought in the succession of attitudes or speculative doctrines in the heart of civilizations which have given themselves to systematic reflexion. Despite the uncertain character of many a date which one would have wished to have ascer­ tained with precision, we shall there find firm and solid data, for the strictness of historical objectivity yields in nothing to the objectivity of physical existence. Each one of these series of facts constituting the oriental cultures, whether Indian or Chinese, embraces an imposing array of efforts after spirituality which are placed in their environ­ ments, as in the continuity of human evolution, with a precision of which we are generally ignorant-thanks to our non-initiation into the comparative point of view, and still more so to insufficient information-but which removes from all possibility of scepticism the knowledge of himself susceptible of unlimited perfectability that man can acquire.