The Way to a Knowledge of the Soul #0

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The Way to a Knowledge of the Soul

[Editor's Note: When Alfred Acton was working on his translation of Swedenborg's "The Cerebrum", he decided that this treatise "The Way to a Knowledge of the Soul" was intended by Swedenborg to be an introduction to that work. Therefore when "The Cerebrum" was published in 1938, "The Way to a Knowledge of the Soul" was inserted as the Introduction to the work. Before making this decision, however, Acton had included this paper in the volume he edited under the title Psychological Transactions. Although this latter volume was revised and reprinted in 1984 by the Swedenborg Scientific Association, the editors inadvertently omitted any reference to Acton's above-noted use of this paper.

The present translation of Swedenborg's treatise "De Via ad Cognitionem Animae" is by James John Garth Wilkinson, M. D., and is reprinted, with some revision, from the first edition of the Posthumous Tracts. London, 1847, where it is printed on pages 3-6. Dr. Wilkinson also printed the original Latin in 1846 at London on pages 3-5 of the volume Opusculae Quaedam Argumenti Philosophici Dr. R. L. Tafel, in the Documents, Vol. II. Part II., pages 866 and 915, refers briefly to the manuscript saying in the first reference that it is contained in "Codex 65." In the second reference Dr. Tafel assigns to it the date 1738 and lists it as number 53 in the "Chronological Account." From the contents of this paper it appears that it marks the author's passage from his preliminary investigations concerning the nature of the soul to the more thorough methods which reached their first culmination in his Economy of the Animal Kingdom. See Hyde, n. 275; Swedenborg Researcher's Manual, pp. 45-46.]

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