ix | FBSt - Foreword

[ ... ]

(II): Under the section heading The philosophical Back-
we reprint three items which have no immediately
obvious connection with Buddhism. A few words about my
personal intellectual development may explain how they fit
into the scheme of things.

In 1932 I had printed, though not published, a fairly large
work on Der Satz vom Widerspruch which, modelling myself
a bit on Arthur Schopenhauer, I was inclined to regard as
my Hauptwerk. In fact it contains all my later ideas without
At that time, however, it was totally still-born, the
Nazis ceremoniously burned it in Hamburg, no more than
perhaps forty copies have survived and public indifference
towards it has been total, unrelieved by any kind of interest
anywhere at any time. When in 1993 I removed myself to
England I regarded this book as my greatest, and in fact only,
asset, and started to decant it into the English language -
achieving, however, only the three articles which appear on
pages 56-112.[2] What I had not reckoned with was that the
traditional style of philosophizing, to which I had become
accustomed in Germany, had gone out of fashion in England,
and that my arrival there coincided with the victory of the

[2] In addition there were, in 1935-6, two books, nos. 05 and 06.
[The Scientific Method of Thinking, London 1935 and
An Introduction to Dialectical Materialism, London 1936]
Orthodox marxists, like J.D. Bernal, a lapsed Catholic, criticized these
as too mystical and anti-scientific - quite rightly as things have turned