William Kent to Jane Addams, May 19, 1902

A. E. Kent and Son,

Chicago, May 19th 1902

My dear Miss Addams,

Your book came just as I was going on a bear hunt in Mexico so I didn't write you as soon as I should have done otherwise.

I haven't finished it yet but have read most of it.

I can't sufficiently thank and congratulate you. It is new and true, containing what is lacking in the old philosophies and the Spencer-Sumner philosophies as well, a sense of proportion and a recognition of the human elements.

Somehow these latter day thinkers, are inconsistent. They harp on induction as the only key to unlock the door to new knowledge, and yet when they enter the realm of Ethics they do it with no personal acquaintance with the submerged and but [Page 2] a letter of introduction to the average man.

Your book based on the fundamental doctrine that all is relative is not an easy book to read, it cannot be, because it is a beginning of philosophy based on human affairs as they are, and not on chessmen or Noah's ark animals.

The time has come when you should do a great deal more writing.

Your wonderful poise, clear head and invaluable experience must be used for the [illegible] direct benefit of those who will not find the world so very different after all of us are gone.

If you would permit a suggestion please consider using more direct illustration. The subject matter is new and hard; it isn't the plain arithmetic of "laissez faire" and a warm approach to your methods [page 3] in speaking would help to make easier reading.

You were kind in calling me a consistent democrat. It's always kind to assume that one has reached his ideal, [although] that goal is never reached. I'm not a consistent democrat because I cannot sympathize with snobs, nor with those on the other extreme of the financial scale. I hope to learn how but there must be time. My code is pretty broad but when people are outside of it they are inferior animals to my uncharitable nature.

Again let me thank you for the book and the letter.

[William] Kent

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