The widespread impression that recent philosophy of science has pioneered exploration of the “social dimensions of scientific knowledge‘ is shown to be in error, partly due to a lack of appreciation of historical precedent, and partly due to a misunderstanding of how the social sciences and philosophy have been intertwined over the last century. This paper argues that the referents of “democracy‘ are an important key in the American context, and that orthodoxies in the philosophy of science tend to (...) be molded by the actual regimes of science organization within which they are embedded. These theses are illustrated by consideration of three representative philosophers of science: John Dewey, Hans Reichenbach, and Philip Kitcher. [Copyright &y& Elsevier]. (shrink)
Professional philosophers have tended either to shrug off American philosophy as negligible or derivative or to date American philosophy from the work of twentieth century analytical positivists such as Quine. Russell Goodman expands on the revisionist position developed by Stanley Cavell, that the most interesting strain of American thought proceeds not from Puritan theology or from empirical science but from a peculiarly American kind of Romanticism. This insight leads Goodman, through Cavell, back to Emerson and Thoreau (...) and thence to William James and John Dewey, as they assimilated to American circumstances and intellectual habits the currents of European thought from Kant to Wittgenstein. (shrink)
This collection of thirteen essays, when viewed together, offers a unique perspective on the history of American philosophy. It illuminates for the first time in book form, how thirteen major American philosophical thinkers viewed a problem of special interest in the American philosophical tradition: the relationship between experience and reflection. Written by well-known authorities on the figure about which he or she writes, the essays are arranged chronologically to highlight the changes and developments in thought from Puritanism (...) to Pragmatism to Process Philosophy. While Doctrine and Experience will be of particular interest to specialists in American Philosophy, there is also much to offer anyone interested in the intellectual and cultural history of the United States. In order of appearance, the essays are: "Jonathan Edwards and the Great Awakening" by John E. Smith "Heart and Head: The Mind of Thomas Jefferson" by Andrew J. Reck"Emerson and the American Future" by Robert C. Pollock"Chauncey Wright and the Pragmatists" by Edward Madden"Charles S. Peirce: Action Through Thought – The Ethics of Experience" by Vincent G. Potter"Life Is in the Transitions’: Radical Empiricism and Contemporary Concerns" by John J. McDermott"John Dewey and the Metaphysics of American Democracy" by Ralph W. Sleeper"Individualization and Unification in Sartre and Dewey" by Thelma Z. Levine"Josiah Royce: Anticipator of European Existentialism and Phenomenology" by Jacqueline Ann K. Kegley"The Transcendence of Materialism and Idealism in American Thought" by John Lachs"C. I. Lewis and the Pragmatic Tradition in American Philosophy" by Sandra Rosenthal"The Social Philosophy of George Herbert Mead" by David Miller"Existence as Transaction: A Whiteheadian Study of Causality" by Elizabeth Kraus. (shrink)
In this engaging book, Douglas Anderson begins with the assumption that philosophy—the Greek love of wisdom—is alive and well in American culture. At the same time, professional philosophy remains relatively invisible. Anderson traverses American life to find places in the wider culture where professional philosophy in the distinctively American tradition can strike up a conversation. How might American philosophers talk to us about our religious experience, or political engagement, or literature—or even, popular music? Anderson’s second aim (...) is to find places where philosophy happens in nonprofessional guises—cultural places such as country music, rock’n roll, and Beat literature. He not only enlarges the tradition of American philosophers such as John Dewey and William James by examining lesser-known figures such as Henry Bugbee and Thomas Davidson, but finds the theme and ideas of American philosophy in some unexpected places, such as the music of Hank Williams, Tammy Wynette, and Bruce Springsteen, and the writingsof Jack Kerouac.The idea of “philosophy Americana” trades on the emergent genre of “music Americana,” rooted in traditional themes and styles yet engaging our present experiences. The music is “popular” but not thoroughly driven by economic considerations, and Anderson seeks out an analogous role for philosophical practice, where philosophy and popular culture are co-adventurers in the life of ideas. Philosophy Americana takes seriously Emerson’s quest for the extraordinary in the ordinary and James’s belief that popular philosophy can still be philosophy. (shrink)
In this fresh, provocative account of the American philosophical tradition, Roger Ward explores the work of key thinkers through an innovative and counterintuitive lens: religious conversion. From Jonathan Edwards to Cornel West, Ward threads the history of American thought into an extended, multivalent encounter with the religious experience. Looking at Dewey, James, Peirce, Rorty, Corrington, and other thinkers, Ward demonstrates that religious themes have deeply influenced the development of American philosophy.This innovative reading of the American philosophical (...) tradition will be welcomed not only by philosophers, but also by historians and other students of America's religious, intellectual, and cultural legacy. (shrink)
Contents: FOREWORD Aronson, Moses J.; THE HUMANIZATION OF PHILOSOPHY Ayres, Clarence Edwin, THE GOSPEL OF TECHNOLOGY Bates, Ernest Sutherland; TOWARD A SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY Bode, Boyd H.; "THE GREAT AMERICAN DREAM" Cohen Felix S.; THE SOCIALIZATION OF MORALITY Costello, Harry Todd, A PHILOSOPHER AMONG THE METAPHYSICIANS Durant, Will; AN AMATEUR'S PHILOSOPHY Edman, Irwin; THE NATURALISTIC TEMPER Flewelling, Ralph Tyler; THE NEW TASK OF PHILOSOPHY Holt, Edwin Bissell; THE WHIMSICAL CONDITION OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, AND OF MANKIND Hook, Sidney; EXPERIMENTAL NATURALISM Irving, (...) John Allan; TOWARD RADICAL EMPIRICISM IN ETHICS Kallen, Horace Meyer . (shrink)
In the first book-length study of American philosophy at the turn of the century, Daniel J. Wilson traces the formation of philosophy as an academic discipline. Wilson shows how the rise of the natural and physical sciences at the end of the nineteenth century precipitated a "crisis of confidence" among philosophers as to the role of their discipline. Deftly tracing the ways in which philosophers sought to incorporate scientific values and methods into their outlook and to redefine philosophy itself, (...) Wilson moves between close analysis of philosophical texts and consideration of professional careers of illustrative philosophers, such as Charles Sanders Peirce, John Dewey, and Josiah Royce. The author situates the emergence of professional philosophy in the context of the professionalization of American higher education and articulates, in the case of philosophy, the structures and values of a professional discipline. One of the most important consequences of this transformation was a new emphasis on communal theories of truth. Peirce, Dewey, and Royce all developed sophisticated and important theories of community as they were engaged in reshaping and redefining the limits of philosophy. This book will be of great importance for those interested in the history of philosophy, the rise of professions, and American intellectual and educational history, and to all those seeking to understand the contemporary revival of pragmatic thought and theories of community. (shrink)
Contemporary developments in American epistemology, by R. M. Chisholm.--Contemporary metaphysics in the United States, by D. F. Gustafson.--Philosophy of physics, by H. Putnam--The influence of continental philosophy on the contemporary American scene: a summons to autonomy, by G. A. Scharader, Jr.--The influence of the later Wittgenstein on American philosophy, by J. O. Nelson.--Philosophy of mind, by F. H. Donnell, Jr.--Some remarks on the philosophy of language, by J. A. Fodor.--Ethics in the United States today, by D. Kading.--Social (...) philosophy; philosophy of social science, by P. Diesing. (shrink)
The American way of Renaissance and the Humanistic Tradition of Greece -- The Aristotelian tradition in American naturalism -- George Santayana and Greek philosophy -- Frederick J.E. Woodbridge and the Aristotelian tradition -- John Dewey and ancient philosophies -- John H. Randall Jr.'s interpretation of Greek philosophy -- The ontology of Herbert W. Schneider -- Ernest Nagel's pragmatism and Aristotle's principle of contradiction -- The naturalistic metaphysics of Justus Buchler -- Naturalism and the platonic tradition.
This collection of essays aims to mark a place for American philosophy as it moves into the twenty-first century. Taking their cue from the work of Peirce, James, Santayana, Dewey, Mead, Buchler, and others, the contributors assess and employ philosophy as an activity taking place within experience and culture. Within the broad background of the American tradition, the essays reveal a variety of approaches to the transition in which American philosophy is currently engaged. Some of the pieces (...) argue from an historical dialogue with the tradition, some are more polemically involved with American philosophy’s current status among the contemporary philosophical "schools," and still others seek to reveal the possibilities for the future of American philosophy. In thus addressing past, present, and future, the pieces, taken together, outline a trajectory for American philosophy that reinvents its importance from a new angle of vision. (shrink)
Purpose in American philosophy.--Radical empiricism.--Three types and two dogmas of empiricism.--William James as philosophical psychologist.--Charles S. Peirce: community and reality.--The contemporary significance of Royce's theory of the self.--The course of American philosophy.--The philosophy of religion in America.
Charles S. Peirce, William James, Josiah Royce, George Santayana, John Dewey, and George Herbert Mead: each of these individuals is an original and historically important thinker; each is an essential contributor to the period, perspective, and tradition of classical American philosophy; and each speaks directly, imaginatively, critically, and wisely to our contemporary global society, its distant possibilities for improvement, and its massive, pressing problems. From the initiative of pragmatism in approximately 1870 to Dewey's final work after World War II, (...) classical American philosophy has come to represent the critical articulation of attitudes, outlooks, and forms of life imbedded in the culture from which it arose. John Stuhr brings together the works of these foremost thinkers to present a comprehensive collection in American philosophy. Extensive introductory essays, written especially for this volume by leading scholars of the subject, provide not only the bibliographical and cultural contexts necessary to a full appreciation of each thinker, but also original critical and interpretive philosophical observations. (shrink)
This wide-ranging, multidisciplinary collection of newly commissioned articles brings together distinguished voices in the field of Africana philosophy and African-American social and political thought. Provides a comprehensive critical survey of African-American philosophical thought. Collects wide-ranging, multidisciplinary, newly commissioned articles in one authoritative volume. Serves as a benchmark work of reference for courses in philosophy, social and political thought, cultural studies, and African-American studies.
There is very little study of Latin American Philosophy in the English-speaking philosophical world. This can sometimes lead to the impression that there is nothing of philosophical worth in Latin American philosophy or its history. The present article offers some reasons for thinking that this impression is mistaken, and indeed, that we ought to have more study of Latin American philosophy than currently exists in the English-speaking philosophical world. In particular, the article argues for three things: (1) (...) an account of cultural resources that is useful for illuminating the fact of cultural differences and variations in cultural complexity, (2) a framework for understanding the value of philosophy, and (3) the conclusion that there is demonstrable value to Latin American philosophy and its study. (shrink)
The term “American Philosophy,” perhaps surprisingly, has been somewhat vague. While it has tended to primarily include philosophical work done by Americans within the geographical confines of the United States, this has not been exclusively the case. For example, Alfred North Whitehead came to the United States relatively late in life. On the other hand, George Santayana spent much of his life outside of the United States. Until only recently, the term was used to refer to philosophers of European (...) descent. Another focus for defining, or at least characterizing, American Philosophy has been on the types of philosophical concerns and problems addressed. While American philosophers have worked on traditional areas of philosophy, such as metaphysics, epistemology, and axiology, this is not unique to American Philosophy. Many scholars have highlighted American philosophers’ focus on the interconnections of theory and practice, on experience and community, though these, too, are not unique to American Philosophy. The people, movements, schools of thought and philosophical traditions that have constituted American Philosophy have been varied and often at odds with each other. Different concerns and themes have waxed or waned at different times. For instance, the analysis of language was important throughout much of the twentieth century, but of very little concern before then, while the relation between philosophy and religion, of great significance early in American Philosophy, paled in importance during much of the twentieth century. Despite having no core of defining features, American Philosophy can nevertheless be seen as both reflecting and shaping collective American identity over the history of the nation. (shrink)
Puritans and Pragmatists: Eight Eminent American Thinkers. By Paul K. Conkin. (New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1968. Pp. viii+49S. Cloth, $12.50; Paper, $5.95) Recent American Philosophy. By Andrew Reck. (New York: Pantheon, Random House, 1964. Pp. xiii+343. $5.95) -/- These two volumes supplement each other in several ways: the one introduces eight of the most important philosophers in American history, the other introduces ten less famous but more recent philosophers; the one portrays major makers of the (...)American heritage, the other expounds various types of philosophical systems, each in its own terms; the one can be read like history and biography, the other must be studied carefully; the one is written for the so-called intelligent layman, the other is composed for professional students of philosophy. Together they give a better account of the varieties of American philosophical thought than either gives, and together they provide an excellent orientation both historically and analytically. Professor Conkin of the Universities of Maryland and Wisconsin presents Jonathan Edwards, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charles S. Peirce, William James, John Dewey, and George Santayana as interesting individuals with impressive minds; the biographical and philosophical portraits are blended with rare skill and insight, so that, despite the varied idioms of their thinking and writing, these philosophers are described in a manner and a language that is intelligible and enjoyable to a literate reader, whether he has studied philosophy or not. The book will certainly be enjoyed by a large number of readers as both history and "wisdom literature." The eight eminent Americans are presented as a sequence, set against the backdrop of a "Puritan Prelude," so that they compose a continuity of New England tradition and share in a "common moral tenor." This intellectual history reflects the imaginative and literary skill of a trained historian. Three of the eight are presented as "diverse Puritans," another three as equally diverse pragmatists. Emerson is presented as "in transition" and Santayana as "in retreat." A few specialists will be irritated by the vague generalizations that serve to make a single story out of these eight characters. The author himself accurately predicts that "the most perceptive reader may find the unity too elusive to be convincing" and "some may even resent as distracting my efforts to identify it" (p. vi). One is apt to wonder what each of the eight would say if they could read the book and would find themselves set up in historical order and continuity. It is, to be sure, a commonplace that no person sees himself in proper historical perspective; but these eight are "eminently" qualified to make some intelligent remarks about themselves and their "predecessors." It seems appropriate, therefore, in this connection to report a few self-orienting remarks of Santayana. He was evidently pleased when he saw that Will Durant, in his The Story of Philosophy, has listed him to follow Herbert Spencer. And he said with some emotion: "I wish I could go down in history not as an American but as the last of the Victorians." And while he was writing his novel and was engrossed in it as autobiography he commented: "Of course, I never thought of myself as the last Puritan, for I never was one, but I might be considered as the dialectically ultimate Puritan, who worried conscientiously because he believed he should not have a con- science. (shrink)
This volume contains the most extensive exposition of Latin American philosophy to date. I know of no other comparable anthology on the subject in any language. The width of its scope is quite impressive. At least for this reason, and whatever its shortcomings might be (to some of them I’ll come to speak below), it is a welcome collective work.
John McCumber is right to think that analytic philosophy has had a particularly central and dominating position in American philosophy, and that philosophy is less significant in American public life than in the public life of many European countries. I believe he is wrong to think that American philosophers have turned to analytical work in order to escape being politically relevant, and that he is wrong to suppose that prominent academic philosophy is something to wish for.
Examining the literature of slavery and race before the Civil War, Maurice Lee demonstrates for the first time exactly how the slavery crisis became a crisis of philosophy that exposed the breakdown of national consensus and the limits of rational authority. Poe, Stowe, Douglass, Melville, and Emerson were among the antebellum authors who tried - and failed - to find rational solutions to the slavery conflict. Unable to mediate the slavery controversy as the nation moved toward war, their writings (...) form an uneasy transition between the confident rationalism of the American Enlightenment and the more skeptical thought of the pragmatists. Lee draws on antebellum moral philosophy, political theory, and metaphysics, bringing a fresh perspective to the literature of slavery - one that synthesizes cultural studies and intellectual history to argue that romantic, sentimental, and black Atlantic writers all struggled with modernity when facing the slavery crisis. (shrink)
Here, in a single volume, is a comprehensive and definitive account of pragmatism and classical American philosophy. Pragmatism and Classical American Philosophy, now revised and expanded in this second edition, presents the essential writings of the major philosophers of this tradition: Charles S. Peirce, William James, Josiah Royce, George Santayana, John Dewey, and George Herbert Mead. Illuminating introductory essays, written especially for this volume by distinguished scholars of American philosophy, provide biographical and cultural context as well as (...) original critical and interpretive perspectives. This edition also includes all new selections and interpretive essays that situate pragmatism and classical American philosophy in a wider American philosphical context, including: Ralph Waldo Emerson and transcendentalism; Jane Addams, feminism, and writings of American women; Borden Parker Bowne, personalism, and idealism; Alain Locke and Afro-American thought; and John Herman Randall, Jr., nationalism and realism. Up-to-date suggestions for further reading will benefit both introductory and advanced readers. This American intellectual tradition speaks insightfully, creatively, and critically to our contemporary global society and its pressing problems. In unmatched quality and quantity, Pragmatism and Classical American Philosophy provides the resources necessary to understand and act on these insights. (shrink)
Douglas R. Anderson's Philosophy Americana reads like a series of rescue attempts: an attempt to rescue academic teaching from institutional and bureaucratic logic; to rescue philosophers such as Bugbee and Royce from their pragmatist critics; to rescue the pragmatists themselves from their would-be champions among the postmodernists; to (in a related move) save Emerson from Cavell; to save country music from the charge that it is either politically retrograde or an experiential dead-end; and to save Kerouac and the Beats from (...) the charge of nihilism or its more enjoyable cousin, hedonism. Anderson connects his chapters through a common theme: the centrality of failure and loss to American culture and the need to both be at home in/with it and to move beyond its self-limiting aspects. Though this rubric may provide us with a clue as to Anderson's temperament as a writer it does not finally provide an adequate frame for the book, which reads more like a book of related essays than... (shrink)
Manju Jain's innovative study of T. S. Eliot's Harvard years traces the genesis of his major literary, religious and intellectual preoccupations in his early work as a student of philosophy, and explores its influence on his poetic and critical practice. His concerns were located within the mainstream of Harvard philosophical debates, especially in relation to the controversy of science versus religion. These questions (and Eliot's work as he grappled with them) point forward to important debates in contemporary philosophy (...) and hermeneutics. Drawing extensively on unpublished sources, Manju Jain offers answers to the questions of why Eliot failed to find satisfaction in an academic career devoted to philosophy, and why he abandoned the speculations of metaphysics for the dogmas of theology. (shrink)
Frontiers of Consciousness is a study of the problem of consciousness in a historic period of revolutionary change, and an authentic example of “interdisciplinary studies.” The book contains a wealth of insight into the conceptual interrelationships between the work of the American philosophers who have been called the Builders (William James, Josiah Royce, Charles Peirce, and John Dewey) and the work of three great modernist poets (T. S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, and William Carlos Williams).
In the middle period of the century of American thought with which our symposium is concerned, there was one idea which so far overshadowed all others that we may fairly confine our attention to it. That idea was evolution.
To be human is to humanize; a radically empirical aesthetic, by J. J. McDermott.--Dream and nightmare; the future as revolution, by R. C. Pollock.--William James and metaphysical risk, by P. M. Van Buren.--Knowing as a passionate and personal quest; C. S. Peirce, by D. B. Burrell.--The fox alone is death; Whitehead and speculative philosophy, by A. J. Reck.--A man and a city; George Herbert Mead in Chicago, by R. M. Barry.--Royce; analyst of religion as community, by J. Collins.--Human experience and (...) God; Brightman's personalistic theism, by D. Callahan.--William James and the phenomenology of religious experience, by J. M. Edie.--Pragmatism, religion, and experienceable difference, by R. W. Sleeper.--How is religious talk justifiable, by J. W. McClendon, Jr. (shrink)
This short article was written for a collection on American legal philosophy today. It gives a brief overview of analytical legal philosophy, and speculates on why this theoretical approach has been consistently misunderstood in the United States, from the time of the legal realists until today.
This paper was written for a forthcoming Cambridge University Press anthology titled "On Philosophy in American Law" that commemorates the 75th anniversary of Karl Llewellyn's essay of the same name. Karl Llewellyn was a founder of the Legal Realist movement in American jurisprudence, and his essay is most obviously read as a brief for that movement, in which he argues that a Realist focus on underlying social needs better explains the course of American legal history than do (...) the competing natural law, positivist and formalist schools. Without contesting the merits of this conventional reading, I argue that Llewellyn's essay also makes an implicit case for another, quite different point: the need for Continental philosophical approaches to law in contemporary American jurisprudence. In particular, I argue that the conception of philosophy upon which Llewellyn relies is, with one exception, deeply Hegelian. The one exception lies in Llewellyn's residual belief that, at least to a limited extent, philosophy can change the world as well interpret it. This belief places him squarely in the camp of post-Hegelian thinkers, the camp that also includes contemporary Continental political and legal philosophers. I conclude by suggesting how the post-Hegelian tradition responds to some of the deepest conundrums of contemporary American jurisprudence, using the problem of affirmative action as an example. (shrink)
Americans have been obsessed about the mechanics of perfectibility. Perfectibility is built into the constitutive documents of the American Republic. The expression of that perfection is Law, and Government provides the means. The mechanics of perfectibility lies in philosophy and theology. Through these mechanics Americans can discern the spirit of perfection - as God or as the genius of the American community made manifest. The essay considers these notions in the context of two cases, Swift v. Tyson (1842) (...) and Erie Railroad Co. v. Tomkins (1938), which provide both the antipodes of American conceptions of the sources and hierarchy of law, and also suggest the mechanics of a mandatory perfectibility in American. But the judge is not the only intermediary between perfection and its expression in law. The essay suggests the way the political branches also seek the role of privileged (and uniquely privileged) intermediaries between the people and perfection. The essay ends with a consideration of the value of the theology of faith and reason in the elaboration of American jurisprudence. (shrink)
This essay suggests that the U.S.-American Pragmatist tradition could be fruitfully reconstructed by way of a dialogue with Latin American Liberation Philosophy. More specifically, I work to establish a common ground for future comparative work by: 1) gathering and interpreting Enrique Dussel’s scattered comments on Pragmatism, 2) showing how the concept of liberation already functions in John Dewey’s Pragmatism, and 3) suggesting reasons for further developing this inter-American philosophical dialogue and debate.
Recent discussion, both in the academia-related popular media and in some professional academic venues, about the current state and role of mainstream Anglo-American analytic philosophy among the humanities, has revealed a certain uneasiness expressed by both champions of this approach and traditional adversaries of it regarding its perceived isolation from the other fields of humanities. The fiercer critics go as far as to claim that the image of this type of philosophizing in the contemporary world is one of a (...) discipline that is disconnected from reality, a veritable inbreeding academic cottage industry of empty scholasticism. Though I am unsympathetic to the critics who would question the very essence of how this kind of philosophy is pursued, myself being a representative of it, I nevertheless present some admittedly sketchy but, in my opinion, interesting and revealing statistical data on the evolution of several top journals of analytic philosophy over the last hundred years in terms of the style of papers that get published, which might also justify to some extent the above mentioned complaint against analytic philosophy. (shrink)
Karl Llewellyn and the course of philosophy in American law -- Philosophical perspectives on law -- Areas of philosophy and their relationship to law -- Philosophical examinations of legal issues -- Law, rhetoric, and practice theory -- Commentaries-- Questioning the relationship between philosophy and American Law.
Common themes in American Indian philosophy -- First introductions -- Common themes : a first look -- Constructing an actual American Indian world -- NelsonGoodman's constructivism -- Setting the stage -- Fact, fiction, and feeders -- Ontological pluralism -- True versions and well-made worlds -- Nonlinguistic versions and the advancement of understanding -- True versions and cultural bias -- Constructive realism : variations on a theme by Goodman -- True versions and cultural bias -- An American Indian (...) well-made actual world -- Relatedness, native knowledge, and ultimate acceptability -- Native knowledge and relatedness as a world ordering principle -- Native knowledge and truth -- Native knowledge and verification -- Native knowledge and ultimate acceptability -- An expansive conception of persons -- A western conception of persons -- Native conceptions of animate beings and persons -- An American Indian expansive conception of persons -- The semantic potency of performance -- Opening reflections and reminders about performances -- Symbols and their performance -- The Shawnee naming ceremony -- Gifting as a world constructing performance -- Closing remarks about the semantic potency of performances -- Circularity as a world ordering principle -- Goodman briefly revisited -- Time, events, and history or space, place, and nature? -- Circularity as a world ordering principle -- Circularity and sacred places -- Closing remarks about circularity as a world ordering principle -- The dance of person and place -- American Indian philosophy as a dance of person and place -- Consequences, speculations, and closing reflections. (shrink)
Ranging from Joseph Bellamy to Hilary Putnam, and from early New England Divinity Schools to contemporary university philosophy departments, historian Bruce Kuklick recounts the story of the growth of philosophical thinking in the United States. Readers will explore the thought of early American philosphers such as Jonathan Edwards and John Witherspoon and will see how the political ideas of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson influenced philosophy in colonial America. Kuklick discusses The Transcendental Club (members Henry David Thoreau, (...) Ralph Waldo Emerson) and describes the rise of pragmatism centered on Metaphysical Club of Cambridge (and members William James, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Charles Peirce). He examines the profound impact Darwinism had on American philosophy and looks at Idealists such as the Kantian Josiah Royce and the Hegelian John Dewey. The book shows how, in the twentieth century, the Nazi conquest of Europe unleashed a flood of European intellectuals onto these shores, including such major thinkers as Theodore Adorno, Erich Fromm, Rudolph Carnap, and Alfred Tarski. Finally, Kuklick examines the contributions of such contemporary philosophers as Sidney Hook and Willard Quine and such books as John Rawl's A Theory of Justice and Herbert Marcuse's One Dimensional Man. Kuklick pulls no punches in portraying the state of American philosophy today and its contested role in the intellectual life of the nation and the world. The range of philosophical thought in our nation's history has been great, from Edwards's Religious Affections to Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and Bruce Kuklick has captured it all in a book that blends intricate details with sweeping vision. (shrink)
In this article I argue that African-American philosophy emerges from a socio-existential context where persons of African descent have been faced with the absurd in the form of white racism. The concept of struggle, given the above, functions as both descriptive and heuristic vis-à-vis the meaning of African-American philosophy. Expanding upon Charles Mills’ concept of non-Cartesian sums, I demonstrate the inextricable link between Black lived experience, struggle, and the morphology of meta-philosophical assumptions and philosophical problems specific to African- (...) class='Hi'>American philosophy. Then, I provide a sketch of two early African-American philosophers whose philosophical work is, though neglected, indispensable to African-American philosophical legitimating practices and whose work is informed by the defining motif of struggle. Lastly, I demonstrate the efforts of Africana philosophers at creating philosophical sites that nurture a sense of shared struggle and community. (shrink)
In this lively look at current debates in American philosophy, leading philosophers talk candidly about the changing character of their discipline. In the spirit of Emerson's The American Scholar , this book explores the identity of the American philosopher. Through informal conversations, the participants discuss the rise of post-analytic philosophy in America and its relations to European thought and to the American pragmatist tradition. They comment on their own intellectual development as well as each others' work, (...) charting the course of American philosophy over the past few decades. Giovanna Borradori, in her substantial introduction, explains the history of the analytic movement in America and the home-grown reaction against it. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, American philosophy was a socially engaged interdisciplinary enterprise. In transcendentalism and pragmatism, then the dominant currents in American thought, philosophy was connected to history, psychology, and public issues. But in the 1930s, the imported European movement of logical positivism redefined philosophical discourse in terms of mathematical logic and theory of language. Under the influence of this analytic view, American philosophy became a professionalized discipline, divorced from public debate and intellectual history and antagonistic to the other, more humanistic tradition of continental thought. The American Philosopher explores the opposition between analytic and continental thought and shows how recent American work has begun to bridge the gap between the two traditions. Through a reexamination of pragmatism, and through an attempt to understand philosophy in a more hermeneutical way, the participants narrow the distance between America's distinctly scientific philosophy and Europe's more literary approach. Moving beyond classical analytic philosophy, the participants confront each other on a number of topics. The logico-linguistic orientations of Quine and Davidson come up against the more discursive, interdisciplinary agendas of Rorty, Putnam, and Cavell. Nozick's theory of pluralist anarchism goes face-to-face with the aesthetic neo-foundationalism of Danto. And Kuhn's hypothesis of paradigm shifts is measured against MacIntyre's ethics of "virtues." Borradori's conversations offer an unconventional portrait of the way philosophers think about their work scholars and students will not be its only beneficiaries, so will everyone who wonders about the current state of American philosophy. (shrink)
This book traces the trajectory of John J. McDermott’s philosophical career through a selection of his essays. Many were originally occasional pieces and address specific issues in American thought and culture. Together they constitute a mosaic of McDermott’s philosophy, showing its roots in an American conception of experience. Though he draws heavily on the thought of William James and the pragmatists, McDermott has his own unique perspective on philosophy and American life. He presents this to the reader (...) in exquisitely crafted prose. Drawing inspiration from American history, from existentialist themes, and from personal experiences, he offers a dramatic consideration of our culture’s failures and successes.McDermott crosses disciplinary boundaries to draw on whatever works to help make sense of theissues with which he is dealing—issues rooted in medical practice, political events, pedagogical habits, and the worlds of the arts. His work thus resists simple categorization. It is precisely this that makes his vibrant prose appealing to so many both inside and outside the world of American philosophy. (shrink)
The philosopher John J. McDermott comes out of the long American tradition that takes the aim of philosophical inquiry to be interpretation of the open meanings of experience, so that we might all live fuller and richer lives. Here, the authors of these nine essays explore his highly original interpretations of philosophy's various questions about our shared existence. How are we to understand the nature of American culture and to carry forward its important contributions? What is the personal (...) importance of embodiment, of living in the realization of death? How does our physical and personal environment nourish bodies and spirits? What does the deliberate pursuit of a morality offer us? How can we carry forward the fundamental tasks of education to enable those who follow us to use our shared past to address their civic and spiritual problems? What are the possibilities for community? Together, these essays offer a clear, multi-layered understanding of the compelling vision that McDermott has presented over the years. In an Afterword, McDermott responds to the authors' queries and concerns, offering a restatement of his understanding of the American philosopher's task. These essays indicate, and McDermott's response confirms, that for him philosophy is not a purely cerebral activity. Philosophy is, rather, an intellectual means of exploring the fullness of human experience, and it functions best when it operates in the context of the broad sweep of the humanities. Similarly, for McDermott the self is no given substantial entity. On the contrary, it is relational, rooted geographically and socially in its place and its fellows, and damaged when these life-giving processes fail. Further, McDermott does not accept any ultimate canopy of meaning. The human journey is a personal project within which provisional meanings must be created to sustain our advance. (shrink)
This essay explores some of the affinities between current theories of North American Indigenous trickster narratives and continental philosophy where they are both concerned with the question of responsibility in subject formations. Taking up the work of Judith Butler, Franz Kafka and Gerald Vizenor, the author works to show how both continental and Indigenous intellectual traditions work against any assumed stability for the ‘I’ in the narration of the self, yet toward responsible relationality. Such affinities, however, emerge from differing (...) socio-cultural and linguistic horizons that are not reducible one to the other. This is particularly so with regard to the natural world and the ways in which Indigenous narratives are developed to foster responsible subjects to a larger biotic environment. Through discussion of such affinities and differences, the author seeks to broaden and multiculturalize contemporary debates in philosophy. (shrink)
Given as an address to the American Philosophical Association on the occasion of its centennial, this paper examines the character and standing of American philosophy now and at the outset of the twentieth century as seen (then and now) from a British point of view. A century ago Britain was itself the unquestioned leader of Anglo-Saxon thought. Now, however, as in so many areas, the US is the pre-eminent world power. This status brings prestige and various benefits but (...) it also carries responsibilities. In considering the latter I recall some virtues of an earlier generation of American philosophers, especially as they were possessed by William James. (shrink)
The following statement is a report of the Committee on Philosophy in Education of the American Philosophical Association and was approved by the Association's Board of Officers in December, 1958. The Committee was composed of the following: C. W. Hendel, Chairman, H. G. Alexander, R. M. Chisholm, Max Fisch, Lucius Garvin, Douglas Morgan, A. E. Murphy, Charner Perry and R. G. Turnbull. Primary responsibility for the preparation of this report belonged to a subcommittee composed of Douglas N. (...) Morgan, Chairman, and Charner Perry. (shrink)
My focus here is on two questions: Does philosophy have a place in contemporary American public life? and should philosophy have a place in American public life? Because my answer to the first question is negative, I also will discuss some of the reasons why I believe philosophy does not play a role in American public life. I suggest that philosophers have been excluded from the public conversation in part because the work of philosophy entails criticism and (...) challenge—activities best accomplished from “outside” of the structures of power. This means that we have a role in public life, but it is an indirect role, as teachers and critics, not as advisers and active participants. (shrink)
After presenting a brief history of philosophy in Hispanic-America since the XVI century, we discuss whether the idea of province and empire is applicable to contemporary Hispanic-American philosophy, investigate the form these ideas adopt in this region, and inquire into the ways in which provincialism i s present in philosophical work. We conclude that there are three main groups that understand their peripheral position in different ways, with different views on the way in which they should insert (or not) (...) into the mainstream of Western philosophy. (shrink)
My presentation deals with developments and transformations of the concept of the transcendental within Anglo-American analytical philosophy. According to Kant – the “founding father” of transcendental philosophy – the methodical domain of the transcendental is to denote and to expose the a priori epistemic structureof human mind and cognition (perception, experience, knowledge), as well as to provide a priori foundations for normative ethics. Analytical philosophy has adopted the term of the transcendental, mostly within sceptical argumentations or for sceptical refutations. (...) What is the methodological function of the transcendental in these debates, in the context of philosophical scepticism? My contribution tries to show that the notion of the transcendental becomes concave in analytical contexts. It might be appropriate to refute scepticism, but in these analytical contexts it’s not possible to deduct epistemic structures (e.g. categories,epistemic schemes) of experience and knowledge or to bridge the gap to foundations in ethics – one of the core goals in Kantian transcendental philosophy. What is the importance in transcendental analysis and reflection or is this term obsolete all together nowadays? My paper tries to discuss and mediate between various positions and ideas. (shrink)
The Foundations of Pragmatism in American Thought Series offers two sets of volumes containing the most significant defenses and critiques of pragmatism written before World War I: the Early Defenders of Pragmatism and Early Critics of Pragmatism . This, the first collection, Early Defenders , provides key texts for understanding the context of pragmatism’s years of greatest vitality. The early defenders were products of pragmatism’s three cradles. H. Heath Bawden was a graduate of the Chicago philosophy department, having studied (...) with John Dewey and George Mead. John E. Boodin and Horace M. Kallen earned their Ph.Ds with William James and Josiah Royce at Harvard. D. L. Murray and Howard V. Knox were independent scholars and writers inspired by F. C. S. Schiller’s humanistic pragmatism at Oxford. This collection brings together the central texts of the movement along with a representative selection of the secondary texts, reviews and responses, they elicited. Each volume features a newly-commissioned introduction by a leading scholar of American pragmatism. --five central texts reproduced in facsimile, accompanied by the main responses and replies, reset in new typography --scattered and scarce works available together for the first time --new introductions to each volume by leading scholars of American pragmatism. (shrink)
This paper utilizes concepts from the works of Paulo Freire and other Latin American philosophers of liberation to formulate a philosophy of liberation in a North American context. Since many North Americans experience a double consciousness, that is, both oppressor and oppressed consciousness, our liberating task is quite complex. This study offers both a philosophical framework and an example of the process of demythologizing one aspect of North American consciousness, the consciousness of privilege.
The term postmodern is generally used to refer to current work in philosophy, literary criticism, and feminist thought inspired by Continental thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche and Jacques Derrida. In this book, Nancey Murphy appropriates the term to describe emerging patterns in Anglo-American thought and to indicate their radical break from the thought patterns of Enlightened modernity.The book examines the shift from modern to postmodern in three areas: epistemology, philosophy of language, and metaphysics. Murphy contends that whole clusters of (...) terms in each of these disciplines have taken on new uses in the past fifty years and that these changes have radical consequences for all areas of academia, especially in philosophy of science, philosophy of religion, and ethics. (shrink)