The popular mind is deep and means a thousand times more than it knows. It is fitting that the Royal Institute of Philosophy series on American philosophy include a session on the thought of Josiah Royce, for his most formidable philosophical work, The World and the Individual , was a result of his Gifford lectures in the not too distant city of Aberdeen in 1899 and 1900. The invitation to offer the Gifford lectures was somewhat happenstance, for it was extended (...) originally to William James, who pleaded, as he often did in his convenient neurasthenic way, to postpone for a year on behalf of his unsettled nerves. James repaired himself to the Swiss home of Theodore Flournoy, with its treasure of books in religion and psychology, so as to write his Gifford lectures, now famous as The Varieties of Religious Experience . In so doing, however, James was able to solicit an invitation for Royce to occupy the year of his postponement. Royce accepted with alacrity, although this generosity of James displeased his wife Alice, who ranted, ‘Royce!! He will not refuse, but over he will go with his Infinite under his arm, and he will not even do honour to William's recommendation.’ Alice was partially correct in that Royce, indeed, did carry the Infinite across the ocean to the home of his intellectual forebears, although on that occasion as on many others, he acknowledged the support of his personal and philosophical mentor, colleague and friend, William James. (shrink)
John J. McDermott's anthology, _The Philosophy of John Dewey_, provides the best general selection available of the writings of America's most distinguished philosopher and social critic. This comprehensive collection, ideal for use in the classroom and indispensable for anyone interested in the wide scope of Dewey's thought and works, affords great insight into his role in the history of ideas and the basic integrity of his philosophy. This edition combines in one book the two volumes previously published (...) separately. Volume 1, "The Structure of Experience," contains essays on metaphysics, the logic of inquiry, the problem of knowledge, and value theory. In volume 2, "The Lived Experience," Dewey's writings on pedagogy, ethics, the aesthetics of the "live creature," politics, and the philosophy of culture are presented. McDermott has prefaced each essay with a helpful explanatory note and has written an excellent general introduction to the anthology. (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)
In his introduction to this collection, John representative. McDermott presents James's thinking in all its manifestations, stressing the importance of radical empiricism and placing into perspective the doctrines of pragmatism and the will to believe. The critical periods of James's life are highlighted to illuminate the development of his philosophical and psychological thought. The anthology features representive selections from _The Principles of Psychology, The Will to Believe_, and _The Variety of Religious Experience_ in addition to the complete _Essays (...) in Radical Empiricism_ and _A Pluralistic Universe_. The original 1907 edition of _Pragmatism_ is included, as well as classic selections from all of James's other major works. Of particular significance for James scholarship is the supplemented version of Ralph Barton Perry's _Annotated Bibliography of the Writings of William James_, with additions bringing it up to 1976. (shrink)
Sandra Rosenthal has written an auspicious and even bold book, the task of which is to provide us with three fundamental approaches to the most profound and elusive of philosophical problems and questions. Her first intention is to present a "full-blown philosophical stance" in a pragmatic mode. Second, she attempts to structure a "speculative synthesis of what is to be found in the writings of the classical American pragmatists," and third, she offers a "speculative development of unique doctrines inspired by, (...) and incorporating the spirit of, classical American pragmatism." Few among the many contemporary interpreters of the pragmatic philosophical tradition would attempt such a formidable undertaking. What is remarkable is how close Rosenthal comes to redeeming her promise. In fact, if she is correct in her version of pragmatic thought as found in the writings of Charles S. Peirce, William James, John Dewey, George H. Mead and C. I. Lewis, most present commentaries on pragmatism--as having or not having a metaphysical posture, as alleging the uniqueness of pragmatism as differentiated from the western philosophical tradition, especially in its "foundational" commitment--will subsequently be out of date. (shrink)
What I say here has been said before on many days and nights by reflective persons, for centuries long and planetary wide. Why, then, say it again, Sam? Is it because Heraclitus was onto something when he told us the Logos speaks but few hear? Or is the situation that of the Hassidic tale as recounted by Martin Buber? A man took it upon himself to convey the message of the high and holy one. He found no response and so (...) went directly, petulantly, to the author of the message. "Why are you here?" asked the high and holy one. "I have offered your message and no one hears me." "But," comes the response, "there is no hearing here for you. I have sunk my hearing in the deafness of mortals." More directly we can recall .. (shrink)
Now back in print, and in paperback, these two classicvolumes illustrate the scope and quality of Royce’sthought, providing the most comprehensive selection ofhis writings currently available. They offer a detailedpresentation of the viable relationship Royce forgedbetween the local experience of community and thedemands of a philosophical and scientific vision ofthe human situation.The selections reprinted here are basic to any understandingof Royce’s thought and its pressing relevanceto contemporary cultural, moral, and religious issues.