Journal of the History of Philosophy 54 (4):686-687 (2016)

Goodman’s book is neither a survey, nor a comprehensive history of American philosophy before pragmatism emerged in the late nineteenth century in the works of Charles S. Peirce and William James, nor does it explore undiscovered depths of American thought possibly overlooked or lost to time. Rather, Goodman’s treatment of five men—-Jonathan Edwards, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau—attempts to follow James’s understanding of what philosophies are and to “convey each writer’s feel for the ‘whole push’ of things”. In that regard, Goodman succeeds and gives the reader a sense of each man’s motivations. Each is given his own chapter, including an interlude and an...
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DOI 10.1353/hph.2016.0087
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