Eugenics and pragmatism: F. C. S. Schiller's philosophical politics

Modern Intellectual History 14 (3):661-687 (2017)

The British philosopher F. C. S. Schiller was a leading pragmatist in the early twentieth century. His critiques of formal logic and his attempts to construct a humanist logic, derived from an anti-foundationalist humanism, are recognized as lasting philosophical achievements. But scholars have failed to consider that Schiller was passionately committed to the British eugenics movement. This essay explores the relationship between Schiller's pragmatism and his eugenicism. It argues that Schiller represents the broad scope of pragmatism in the early twentieth century through his involvements not only with eugenics, but also with psychical research as well. Underneath Schiller's various undertakings lies a common theme: the self, conceived in voluntaristic, historicist, and concrete terms. By tracing the trajectory of this theme in Schiller's thought, this essay demonstrates that Schiller's eugenicism was confined to the presuppositions of his pragmatist logic, which steered Schiller's eugenicism toward a distinctively nondeterministic and non-social-Darwinist kind.
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DOI 10.1017/s1479244315000177
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References found in this work BETA

Pragmatism.W. James & F. C. S. Schiller - 1907 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 15 (5):19-19.
Pragmatism and Democracy: In Search of Deliberative Publics.John S. Dryzek - 2004 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 18 (1):72-79.
A Hundred Years of Philosophy.Willis Doney & John Passmore - 1959 - Philosophical Review 68 (2):258.
Are All Men Mortal?F. C. S. Schiller - 1935 - Mind 44 (174):204-210.

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Citations of this work BETA

Pragmatic Utopianism and Race: H. G. Wells as Social Scientist.Duncan Bell - 2019 - Modern Intellectual History 16 (3):863-895.

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