Nuyen contrasts the natural sciences with the human sciences, contending that the latter has an objectivity that derives from its detachment and its generalization and abstraction from the particularity of individual objects and situations. In contrast the present paper offers a perspective which sees in the natural sciences an essential relation between knower and known similar to that attributed by Nuyen to the human sciences. Furthermore, it specifies the function of generalization in the natural sciences in terms of distinguishing between (...) theory and data, even while working to bring them together. Examination of similarities and differences between the natural and the human sciences might ask whether the human sciences maintain a similar distinction by different methods. In that way we might more clearly understand whether interpretive and phenomenological methods are importantly similar to the method of the natural sciences, and whether they are differently scientific from the method of the natural sciences. (shrink)
Published in two volumes, these books provide a student audience with an excellent scholarly edition of Malthus' Essay on Population. Written in 1798 as a polite attack on post-French revolutionary speculations on the theme of social and human perfectibility, it remains one of the most powerful statements of the limits to human hopes set by the tension between population growth and natural resources. Based on the authoritative variorum edition of the versions of the Essay published between 1803 and 1826, and (...) complete with full introduction and bibliographic apparatus, this edition is intended to show how Malthusianism impinges on the history of political thought, and how the author's reputation as a population theorist and political economist was established. (shrink)
This book is a lucid and readable account of Spinoza, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, James, and Santayana, not only as contributors to present-day secularism, but as precursors of religious liberalism. Beck traces the theme of "secularism and human values" through these thinkers, though difficulties arise from the fact that they represent a radical divergence of philosophic interests, and in any case would hardly have recognized, much less defended, the particular variety of secularism and religious liberalism that has arisen in recent (...) times, and with which the author associates them.—T. E. V. (shrink)
This new edition of William James’s 1909 classic, A Pluralistic Universe reproduces the original text, only modernizing the spelling. The books has been annotated throughout to clarify James’s points of reference and discussion. There is a new, fuller index, a brief chronology of James’s life, and a new bibliography—chiefly based on James’s own references. The editor, H.G. Callaway, has included a new Introduction which elucidates the legacy of Jamesian pluralism to survey some related questions of contemporary (...) American society. -/- A Pluralistic Universe was the last major book James published during his life time. It is a substantial philosophical work, devoted to a thorough-going criticism of Hegelian monism and Absolutism—and the exploration of philosophical and social-theological alternatives. Our world of some one hundred years on is much the better for James’s contributions; and understanding James’s pluralism deeply contributes even now to America’s self-understanding. At present, we are more certain that American is, and is best, a pluralistic society, than we are of what particular forms our pluralism should take. Keeping an eye out for social interpretations of Jamesian pluralism, this new philosophical reading casts light on our twenty-first century alternatives by reference to prior American experience and developments. -/- . (shrink)
William James had the courage to experience the collision of European and American ways of thinking head on, and to emerge from it with a new philosophy - one displaying a remarkable vitality for dealing with the transformative issues at the core of the human condition. This easy to read introduction to his life and work explains why James' work is overwhelmingly valuable to us today in getting to grips with the spiritual dimension of human experience.
he rest of the world has made merry over the Chicago man's legendary saying that 'Chicago hasn't had time: to get round to culture yet, but when she does strike her, she'll make her hum.' Already the prophecy is fulfilling itself in a dazzling manner. Chicago has a School of Thought! -- a school of thought which, it is safe to predict, will figure in literature as the School of Chicago for twenty-five years to come. Some universities have plenty of (...) thought to show, but no school; others plenty of school, but no thought. The University of Chicago, by its Decennial, Publications, shows real thought and a real school. Professor John Dewey, and at least ten of his disciples, have collectively put into the world a statement, homogeneous in spite of so many coöperating minds, of a view of the world, both theoretical and ~practical, which is so simple, massive, and positive that, in spite of the fact that many parts of it yet need to be worked out, it deserves the title of a new system of philosophy. If it be as true as it is original, its publication must be reckoned an important event. The present reviewer, for one, strongly suspects it of being true. (shrink)
Intellectual history and the history of political thought are siblings, perhaps even twins. They have similar origins and use similar materials. They attract many of the same friends and make some of the same enemies. Yet like most siblings, they have different temperaments and ambitions. This essay explores the family resemblances and draws out the contrasts by examining two major works by one of the most prominent political theorists of the past half-century, Alan Ryan, who has recently published two big (...) books that intellectual historians will find rewarding and provocative. (shrink)
This book successfully achieves to serve two different purposes. On the one hand, it is a readable physics-based introduction into the philosophy of science, written in an informal and accessible style. The author, himself a professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame and active in the philosophy of science for almost twenty years, carefully develops his metatheoretical arguments on a solid basis provided by an extensive survey along the lines of the historical development of physics. On the other (...) hand, this book supplies one long argument for Cushing´s own attitude in the philosophy of science. While former studies of the author, from which this book draws in part, focused each on one special episode in the history of science, this book gathers case material from many different parts of physics and epochs. The main goal of this book is ”to impress upon the reader the essential and ineliminable role that philosophical considerations have played in the actual practice of science” (p. xv). The book is beautifully edited and produced; it contains a wealth of illustrative figures, well-chosen short quotations from original sources and contemporary commentators (some longer quotations are relegated in an appendix at the end of a chapter) and does not dispense with insightful mathematical arguments in the main text (some advanced deductions are, however, relegated in the appendices). It contains nine parts, whereas only the first and the last one are exclusively devoted to philosophical issues. The seven remaining parts, each subdivided into three chapters, centre around one major episode (a theory, a world view, etc.) in the history of physics. The author presents this material in a clear and philosophically unbiased way so that also readers who do not share Cushing’s subsequent philosophical conclusions will find this inspiring book extremely useful. Part 1 (”The scientific enterprise”) discusses some traditional (”objectivist”) views concerning the status of scientific knowledge, ”the” scientific method, and the relation.... (shrink)