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)
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)
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)
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)
A transitional book in the development of Royce's thought, originally published in 1908, The Philosophy of Loyalty is a key to understanding his influence on the development of pragmatism. Royce's basic argument is clear. Individual wills are a given, and social training is a natural aspect of community.