This article examines the imagination by way of various studies in cognitive science. It opens by examining the neural correlates of bodily metaphors. It assumes a basic knowledge of metaphor studies, or the primary finding that has emerged from this field: that large swathes of human conceptualization are structured by bodily relations. I examine the neural correlates of metaphor, concentrating on the relation between the sensory motor cortices and linguistic conceptualization. This discussion, however, leaves many questions unanswered. If it is (...) the case that the sensory motor cortices are appropriated in language acquisition, how does this process occur at the neural level? What neural preconditions exist such that this appropriation is possible? It is with these questions in mind that I will turn my attention to studies of neural plasticity, degeneracy and the mirror neuron activation. Whereas some scholarship in philosophy and cognitive neuroscience has aimed to identify the neurological correlates of consciousness, examining plasticity, degeneracy and activation shifts the discussion away from a study of correlates toward an exploration of the neurological dynamics of thought. This shift seems appropriate if we are to examine the processes of the “imagination.”. (shrink)
Idealism, Pragmatism, and Feminism provides an account of the life and writings of Ella Lyman Cabot (1866-1934), a woman who received formal training, but not formal recognition, in the field of classical American philosophy. It highlights the themes of idealism, pragmatism and feminism as they emerged in the course of career as an educational reformer and ethicist that spanned nearly four decades. Cabot's writings, developed in graduate seminars at Harvard and Radcliffe at the turn of the century complement, and in (...) many cases anticipate, the thinking of the "fathers" of the American philosophical cannon: Charles Sanders Peirce, Josiah Royce, William James, and John Dewey. Her formal philosophical writing focuses on the concepts of growth, creativity, and the moral imagination—a fact that is especially interesting given that these concepts are developed by a woman who faced serious obstacles in her personal and intellectual development. Indeed, these concepts are not merely philosophical ideals, but practical tools that Ella Lyman Cabot used to negotiate the gender roles and intellectual marginalization that she faces at the turn of the century. The discipline of philosophy was very slow to incorporate the insights of women into its self-definition. An analysis of the writings of Ella Lyman Cabot reveals this point, but also the pointed ways in which she sought to express her genuinely creative insights. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: This article focuses on the role that Hegels discussion of Hegel and Peirce by claiming that the second book of HegelThe Doctrine of Essence,s attempt to account for the experimental and turbulent character of human experience, a character that Peirce would term While Pierce remained dissatisfied with Hegels detailed understanding of Hegel.
This paper recovers and investigates the work of two forgotten figures in the history of American philosophy: Ella Lyman Cabot and Mary Parker Follett. It focuses on Cabot's work, developed between 1889 and 1906. During this period, Cabot took several classes given by Josiah Royce at Radcliffe College. Cabot's work creatively extends Royce's early thinking on the issues of growth, unity, and loyalty. This paper claims that Cabot's writing serves as a valuable type of Roycean interpretation—an interpretation that sheds light (...) on Royce's philosophy while redeploying his thinking in ways that explore its ethical and social implications. Cabot is an important figure in the community of classical American thinkers, a figure who deserves greater attention. This analysis concludes with a brief discussion of Cabot's legacy as it is carried on by Mary Parker Follett's progressive and feminist writings published in the early decades of the 1900s. Follett's contribution to the field of organizational management reveals her affinity with Cabot and variety of other American thinkers. (shrink)
This article investigates William James's reading of the concepts of selflessness and transcendence in relation to the Chan and Pure Land schools of Chinese Buddhism. The divide between Chan and Pure Land Buddhism may be mediated if we attend to aspects of the two traditions that James found particularly meaningful. James is drawn to selflessness as presented in the concept of emptiness in the Chan understanding of meditative experience. He is equally interested in Buddhist devotional practices of Pure Land that (...) claim to open individuals and their communities to the divine. James saw these two aspects as deeply compatible. (shrink)
In 1893, John Dewey published "Teaching Ethics in the High Schools," a short article in Educational Review that provided the theoretical grounding for his work in the school systems of Pennsylvania and Illinois in the last two decades of the nineteenth century. In describing the ends of ethical training, Dewey revised the rule-driven method of Protestant morality, suggesting that, "the end of the method then, is the formation of sympathetic imagination for human relations in action; this is the ideal which (...) is substituted for training in moral rules or for analysis of one's sentiments and attitude in conduct."1 This article, along with Outlines for a Critical Theory of Ethics (1891) and his Study of Ethics (1894) .. (shrink)
Philosophical Pragmatism and International Relations bridges the gap between philosophical pragmatism and international relations, two disciplinary perspectives that together shed light on how to advance the study and conduct of foreign affairs. Authors in this collection discuss a broad range of issues, from policy relevance to peacekeeping operations, with an eye to understanding how this distinctly American philosophy, pragmatism, can improve both international relations research and foreign policy practice.
This paper briefly examines the relationship between chance, creativity and ethics in Peirce's development of tychism. In the early 1900s Peirce began to suggest that chance ought to be understood as a type of agency or as "psychical action" upon matter. I discuss the ethical implicaof this suggestion. Peirce remained reticent to translate the speculations concerning chance and purpose into the language of applied ethics. It is for this reason that I look to Ella Lyman Cabot to extend Peirce's metaphysical (...) speculations. Cabot was an active interlocutor with Josiah Royce between 1888 and 1916. In comparison to Peirce, Cabot's interest in chance is overtly ethical; she believed that a specific orientation to chance events can dramatically alter the course of human conduct. This point is made clear in her unpublished papers from 1902 and in her Everyday Ethics (1906). Cabot's work stands as an original contribution to the canon that deserves serious attention. (shrink)
This article investigates the relationship between moral judgments, fallibility, and imaginative insight. It will draw heavily from the canon of classical American philosophy, the members of which (from Ralph Waldo Emerson, to C.S. Peirce, E.L. Cabot, to Jane Addams, to John Dewey) took up this relationship as pivotally important in moral theorizing. It argues that the process of hypothesis formation—characterized as “insight” by Emerson and extended by Peirce in his notion of “abduction”—is a necessary condition of moral progress for it (...) allows individuals to think through the boundaries of social and ethical life. In a world of unexpected occurrences and uncertainty, the ability to generate novel explanatory frameworks and normative ideals is a crucial, if normally underappreciated, moral faculty. This paper attempts to respond to this relative neglect. (shrink)
"You are really getting under my skin!" This exclamation suggests a series of psychological, philosophical, and metaphysical questions: What is the nature and development of human emotion? How does emotion arise in social interaction? To what extent can interactive situations shape our embodied selves and intensify particular affective states? With these questions in mind, William James begins to investigate the character of emotions and to develop a model of what he terms the social self. James's studies of mimicry and his (...) interest in phenomena now often investigated using biofeedback begin to explain how affective states develop and how it might be possible for something to "get under one's skin." I situate these studies in the history of psychology between the psychological schools of structuralism and behaviorism. More important, I suggest continuity between James's Psychology and recent research on mirror neurons, reentrant mapping, and emotional mimicry in the fields of clinical psychology and cognitive neuroscience. This research supports and extends James's initial claims in regard to the creation of emotions and the life of the social self. I propose that James's work in the empirical sciences should be read as a prelude to his metaphysical works that speak of a coordination between embodied selves and wider environmental situations, and his psychological studies should be read as a prelude to his reflections on spiritual transcendence. (shrink)
This is an intellectual biography in the most literal sense; at no point in the history of American philosophy has an individual embodied the ideals that they wrote about at length. Philosophical idealism, pragmatism and feminism served as guides for Ella Lyman Cabot as she entered the discipline of philosophy, a discipline that continues to marginalize the work of women to this very day.
The contributors to Pragmatism and the Philosophy of Sport argue that American pragmatism is particularly well suited analyze the experience and development of sport activities. This volume will be a valuable resource in any philosophy of sport class or in a course on pragmatism; it will also be appropriate for kinesiology students. It will give readers a good sense of the themes in the American philosophical tradition as well as those in the burgeoning field of the philosophy of sport.
Lily Furedi’s Subway (1934) is full of individuals. It is a painting of a subway car filled with people on their way home from work. At first, these individuals appear rather isolated, just doing their own thing. But upon closer examination, a viewer notices something rather peculiar, namely that these individuals are surreptitiously, unconsciously, uncontrollably interested in each other. A couple quietly leans in for a kiss; a man watches furtively as a woman applies her make-up; a woman reads over (...) the shoulder of a fellow passenger; and the viewer’s eyes fix on a sleeping man holding a violin case. Furedi places her viewer on this subway and in so doing allows her to catch sight of individualism in its private .. (shrink)
On October 16, 1859, John Brown led an unsuccessful raid on the Harpers Ferry Armory. He planned to seize the cache of weapons in order to arm local slaves, to march south, and to deplete Virginia of the slaves who supported its economy. While it failed to realize this objective, the raid succeeded in driving a wedge between the Union and the Confederate States. The rift that Brown helped create grew into the gaping wound of the Civil War.Four years later, (...) Abraham Lincoln surveyed the site of the most gruesome aspect of that wound: Soldier's Cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. His Gettysburg Address signaled a turn in the war and a turn in the Union's favor. It is remembered as a significant step in the project .. (shrink)
From the celebrated author of American Philosophy: A Love Story and Hiking with Nietzsche, a compelling introduction to the life-affirming philosophy of William James In 1895, William James, the father of American philosophy, delivered a lecture entitled "Is Life Worth Living?" It was no theoretical question for James, who had contemplated suicide during an existential crisis as a young man a quarter century earlier. Indeed, as John Kaag writes, "James's entire philosophy, from beginning to end, was geared to save a (...) life, his life"—and that's why it just might be able to save yours, too. Sick Souls, Healthy Minds is a compelling introduction to James's life and thought that shows why the founder of pragmatism and empirical psychology—and an inspiration for Alcoholics Anonymous—can still speak so directly and profoundly to anyone struggling to make a life worth living. Kaag tells how James's experiences as one of what he called the "sick-souled," those who think that life might be meaningless, drove him to articulate an ideal of "healthy-mindedness"—an attitude toward life that is open, active, and hopeful, but also realistic about its risks. In fact, all of James's pragmatism, resting on the idea that truth should be judged by its practical consequences for our lives, is a response to, and possible antidote for, crises of meaning that threaten to undo many of us at one time or another. Along the way, Kaag also movingly describes how his own life has been endlessly enriched by James. Eloquent, inspiring, and filled with insight, Sick Souls, Healthy Minds may be the smartest and most important self-help book you'll ever read. (shrink)
This article focuses on the intimate relationship between German aesthetic theory, particularly the philosophies of Kant and Schiller, and the pragmatic tradition of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. I argue that many aspects of Kantian aesthetic theory – his development of reflective judgement, genius, and common sense – are reflected in the thinking of C. S. Peirce. I conclude, however, that such a comparison risks selling short the way that German idealism influenced American thinkers and instead suggest that it (...) is more fruitful to concentrate on ‘aesthetic experience’. I argue that attending to the aesthetic dimensions of experience might re-orient contemporary approaches to pragmatism that continue to focus on the way that pragmatism might intervene in debates in epistemology and philosophy of language. (shrink)
Pragmatism, with its insistence that philosophy attend to practical affairs of what Charles Sanders Peirce called "vital importance," has always faced a unique double bind. If it spent too much time on philosophical speculation, it made no difference to practical affairs. But if it fixated on the practical affairs of the social and political realm, it was no longer engaged in philosophy. This double bind is not unique to pragmatism and has shown itself repeatedly in the last two hundred years (...) as feminist and anti-racist philosophy have gained traction in academia. Feminists who worry about concrete cases of oppression, who work in practical ways to end this oppression, are not regarded as true philosophers. .. (shrink)
This symposium examines insurrectionist ethics, the brainchild of Leonard Harris. The position does not stem from one key source; it was born out of Harris’s philosophical interaction with various philosophers over an extended period, including thinkers as diverse as David Walker, Karl Marx, Edward Wilmot Blyden, Alain Locke, and Angela Davis. The driving questions are: What counts as justified protest? Do slaves have a moral duty to insurrect? What character traits and modes to resistance are most conducive to liberation and (...) the amelioration of oppressive material conditions? Insurrectionist ethics is meant to address such questions. This symposium attempts to locate insurrectionist ethics in the work of representative practitioners. To this end, each of the contributors focuses on some historical figure in the American intellectual tradition with hopes of tracing, substantiating, questioning, clarifying, or extending Harris’s claims. (shrink)