This is the second volume of Professor Macmurray's Gifford Lectures on The Form of the Personal. The first volume, The Self as Agent, was concerned to shift the center of philosophy from thought to action. Persons in Relation, starting from this practical standpoint, sets out to show that the form of personal life is determined by the mutuality of personal relationship, so that the unit of human life is not the "I" alone, by the "You and I.".
At the heart of Macmurray's work is his attempt to reverse the proposition of philosophy of the modern period that posits the self as thinker withdrawn from action and essentially isolated from the world about which it reflects. Macmurray labored to recast the role of philosophy in the service of a more fulfilling and basic personal communion with others, with the world, and ultimately with God. Indeed, it can be said that Macmurray's philosophy is really a philosophy of community—a philosophy (...) that relates to many contemporary philosophical and religious concerns, as well as having a bearing on current historical/sociological, political, and feminist critiques of contemporary American society. (shrink)
Reason in the emotional life. I-III.--Education of the emotions.--The early discipline of personality.--The personal life.--The virtue of chastity.--Art and the future.--Science and religion.--Reason and religion.--Religious reality.--The maturity of religion. I-II.--The conservation of personality.
In this book, Macmurray develops with exceptional clarity his views on reason and emotion as interdependent, rather than opposed aspects of human personality. Underlying the lectures collected in this volume and giving them their unity is Macmurray's conviction that the contrast we habitually draw between "reason" and "emotion" is false and leads to the erroneous conclusion that our emotional life is irrational and must remain so. The proper contrast, Macmurray stresses, lies between "intellect" and "emotion", while "reason", as that which (...) makes us human, expresses itself in both. (shrink)
Represents a significant stage in the development of Macmurray's philosophy of the personal. His suggestions about the nature of freedom and the conditions under which we may hope to enjoy it should be of great interest to anyone who is concerned about the development of a social and political system within which personal values can still be safeguarded.
John Macmurray, one of the most brilliant of the younger English philosophers, sets forth his conception of a religion which he believes can save the world from chaos. He regards religion as having its springs in the relations between human individuals, and thinks that a religion that is not concerned with inherent social questions is no religion at all, or rather, it is a religion that has been falsified and that has lost the clue to its own meaning. According to (...) his view, every aspect of progress, every scientific advance, the achievement of every artist and every mystic is to be tested not against a supernatural world but in the practical world of human society. It is only in this way that the efficacy of religion and its high usefulness to mankind will be able to continue in its historical importance and perhaps even create a world of peace and well-being. (shrink)
In his first book, Macmurray calls for a more candid self-analysis as he offers a diagnosis of the philosophical problems presented by contemporary life. Based on two series of radio lectures from 1930–32, Macmurray addresses problems and reasoned solutions that are still relevant today.
One of the most deeply engrained habits of the modern world is the habit of thinking in terms of a contrast, and indeed of an opposition, between something we call Mind and something we call Matter. This habit is obviously not confined to philosophy. It is built into the structure of our languages and of our ways of behaviour. It conditions our religious and moral attitudes, as well as our reflective thought in science and philosophy. It is not surprising, therefore, (...) that much of modern European Philosophy has consisted in an effort to overcome the dualism to which this habit gives rise when we try to clarify and systematize our knowledge of Reality. This essay on the subject is an essay in scepticism. (shrink)
In the historical process by which our knowledge develops, new ideas and new experiences tend very naturally to define themselves by reference to the old. It is not merely that an original thinker must express his originality in terms of old modes of language and thought, but that the new idea, the new experience, being vague and indistinctly grasped, is apt to coin for its expression and propagation phrases in which the emphasis falls upon the difference or variation from what (...) is familiar and concretely understood. In the history of practical developments like that of the theory of political organization this factor is both evident and momentous. In the transition to modern democracy, for example, the familiar distinction between the Sovereign and Subjects dictates the form in which the old order is challenged. (shrink)
Of all the sciences, philosophy is the most concrete and comprehensive. The sense of cold, remote spaces which it is apt to generate in us is the result of this very width and concreteness. The philosopher has to condense the many-sided variety of human life and express it through the symbols of a common language. The symbols are at best only semi-transparent.ness descends upon him the moment they become opaque. Philosophy, in fact, is useless to us unless we can see (...) through it. If we cannot, the fault may be ours. If it is the philosopher's, then his failure is a failure to be wide enough or concrete enough. He needs above all to be sympathetically sensitive to the wide range of human interests, because it is this as a whole that he is bidden to systematize. He must give a single answer, and for that he must formulate a single question. Therefore his first problem is to discover the unity of problems. (shrink)
Macmurray lays the foundations for his exploration of community. His concern for community, or persons in relation, has become one of the major preoccupations of many cutting-edge debates in contemporary philosophy and religion and inspires new directions in moral theory.
Excerpt from Some Makers of the Modern Spirit: A Symposium This does not mean, however, that the book does not form a unity. Each contributor has expressed his own view on the subject allotted to him with full regard to the plan of the series as a whole. This plan was to present in historical order some of the main ideas which have been woven together in the course of the last centuries to form the pattern of the modern spirit. (...) To this end the diversity of outlook represented by the various contributors is essential, for it is of first impor tance that a historical person and the ideas for which he stood should be presented by some one who is at least in general sympathy with them. I should like to take this opportunity to thank the British Broadcasting Corporation for their readiness to facilitate the publication of the talks in book form. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works. (shrink)
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