THE SPIRIT OF AMERICAN PHILOSOPHY by John E. Smith

THE SPIRIT OF AMERICAN PHILOSOPHY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Thanks to author Smith we have here a high, wide and impressive, if not particularly definitive, demonstration that pragmatism was and still is the golden pinnacle of American philosophy. The author's survey, which regrettably eliminates the complementary work of British humanist Schiller, the operational theory of physicist Bridgman and the prediction theory of Justice Holmes, amply elaborates on and soundly elucidates the work of the four masters involved: Peirce, Royce, James and Dewey along with a concluding appraisal of Whitehead, or that part of Whitehead's oeuvre which proved an off-shoot of the movement. Generally all asked the why, where, how and when of thinking; all raged against Cartesian subjectivism, Baconian nominalism, all believed in progress through knowledge; all were, more or less, evolutionary, naturalistic and scientifically experimental, from Peirce's doctrine of chance, continuity and love to James' rational world for the solving of practical concerns, Royce's principle of community and Dewey's instrumentalism. A boon for students.

Pub Date: April 18th, 1963
Publisher: Oxford