Critical Realism: Studies in the Philosophy of Mind and Nature

Critical Realism: Studies in the Philosophy of Mind and Nature

Critical Realism: Studies in the Philosophy of Mind and Nature

Critical Realism: Studies in the Philosophy of Mind and Nature

Excerpt

The papers contained in the present volume have been written at various times during the last twenty years, and are concerned with different aspects of one fundamental philosophical issue. I have selected them from a number of others because I find that together they form a coherent whole, and may be regarded as the working out in detail of a point of view respecting the relation of mind to nature to which I have gradually attained, by surveying the matter in the light of the history of thought and by grappling with the specific problems which the view in question at once raises.

I am, of course, aware that the term "critical realism" has been adopted by a group of seven distinguished American philosophers to denote a theory which they hold in common and which they sharply distinguish from that of the so-called "neo-realists". But, in the first place, I had used the term long prior to their adoption of it. The first essay in this volume was published originally in 1917, three years before the appearance of the Essays in Critical Realism. And, in the second place, while there are many things in their book with which I am in thorough accord, there are also not a few from which I strongly dissent, some of which latter seem to me to give their case away. Moreover, while they disclaim any reference to the Kantian philosophy in their use of the word "critical", I claim to be using it in what may legitimately be said to be the Kantian sense. It was, I take it, the essence of Kant's critical method that it should put as the first question to be faced in philosophical inquiry, what are the conditions of knowledge of objects? For, in answering that question, there must come to light such explanation . . .

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