Toward a Perspective Realism

Toward a Perspective Realism

Toward a Perspective Realism

Toward a Perspective Realism

Excerpt

Evander Bradley McGilvary delivered the Fifth Series of Carus Lectures at the meeting of the American Philosophical Association at Columbia University in December 1939. In March 1945 he wrote to his publisher that much had to be rewritten. "However," he said, "I hope to be able to have all my copy in your hands some time this coming summer." But he seems to have underestimated the difficulty of straightening out some of the problems. His method of revision was not to make corrections to a first draft. He would discard one version and write a new one afresh; and, being the perfectionist that he was, he might have labored another lifetime of 89 years, before his work would have satisfied his critical mind.

McGilvary's philosophy, as his title indicates, is a variety of realism; that is, nature is not derivative from spiritual substance nor constructed from mental events. Unlike some other kinds of realism, which encounter difficulty in establishing liaison between subjective experiences and the real world, McGilvary maintains that in the relations (which he calls perspectives) in which living organisms stand to their environment, the real world itself appears to the organism, and in a given perspective the world really has the characters, both physical and non-physical, which appear. This thesis is not supported in a merely general way by saying that observed events are relative to the observer and by mentioning Einstein's theory of relativity; it is worked out in detail, with explicit statement of the postulates that are being assumed, and by the use of Einstein's theory for philosophical purposes only . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.