New Realism and Old Reality: A Critical Introduction to the Philosophy of the Realists

New Realism and Old Reality: A Critical Introduction to the Philosophy of the Realists

New Realism and Old Reality: A Critical Introduction to the Philosophy of the Realists

New Realism and Old Reality: A Critical Introduction to the Philosophy of the Realists

Excerpt

Philosophies, like human beings, are most interesting, and, at the same time, most baffling in their adolescent stage. The present adolescent in the philosophic household is new realism. Adolescent-like, it occupies that bewildering, but fascinating period when the polemical spirit of youth and the pacific spirit of age battle for control. Exhibiting on the one hand a temper of revolt, and on the other betraying a concern for the very things against which the rebellious attitude is directed, new realism is surely a philosophy in its "teens."

This internal discrepancy in recent realism makes the doctrine peculiarly interpretative of the American mind. For, like realistic theory, our nation itself is in a transitional stage suggestive of adolescence. The ruthless recusancy of its earlier years is making room for the conciliatory complacency characteristic of countries centuries old. No current philosophical standpoint reflects more clearly the conflict between the pragmatic and Platonic motives in American intellectual life than new realism.

To treat the new realist's doctrine as a reflection of the culture of America is not, however, the purpose of the present work. The aim of the book is to present a critical exposition, and not a sociological justification of new realism. The author trusts that the volume will help to fill the imperative need for a comprehensive discussion of the meaning and validity of realistic philosophy, as it is presented both at home and abroad. It is intended that the expositions and evaluations offered shall be intelligible to students with but little philosophical training. The books is frankly an introduction to, and not a substitute for, the studying of original realistic literature.

Because of a conviction that new realism has truly become a philosophical system the author has treated the standpoint as . . .

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