The Pluralist Philosophies of England & America

The Pluralist Philosophies of England & America

The Pluralist Philosophies of England & America

The Pluralist Philosophies of England & America

Excerpt

After the development of the systems of Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel, there came into being in Germanyvarious doctrines whose authors insisted on the diversity of things, the personality of men and of God. On the whole, these philosophies were distinctly opposed to the Hegelian philosophy.

Fechner is the most original of these anti-Hegelians. Very general -- we may say very vague -- ideas lead him to make the most precise studies of physics and psychophysics; on the other hand, by following a method of mingled empiricism and romanticism, he transforms his exact investigations as a physicist and a psycho-physicist into adventurous speculations; it is the blend of these two tendencies, empiricism and romanticism, that fascinates James, who recognises in Fechner a mind akin to his own.

He is the paragon of empiricists, writes James. And his empiricism is essentially a mistrust of abstraction. Abstractions have no existence, consequently his method is not based on distinct and simple ideas and does not proceed by deduction; it is a method of analogy by . . .

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