Naturalism and Subjectivism

Naturalism and Subjectivism

Naturalism and Subjectivism

Naturalism and Subjectivism

Excerpt

The present work is scheduled to appear in 1959, which is notable as a centennial year for a number of reasons: among others, as an anniversary of the appearance of Darwin Origin of Species and Marx Critique of Political Economy, and also of the birth of John Dewey and Edmund Husserl. It is concerned with the tension between naturalism and idealism in its historical outcome of subjectivism, as developed in the phenomenological movement.

Great interest attaches to phenomenology because of its strategic position as the last stronghold of idealism. The old opposition between naturalism and supernaturalism, or between materialism and spiritualism, has been superseded by a conflict between naturalism as a philosophy based upon the findings and methods of the sciences, and subjectivism as a general tendency, with its principle of the primacy of the experiencing being. The practical importance of this principle is seen in its use for numerous philosophies of man and existence. That makes it all the more pertinent to examine subjectivism in juxtaposition with its major antagonist--naturalism.

The criticism, at times severe, which is offered by the present volume, will be sure to meet with hostility in some quarters. To those who demur in the name of a "pure" philosophy, or in the name of a vacuous philosophy of existence, it may be said simply that fidelity to the cause of truth is alone at issue.

The writer acknowledges his grateful indebtedness to . . .

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