Pragmatism and the American Mind: Essays and Reviews in Philosophy and Intellectual History

Pragmatism and the American Mind: Essays and Reviews in Philosophy and Intellectual History

Pragmatism and the American Mind: Essays and Reviews in Philosophy and Intellectual History

Pragmatism and the American Mind: Essays and Reviews in Philosophy and Intellectual History

Excerpt

In this volume I have gathered together a number of pieces previously available only in widely scattered places, hoping that when gathered together they will show how philosophical analysis may illuminate the history of ideas and contribute to the resolution, or at least the clarification, of some important problems concerning the central institutions and disciplines of civilization -- for example, science, history, religion, and education. The volume as a whole reflects a combination of interests that I have maintained for more than thirty years. The unusualness of this combination of interests among contemporary American philosophers and, as I think, its intellectual and social value, encourage me to collect these essays in one place.

My notion that a philosopher may fruitfully unite an interest in logical analysis with one in the history of ideas and another in what is sometimes called cultural criticism, has not been accepted -- to put it mildly -- by many thinkers who have been influenced, as I have been, by analytic philosophy. Those who subscribed, for example, to logical positivism in the nineteen-twenties and -thirties rarely went beyond studying the logic of science because positivists declared that philosophy was nothing but the logic of science; that moral judg-

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