Man and the Cosmos: An Introduction to Metaphysics

Man and the Cosmos: An Introduction to Metaphysics

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Man and the Cosmos: An Introduction to Metaphysics

Man and the Cosmos: An Introduction to Metaphysics

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The following work is a systematic consideration of the fundamental problems and concepts of philosophical thought in the light of recent discussion in science and philosophy. The leading motive of the entire work is the problem of Human Personality. I have therefore given the largest amount of space to the treatment of the Self. But, since one cannot consider the place of personality in the universe without being drawn into the fundamental problem of metaphysics, namely, that of the structure of the universe as a whole, I have tried to give just consideration to the latter problem. Moreover, since philosophy is the thinking consideration of fundamental questions, one must settle accounts with the problems of thought and knowledge. I have, therefore, begun with a comprehensive treatment of these problems.

My theory of knowledge is realistic, but it differs materially from the standpoints of most of the new realists. I hold that the true antithesis in theories of knowledge is not between realism and idealism, but between realism and mentalism or subjectivism. The great idealistic tradition in metaphysics, from Plato to Hegel, Bradley, and Bosanquet, is not subjectivistic in theory of knowledge. In the main, I sympathize most with this tradition, although I have found it necessary to cricitize the concepts of the Absolute, and the equivocal treatment of Time, Progress, and Personality, in recent representatives of metaphysical idealism. To me the dominating note of the great idealistic tradition is the ever renewed attempt to determine, in the light of reason and of the history of culture, the humanistic values of experience and the place of these in the universe. My conception of the meaning of the universe is dynamic. Therefore the metaphysical standpoint of the following work might be called Dynamic Idealism, in the sense that it aims to find in the living universe a home and scope for humanistic ideals or values. My chief quarrel with pragmatic humanism is that its humanism is too narrow, and that it tends to slight the place of order or reason in man and the universe.

But I have no interest in "philosophy as the art of affixing . . .

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