The Naturalism of Samuel Alexander

The Naturalism of Samuel Alexander

The Naturalism of Samuel Alexander

The Naturalism of Samuel Alexander

Excerpt

My interest in Alexander grew out of an attempt to find a contemporary philosopher who would give a comprehensive and satisfying analysis of experience. I was seeking a thinker who would do justice to religion, art and morality within the framework of our scientific enterprise. In my quest I was also looking for someone who would approach this task from a realistic viewpoint. In this book I have sought to show that the naturalistic basis of Alexander's thought is patent in his metaphysics, in his discussion of truth, of goodness, of art, and of religion. The fact of his naturalism or realism is also clear from the admiration which he displays for the thought of Spinoza, which comes out in several essays and in miscellaneous remarks, as when he writes that he will be happy if on his incinerary urn is inscribed: cum Spinoza erravit. I hope to demonstrate that Alexander's philosophy is, among other things, an illustration of a good variety of naturalism.

Many philosophers present admirable analytical studies on subjects of limited scope, but in Alexander I found one whose interests ranged the whole gamut of experience. Whether it was metaphysics or science, morality or art, time or God, Alexander pointed the way to understanding. Although we do not care for any final . . .

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