Contemporary Philosophy: Studies of Logical Positivism and Existentialism

Contemporary Philosophy: Studies of Logical Positivism and Existentialism

Contemporary Philosophy: Studies of Logical Positivism and Existentialism

Contemporary Philosophy: Studies of Logical Positivism and Existentialism

Excerpt

The essays collected in this volume fall into two main groups. The first group consists of papers dealing with the dominant current of thought in modern British philosophy and with problems suggested to my mind by reflection thereon, while the essays belonging to the second group are concerned with Continental personalist and existentialist philosophies. For the sake of convenience I have entitled the several essays "chapters."

The first group of essays begins with a paper on contemporary British philosophy which appeared in 1953 in Gregorianum, published by the Pontifical Gregorian University at Rome. And I reprint it here with grateful acknowledgment to the Editor of this periodical. The essay was written to give some information to readers with little or no previous knowledge of the subject, and its presence here may therefore seem to be superfluous. But I think that it may be of some use to the general reader, and it serves as a convenient introduction. A paper of this kind has, however, the disadvantage that the brief allusions to contemporary philosophers, which is all that it permits, may easily give rise to misunderstanding, and they in any case do scant justice to the philosophers concerned. The last-mentioned fault cannot, indeed, be remedied without turning an article into a large book; but in an appendix to the essay I have mentioned some points which will, I hope, serve as a corrective of, or at least as a check to, the erroneous impressions which may be occasioned by some passages of the text.

In the last paragraph of the first chapter I have made a passing reference to the influence exercised on philosophy by the growth of the particular sciences and by the development of our technical civilization. But as this theme is not dealt with in the first chapter I have thought it worth while to include, as a second chapter, an essay entitled Some Reflections on Logical Positivism . . .

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