The Faith of a Liberal: Selected Essays

By Morris R. Cohen | Go to book overview

tance and dangers of the professional spirit are also the objects of comments that are both acute and sound. An instance of brilliant reconstruction of history is seen in what Professor Whitehead says about the rise of agriculture as a form of human prevision. The actual history was probably more gradual, accidental, and prosaic; but what Professor Whitehead says stimulates the imagination.


45
THE NEW PHILOSOPHER'S STONE

MR. RUSSELL'S VISIT to this country in 1914 did not attract as much attention from the general educated public as did the previous visits of Bergson or Eucken. Yet there can be no questioning the fact that American philosophy is far more indebted to Russell than to either of the more widely known men. Not only have our young neo-realists been dependent upon him for inspiration and substantial arguments, but the center of interests and the prevailing standards of philosophic workmanship have been largely influenced by his work. Certainly no one acquainted with recent philosophic literature will disagree with the judgment of such independent thinkers as Professors Dewey, Adler, Woodbridge, Thorndike, and Bush, who recommended that the Butler medal be conferred upon him "for the most important contribution to philosophy in the last five years." But though Mr. Russell writes with unusual clarity and with a nobility of style that is remarkable, he is not likely

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Published in The New Republic, Vol. 3, p. 338 ( July 31, 1915), as a review of Bertrand Russell, Our Knowledge of the External World as a Field for Scientific Method in Philosophy.

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