English and American Philosophy since 1800: A Critical Survey

By Arthur K. Rogers | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII
PRAGMATISM

§ 1. C. S. Peirce. Schiller

1. A definition of pragmatism is hardly attainable that will do justice to all the various motives that influence its adherents. The most unequivocal and universal motive is, perhaps, the negative one of an opposition to "intellectualism," with its world of static perfection and logical completeness. This opposition is of course not limited to the pragmatists; voluntarism, so-called, has been seen already to enter largely into latter-day philosophy, and there are points at which personal idealism and pragmatism come so closely together that it is not an easy matter to distinguish them. But while both make use of the newer psychology with its teleological background, and its acceptance of the temporal process, they use it in the service of somewhat different interests. The concern for individuality and selfhood is, at least in the more thoroughgoing forms of pragmatism, supplanted almost wholly by an emphasis on the general laws and conditions of progress, in which the person tends to be a vanishing moment. Accordingly there is in pragmatism a much closer community in method with the larger and more impersonal scientific movements of the day; indeed these form on the whole its most important intellectual antecedent. Pragmatism stands for the importation into philosophy of the experimental attitude which science represents,--an experimentalism with a strongly positivistic tone, for which ideas are fruitful hypotheses and ways of getting results, rather

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English and American Philosophy since 1800: A Critical Survey
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • Contents xi
  • ENGLISH AND AMERICAN PHILOSOPHY SINCE 1800 1
  • Chapter II - THE UTILITARIANS 49
  • Chapter III Authority and Reason in Theology 96
  • Chapter IV - NATURALISM AND EVOLUTION 128
  • Chapter V - ABSOLUTE IDEALISM 207
  • Chapter VI - PERSONAL IDEALISM, PANPSYCHISM AND REALISM 315
  • Chapter VII 359
  • Chapter VIII - NEO-REALISM 411
  • INDEX TO AUTHORS 453
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