British Empiricism and American Pragmatism: New Directions by Robert J. Roth

By Robert J. Roth

This quantity contributes to the impressive resurgence in curiosity for American pragmatism and its proponents, William James, C. S. Peirce, and John Dewey, by way of targeting the impact of British empiricism, specifically the philosophies of Locke and Hume, and the pointy variations among the 2 traditions. it really is Roth's competition that American pragmatism, often referred to as America's first "indigenous" philosophy, has whatever major to assert philosophically, not just for the US, yet for the area. Hereto, the traces of improvement and divergence among British empiricism and American pragmatism haven't been sufficiently constructed.

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Further, the supposition that substance exists is an inference, from idea to reality, which is not capable of being justified by his own empiricism. For all that, Locke was extremely influential in closing the door on the metaphysics of an abiding entity continuing through various changes and in opening the way to some form of atomism which has become a characteristic of the empiricist tradition. Hume In addressing Hume's theory of experience, it would save a good deal of time and effort if one could simply say that it is a continuation of Locke's position.

Before attention is given to the knowing process, one takes the stand that the mind is already in contact with objects until it is proven to be otherwise. Surely minds and objects are different and separate, but the initial experience indicates the unity and continuity between them. Further, experience and reflection can focus on their separateness and diversity and may even reveal their incompatibility. But unity and continuity are primary in experience. Peirce makes a similar point in his pragmatic maxim.

The latter too would call it a faulty psychology or, better, an inadequate reflection on experience. His solution was to return to experience and to see what had been missed. Dewey's procedure is similar. But the insights which enabled him to break through these separations among the elements of experience and between experience and nature were initially drawn from biology. " Life even at its lowest level requires the activity of the organism adapting to its environment. And the adaptation is not entirely passive, whereby the organism is merely acted on or receives.

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