A History of Philosophy in America, 1720-2000 by Bruce Kuklick

By Bruce Kuklick

This can be a nice booklet! i've been a member of the yank Philosophical organization for over 50 years, and this publication defined a number of the "politics" of what used to be happening, whilst i used to be unaware that whatever yet "objective fact" governed over what occurred to philosophers. This publication is erudite, effortless to learn, from my standpoint very actual briefly summaries of assorted philosophers and numerous hobbies in American philosophy. I discovered much from this book!!!!!

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Hamilton's realism contested that direct knowledge existed of what was exterior to mind. Knowledge of the non-ego (primary qualities) was as immediate as knowledge of individual sensations (secondary qualities), and only through phenomena of both sorts were the noumenal (nonego and ego) known at all. Matter and mind in themselves were not known except as the two real causes or necessary substrata of the phenomena. This union of Kant and Locke was Hamilton's pivotal contribution in the United States.

Moral philosophy included ethics and the social sciences viewed as explicitly normative, and dealt with the two 'active' faculties, the emotions and the will. Americans drilled students with the works of foreigners but also drew up their own textbooks in two volumes, the first on the mind's cognitive powers, the second on the moral. Reid and Stewart contended that the data of experience were not the ideas of classical empiricism but judgements accompanying sensations. In such 'sense perception' the mind contacted the external world.

If human beings were to participate in God's kingdom, they must freely choose to worship him. So far this was good Edwardsean doctrine, but by 'free will' Taylor had in mind the inner freedom, a 'power to the contrary', that Edwards found unintelligible. For Taylor, people had the ability to act contrary to the way they had acted, be their circumstances and their character the same. Moral agency, Taylor continued, could 'no more exist without this [spontaneous] power than matter can exist without solidity and a triangle without sides and angles'.

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