Notes on Introduction to Philosophy -- Phil A201
William Jamison - Instructor
Fourteenth lecture notes for Introduction to Philosophy:
During the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth century, there was an outburst and flourishing of philosophic activity in America. The key figures drew upon a variety of European orientations (British empiricism, Kant, Hegel), but an important group emerged which included Charles S. Peirce, William James, John Dewey, and George Herbert Mead. Although there were sharp differences in their intellectual backgrounds, philosophic temperaments, training, and interests, nevertheless there were also sufficient "family resemblances" so that they--as well as others--began to think of themselves as constituting a distinctive philosophic movement. William James, a gifted stylist and an immensely popular lecturer, labeled the movement "pragmatism" and acknowledged Peirce as its founder. (Sometimes it is said that pragmatism was born from James's misunderstanding of Peirce.) Peirce was so outraged by James's popularization that he renamed his own doctrine "pragmaticism--a name ugly enough to be safe from kidnappers."
The word "Pragmatism":
Greek "pragma" = "that which has been done"
Latin "res" = thing
Kant - "relation to some definite human purpose"
Pierce - how knowledge is related to human action
Peirce: foundation is a behavioral semiotic
semiotic - theory of signs - a word's meaning is its use
meaning, logic, rhetoric
pragmatic maxim: meaning is the connection between action and experience
Charles Sanders Peirce 1839-1914
born Cambridge, Mass.
father, Benjamin, leading mathematician and astronomy at Harvard
graduates from Harvard 1859
Lawrence Scientific School - chemistry 1863 SCL
Next 15 years:
Astronomer - Harvard (measuring light)
Physicist for US Coast and Geodetic Survey (dad)
private philosophical studies
Charles Sanders Peirce
Lecturer in Logic at Johns Hopkins University
1879 - 1884
Retired to Milford, Pa. 1887 - until 1914
Applying the pragmatic maxim to philosophy is the point of pragmatism as a philosophy
James at Harvard
Dewey at Hopkins
William James 1842-1910
The Pragmatic Movement in American Philosophy
The Unproblematic: (Traditional view)
prestige of science and scientific method
strength of empiricism
ideals of American Democracy
Peirce - scientist, James - psychology
Mead - sociologist, Dewey - educator
(Peirce - pragmaticism)
(Dewey - intrumentalism)
William James - Life
Born - New York City
father, Henry James, Sr., - theologian (Swedenborgian - New Jerusalem)
brother Henry James, the great novelist
private schools in US and Europe
Lawrence Scientific School at Harvard
Harvard Medical School - degree in 1869
expedition in Brazil (Teddy R!)
studied physiology in Germany
William James - Life (cont.)
three years of retirement due to illness
instructor in physiology - Harvard 1872 Professor of psychology and philosophy at Harvard - 1880
1907 highly successful lectures at Columbia University and the University of Oxford
died in Chocorua, New Hampshire, on August 26, 1910
William James - Philosophy
Principles of Psychology - 1890
he is one of the most influential thinkers of his time - removed psychology from its traditional place as a branch of philosophy and establishing it among the laboratory sciences based on experimental method
"a remarkable parallel obtains between the facts of social evolution on the one hand, and of zoological evolution as expounded by Mr. Darwin on the other."
William James - Philosophy
social dialectic: is within individuals as much as between individuals; it is at multiple levels simultaneously.
consciousness is nothing other than the subjective experience:"feeling, may be likened to a cross-section of the chain of nervous discharge, ascertaining the links already laid down, and groping among the fresh ends presented to it for the one which seems to fit the case."
Varieties of Religious Experience
religious experience "testifies that we can experience union with something larger than ourselves and in that union find our greatest peace."
"All that the facts require is that the power should be both other and larger than our conscious selves."
John Dewey 1859-1952
born in Burlington, Vt.
B.A. degree from the University of Vermont in 1879
Ph.D. degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1884
1884 - 88 University of Michigan
1888 - 89 University of Minnesota
1889 - 94 University of Michigan (Chair)
1894 - 1904 University of Chicago
1904 until retirement as professor emeritus 1931Columbia University, NY.
Instrumentalism - truth is an instrument used by us to solve our problems. It changes as the problems change. So it has no eternal or transcendental reality.
Theory of Inquiry - experience and logic
John Dewey - major works
The School and Society 1899
Democracy and Education 1916
Reconstruction in Philosophy 1920
Human Nature and Conduct 1922
The Quest for Certainty 1929
Art as Experience 1934
Logic: The Theory of Inquiry 1938
Problems of Men 1946
John Dewey -Theory of Inquiry
Inquiry is the controlled or directed transformation of an indeterminate situation into one that is so determinate in its constituent distinctions and relations as to convert the elements of the original situation into a unified whole.
problematic situation - determination of the solution - constituents of situation - possible relevant solution - prediction - test solution - refine solution - retest
Ludwig Wittgenstein 1889 - 1951
Born in Vienna
Studied at Linz and Berlin
England - University of Manchester. Trinity College, University of Cambridge Pilot or philosopher?) Bertrand Russell
Tractatus Logico-philosophicus 1921 - the "final solution" to philosophical problems
Activity school - several years teaching elementary school in an Austrian village
1929 appointed to the faculty of Trinity College, Cambridge
Philosophical Investigations 1953
Blue and Brown Books 1958
colors of his two note books
On Certainty 1969
Ludwig Wittgenstein - Philosophy
picture theory of meaning
elementary propositions correspond to the world - atomic facts. The world is the totality of these facts. Propositions that picture facts-the propositions of science- are cognitively meaningful.
Ludwig Wittgenstein - Philosophy
meaning of a proposition must be understood in terms of its context, that is, in terms of the rules of the game of which that proposition is a part
people play different language games
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