Publications: Dictionary of Early American Philosophers /// Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers /// The Early America Review /// Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society /// Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy ///
Key Documents in American History: American Historical Documents /// Liberty Library /// Their Own Words /// Christian Creeds /// graceonlinelibrary.org /// The Avalon Project /// From Revolution to Reconstruction /// Chronology of Legal Documents /// Making of America (Michigan) /// Making of America (Cornell) /// Nineteenth Century Documents Project /// Turner’s The Frontier in American History /// Faith and Freedom /// Howe and Strauss’s Generations ///
Websites on American Thought: American Professors of Philosophy and Theology /// American Philosophy /// American Philosophy in the 18th and 19th Centuries /// American Moral Philosophy in the 1800s /// Peirce Edition Project /// Center for Dewey Studies /// Divining America: Religion and National Culture /// The American Religious Experience /// Generations in History /// Women in American History /// Protestantism in America /// American Studies at Virginia /// More…
Interested in Canadian Thought? Bibliography about Philosophy in Canada /// Crisis of Canadian Identity through Philosophy /// History and Philosophy in Quebec /// Canadian Philosophical Society /// Dictionary of Canadian Biography /// Collège de Montréal, 1767 /// King’s College (became University of Toronto), 1827 /// McGill College at Montreal, 1829 /// Victoria College at Cobourg, Upper Canada, 1841 /// Queen’s College at Kingston, Upper Canada, 1842 /// Bishop’s College at Lennoxville, Lower Canada, 1843 /// University of Ottawa, 1848 /// Université Laval at Quebec, 1852 /// L’Université de Montréal, 1878 /// University of Western Ontario, 1878 ///
Table of Contents
|Native American Thought|
Documents: The Iroquois Constitution /// U.S. Treaties /// Chief Seattle’s Treaty Oration (1854) ///Texts: American Indian Thought: Philosophical Essays /// Native Pragmatism: Rethinking the Roots of American Philosophy
|Colonial Religion and Politics|
Important Events: Pilgrims Arrive (1620) /// 20,000 Puritans Arrive (1630-1641) /// English Civil War and Revolution (1603-1714) /// The Reforming Synod (1679-80) and Jeremiad /// King Philip’s War (1675-76) /// Bacon’s Rebellion (1676) /// Glorious Revolution, Governor Andros, and the Boston Uprising (1689) /// Toleration Act (1689) /// King William’s War (1690) /// Salem Witchcraft Trials (1692)
Websites: Philosophy from Puritanism to Enlightenment /// 17th Century New England /// Colonial Timeline /// American Colonist’s Library /// Their Own Words /// Colonial North America /// Colonial Primary Sources /// Map of Puritan Immigration Patterns /// The Colonial Mind /// Early American Literature /// Slavery in North America, 1450-1750 /// Virginia Colonial Records ///
Colleges: American Professors of Philosophy and Theology /// Harvard (founded 1636) /// William and Mary (1693) /// Yale (1701) /// College of New Jersey (1746, now Princeton) /// King’s (1754, now Columbia) /// Pennsylvania (1755) /// Dartmouth (1764) /// Brown (1765) /// Queen’s (1768, now Rutgers) /// Hampden-Sydney (1775)
Political Documents and Religious Liberties: Colonial Charters ///
Instructions for the Virginia Colony, 1606
The First Virginia Charter, 1606
The Second Virginia Charter, 1609
The Third Virginia Charter, 1612
Charter of New England, 1620
Mayflower Compact, 1620
An Ordinance and Constitution of the Virginia Company in England, 24 July 1621
Petition of Right, 1628
The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, 1639 The first written modern constitution of European civilization.
First Constitution of Rhode Island, 1640
The Massachusetts Body of Liberties, 1641
New England Articles of Confederation, 1643
Maryland Toleration Act, 1649
John Locke’s Constitutions of Carolina, 1669
Frame of Government of Pennsylvania, 1682
English Bill of Rights, 1689
Pennsylvania Charter of Privileges, 1701
Puritans (see below)
What the Puritans Believed: The Geneva Bible (1599) /// Calvin and the Synod of Dordt (1619) /// The Canons of Dort (1610)/// The Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) /// The Westminster Catechism /// Cambridge Platform of Discipline (1648) /// The Savoy Declaration of Faith and Order (1658) /// T.U.L.I.P. /// New England Primer (1690) (1777 edition) (1805 edition) /// Puritanism in New England
What the Puritans Detested: The Pelagian Heresy /// The Arminian Heresy /// Arminianism and Calvinism /// Supralapsarianism and Infralapsarianism /// Diagram on Supralapsarianism and Infralapsarianism /// Archbishop Laud, his Defense of the Church of England, and his Persecutions
Influential Old World Theologians: Luther’s On the Bondage of the Will /// Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion /// Calvin on Sin and Sacraments /// The Works of William Ames /// John Owen’s Christologia, Glory of Christ, and Justification /// John Ray’s Wisdom of God (1691) ///
Survey Texts: History of Puritanism /// Origin of Westminster Confession of Faith /// An Exposition of the Westminster Confession of Faith /// Predestination /// The Pilgrims and Puritans /// Fiske’s Account of the Puritans /// Pilgrim’s Progress /// The First Christian Society in America /// Congregationalism /// The American Sense of Puritan /// The Puritan Divines /// The Puritan Era /// The Rise and Fall of Harvard, 1636-1805 /// John Owen Defends the Puritan Schism (1600s) /// Calvinism, Arminianism, and the Bible ///
Nathaniel Ward (1578-1652) Biography. In 1634 Ward emigrated to Massachusetts Bay and became a pastor in Agawam (Ipswich). Writings: The Body of Liberties (1641), The Simple Cobbler of Aggawam in America (1647).
|John Cotton (1584-1652) Biography. Because of his Puritan views, he fled England for Massachusetts. As “Teacher” in Boston’s First Church, he was a leading figure in the colony. He was the author of The Way of the Churches of Christ in New England, (1645), one of the earliest descriptions of New England Congregationalism. He opposed political rights for anyone except male members of the church. His daughter Maria (1642-1714) married Increase Mather (1639-1723) and was the mother of Cotton Mather (1663-1728).
Writings: “Letter to Lord Say and Sele”, “The Divine Right to Occupy the Land”, “On the Just Price”, “An Abstract of the Laws of New England”, “Democracy Damaging to Church and State”, “The Covenant of Grace”
Thomas Hooker (1586-1647) Biography /// Another biography. He arrived in Massachusetts in 1633 and led a small church in Cambridge, but his support for democracy for all adult males was fought by John Cotton. Hooker’s defense of congregationalism opposed many of his peers’ preference for presbyterianism: the authority of representational synods to decide fundamental doctrine. Hooker left Boston in 1636 and founded Hartford, Connecticut. Writings: A Learned Discourse on Justification, The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut (1639), A Survey of the Sum of Church Discipline (1648). Commentary: Thomas Hooker Tries Democracy, Thomas Hooker and the Doctrine of Conversion
|John Winthrop (1588-1649) Biography /// The Winthrop Papers. Leader of the 1630 settlement of Boston and First Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony until his death.
Writings: “Reasons for Emigrating to New England”, A Modell of Christian Charity, “City upon a Hill”, “Essay Against the Power of the Church To Sit in Judgement on the Civil Magistracy”, “On Liberty”, “Arbitrary Government Described”.
Commentary: John Winthrop’s Shining City
William Bradford (1590-1657) Biography. A leader of the Pilgrims (1620) and Governor of Plymouth Colony (1621-1657). Writings: Of Plymouth Plantation. Commentary: William Bradford, “A Model of Cultural Transvaluation”
|Anne Hutchinson (1591-1643) Biography. Banished from Boston by John Winthrop and John Cotton for heresy, led followers to Rhode Island and then New York.
Writings: Examination of Hutchinson at the Court.
Commentary: “Anne Hutchinson and the Economics of Antinomian Selfhood in Colonial New England”, “Trouble in New Jerusalem”
Richard Mather (1596-1669) Biography. Father of Increase Mather. Designer of the “Half-Way Covenant” (1662): adults who had not convinced the elders of their experiential qualifications would remain members and could have their children baptized. However, they and their children would not be full-members, they would not have the right to vote in church affairs, nor would they receive communion. Writings: Cambridge Platform of Discipline,Discourse on the Church Covenant, Treatise on Justification.
|Roger Williams (1603-1683) Biography /// Another biography. Banished from Boston for his heretical religious views that Puritans should separate from the Church of England and keep a separation between church and state in the new colonies. Founded Providence, Rhode Island, as the first genuinely democratic society in America. He guaranteed religious liberty to all settlers, and demanded peaceful relations with Indians.
Writings: “A Plea for Religious Liberty”, “The Bloody Tenent of Persecution”, “Forced Worship”.
John Norton (1606-1663) Biography. Minister of Ipswich church, helped to write the Cambridge Platform, delegate with Simon Bradstreet to Charles II. He answered British critics of New England church polity in “Responsio ad totam questionum syllogen”. Writings: “A Discussion on the Sufferings of Christ” (1653), “The Orthodox Evangelist” (1654), “Election Sermon ” (1657), “Life of Reverend John Cotton” (1658), “The Heart of New England Rent by the Blasphemies of the Present Generation” (1660).
|Anne Dudley Bradstreet (c.1612-1672) Biography /// Archive. First publisher of poems in North America.
Writings: The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up In America (1650), A Dialogue Between Old England and New, Selected Poetry, More Poetry
Commentary: The Last Touchstone of Anne Bradstreet
Charles Morton (1627-1698) Biography. Arrived in 1686 to become a minister of the Cambridge Church. Also served as fellow, Vice-President, and occasional tutor at Harvard College. America’s first professional philosopher. Writings: A Logick System, System of Physicks, Ethicks, Pneumatics, The Spirit of Man (1693).
Michael Wigglesworth (1631-1705) Biography /// Another biography. Arrived in 1638; graduate of Harvard, pastor in Malden, Mass., Fellow of Harvard (1652-54, 1697-1705). His son Edward and grandson Edward Jr. were both Hollis Divinity Fellows at Harvard; his great-grandson David Tappan followed Edward Jr. as Hollis Divinity Fellow. Wigglesworth’s “God’s Controversy with New-England” despaired of the colony’s spiritual apathy. Writings: Day of Doom (1662), “God’s Controversy with New-England” (1662)
Mary Rowlandson (1636-1711) Biography. Rowlandson’s Narrative of her Indian captivity was the only extended prose work by a woman published in seventeenth-century New England. Increase Mather wrote the preface. Writings: The Sovereignty and Goodness of GOD…a narrative of the captivity and restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson (1682).
|Increase Mather (1639-1723) Biography. Pastor of North Church, Boston; President of Harvard College (1685-1701); intermediary with Congregational churches and James II. Author of treatises on Indians and noted sermons. Helped to end the Salem witchcraft trials. Father of Cotton Mather.
Writings: Essay For the Recording of Illustrious Providences, “Awakening Truths Tending to Conversion” (1710), “A Testimony against Several Profane and Superstitious Customs”, Cases of Conscience concerning Evil Spirits (1693).
Commentary: “Increase Mather and the Comets”
Samuel Willard (1640-1707) Biography. Pastor of Boston’s Old South Church and President of Harvard College (1701-1707). Writings: “The Character of a Good Ruler”, “On Witchcraft in Groton”, Compleat Body of Divinity(1726).
Solomon Stoddard (1643-1729) Biography. Congregational minister at Northampton, Massachusetts. Jonathan Edwards’ grandfather. Gave the commencement speech at Harvard College for over 40 years. Designed the “Half-way Covenant” (1662) and the “Open Covenant” (1677) which permits all those baptized to receive communion, challenging Richard Mather. Writings: “The Defects of Preachers Reproved”, “The Way to Know Sincerity and Hypocrisy Cleared Up”, A Guide to Christ, The Doctrine of Instituted Churches
Samuel Sewall (1652-1730) Biography /// More information. Prominent Boston citizen, magistrate of Salem witch trials who later denounced them. Early lone voice against slavery. Writings: “Revolution in New England Justified” (1691, with Edward Rawson), The Selling of Joseph (1700), The Diary of Samuel Sewall.
John Wise (1652-1725) Biography. Congregationalist minister of the Second Church of Ipswich, Massachusetts. He emphasized the democratic side of Congregationalism (and fought union with Presbyterians), and diminished the role of revelation, balancing against Jonathan Edwards. He led his Ipswich townsmen to resist a tax imposed by Edmund Andros in 1687, proclaiming that “Taxation without representation is tyranny.” Writings: Churches Quarrel Espoused (1710), Vindication of the Government of New England Churches (1717).
William Brattle (1662-1717) Biography. Congregationalist minister of the Cambridge Church (1696-1717). Taught of mathematics, natural philosophy, and divinity at Harvard from 1686 to 1717. Involved in the Brattle Street Church Manifesto (1699) which supported Stoddards’ Half-Way covenant. His logic text was used at Harvard until the 1760s. Writings: Compendum Logicae secundum Principia D. Renati Cartesii plerumque efformatum, et catechistice propositum (c.1707 and many editions thereafter).
|Cotton Mather (1663-1728) Biography. Congregationalist minister of Boston’s Old North Church and leader of the Salem witch trials. His book The Christian Philosopher and Willard’s Compleat Body of Divinity are the most thorough theological efforts of Colonial times, unmatched until Jonathan Edwards’ last works in the 1750s.
Writings: Magnalia Christi Americana (1702), The Christian Philosopher (1721), Wonders of the Invisible World, Memorable Providences, Relating to Witchcrafts and Possessions, “On the Demonic Possession of Elizabeth Knapp”, “What Must I Do To Be Saved?”, “Satisfaction in God”, “The Duties of Children to Their Parents”
|The Enlightenment and Great Awakening|
Websites: Enlightenment /// Religion in 18th Century America /// Their Own Words /// Colonial Newspapers and Magazines, 1704-1775 /// Constitutional Convention Broadside Papers /// American Professors of Philosophy and Theology ///Philosophy from Puritanism to Enlightenment
Texts: American Philosophy in the 18th and 19th Centuries /// American Psychology before James /// Church History of the 17th and 18th Centuries /// Philosophers and Divines, 1720-89 /// The Anglican Catechism ///
Commentary: Miller’s A Brief Retrospect of the 18th Century /// The Rise of Religious Liberty in America /// The Great Awakening /// Presbyterian Church during the Great Awakening /// The Beginnings of Arminianism in New England ///
|Benjamin Colman (1673-1747) Biography. Minister of Boston’s Brattle Street Church. An unconventional preacher, he came into conflict with Jonathan Edwards by abolishing public recital of religious experiences and introducing the reading of Scripture. With Edwards, he protested the extreme denunciations of clergy by Awakening preachers Whitefield and Tennent. One of the first Americans to publish a book about women.
Writings: “Government the Pillar of the Earth” (1730), The Honour And Happiness Of The Vertuous Woman, Gospel Order Revised.
William Tennent (1673-1746) Biography /// Another biography. Founded the “Log College” in Neshaminy, Pennsylvania, where he trained many of the next generation of Presbyterian ministers for the Middle colonies. Father of Gilbert Tennant, Awakening preacher. Writings: Collected Sermons.
|Cadwallader Colden (1688-1776) Biography. Born in Scotland and educated in Edinburgh, Colden came to Philadelphia in 1710 to practice medicine. After becoming wealthy in trade and moving to New York he was appointed Surveyor General, and served in the administration of Governor George Clinton. In 1761 he became lieutenant governor of New York. Colden was also one of the most learned men in the colonies. He wrote his own critique of Newton, The Principles of Action in Matter (1751). He became a botanist of the new Linnaean system of classifying flora and made significant contributions to medical literature. He also published his History of the Five Indian Nations (1727)
Writings: The Philosophical Writings of Cadwallader Colden.
Theodore Jacobus Frelinghuysen (1692-1748) Biography. German immigrant minister of the Dutch Reformed Church. A leading preacher of the Great Awakening in New Jersey. Writings: Sermons.
Samuel Johnson (1696–1772) Biography /// Another biography /// Bibliography. No, not Boswell’s Johnson. Anglican clergy and missionary, founder of King’s College (now Columbia). Johnson an idealistic philosophy with George Berkeley (who resided in Newport, RI 1728-32) and Jonathan Edwards. Writings: Introduction to Philosophy (1731), A System of Morality (1746), Elementa Philosophica (1752).
Gilbert Tennent (1703-1764) Biography. The most important Presbyterian preacher of the Great Awakening. Divided the Presbyterians with his controversial attacks, starting in 1740, on more conservative pastors. Writings: “The Danger of an Unconverted Ministry”.
|Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) Article at Stanford Enc. Phil. /// Biography /// Chronology /// Bibliography. Greatest American theologian of the 18th century, pastor of the First Church of Northampton (1729-1751), pastor and missionary to the Indians in Stockbridge, Mass. (1752-1758).
Writings: Major Writings, Sermons, “The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards (1722-1723)”, “Justification by Faith Alone”, A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God, Concerning Religious Affections, Some Thoughts Concerning the Present Revival of Religion, How to Know if You are a Real Christian, Treatise on Grace, “Directions for Judging of Persons’ Experiences”, “A Humble Attempt…”, An Unpublished Essay on the Trinity, Freedom of the Will, Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume One, Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume Two.
Thomas Clap (1703-1767) Biography /// Another biography. Congregationalist minister of the First Church in Windham, Mass. (1726-40). Scholar of mathematics and natural sciences. Rector of Yale (1740-66). He initially opposed the Great Awakening revivalism, but he later reversed course and joined the Congregationalist New Lights. Writings: History and Vindication of the Doctrines received and established in the Churches of New England (1755), Nature and Foundation of Moral Virtue and Obligation (1765).
Charles Chauncy (1705-1787) Biography. Great-grandson of Charles Chauncy, President of Harvard (1654-72). Congregational minister of Boston’s First Church (1727-1787). The leader of the “Old Lights” who were not persuaded (unlike Edwards) that Great Awakening revivals brought genuine conversions. Converted to universalism and unitarianism late in life. Writings: “Letter against Revivalism” (1642), Seasonable Thoughts on the State of Religion in New England (1743), Compleat View of Episcopacy (1771), Salvation for All Men (1782), The Mystery Hid from Ages and Generations (1784).
|Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) Biography /// Franklin Papers at Yale /// Documentary History. Printer, inventor, America’s most celebrated scientist. Deputy Postmaster of Pennsylvania and diplomat to England, then became a leading Revolutionary.
Writings: Writings 1722-26, 1726-57, 1757-75. “Doctrine of Religion” (1731), Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, “On Reverend Whitefield”
Commentary: Franklin as a Diplomat
George Whitefield (1714-1770) Biography /// Another biography. Most famous evangelist during the Great Awakening. For example, on 12 October 1740 he drew a crowd of some 30,000 to the Boston Common (Boston, the largest colonial city at the time, was inhabited by only 13,000 people). Writings: Selected Sermons, More Sermons, Still more sermons, “Repentance and Conversion”, “The Holy Spirit”. Commentary: “Benjamin Franklin on George Whitefield”, “The Innovative Awakener”, Wesley’s Sermon for Whitefield’s Death.
Jonathan Mayhew (1720-1766) Biography. Congregationalist minister of Boston’s West Church (1747-66). Early Arminian, unitarian, and universalist. His 1750 sermon on “Unlimited Submission” was widely influential for later patriots, including Samuel Adams. He promoted the concept of colonial union, and his sermons against the 1765 Stamp Act encouraged the Boston riots that year. Writings: Seven Sermons (1749), “A Discourse Concerning Unlimited Submission and Non-Resistance to the Higher Powers” (1750)
|John Witherspoon (1722-1794) Biography /// Another biography /// Bibliography. Prominent Presbyterian theologian and revolutionary legislator. President of the College of New Jersey [Princeton] from 1778-1794. He brought Scottish “Common-Sense” Realism to the Colonies. He was a Representative to the Continental Congress, and the only minister to sign the Declaration of Independence. Dozens of his students were prominent Congressmen, Governors, and a U.S. Presidents.
Writings: “The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men” (1776)
Commentary: “Witherspoon and Corrupted American Presbyterianism”
Samuel Davies (1723-1761) Biography. Presbyterian minister and Awakening preacher, leading the efforts of “New Side” Presbyterians to evangelize Virginia and the South. President of the College of New Jersey (1759-1761). Writings: “The Curse of Cowardice” (1758).
|Revolution and Independence|
Major Documents: The Federalist Papers /// The Anti-Federalist Papers /// Founding Documents /// U.S. Constitution, 1787 /// U.S. Constitution, Now /// Bill of Rights and the Amendments to The Constitution /// Religious Liberty Clauses in State Constitutions /// Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention ///
|Samuel Adams (1722-1803) Biography. Elected to Massachusetts Assembly, 1765; Delegate to the First Continental Congress, 1774; Signed Declaration of Independence, 1776; Member of Massachusetts State constitutional convention, 1781; Governor of Massachusetts, 1794-1797.
Writings: “The Rights of the Colonists” (1772), Writings of Samuel Adams
John Dickinson (1732-1808) Biography. Lawyer, politician. His “Letters from a Farmer” defended America’s political rights. Writings: Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania to the Inhabitants of the British Colonies (1767-68),Selected Writings
George Washington (1732-1799) Biography /// Papers. Commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. 1st President of the United States. Writings: First Inaugural Address, Thanksgiving Proclamation, First State of the Union,Second Inaugural Address, Farewell Address.
Thomas Paine (1737-1809) Biography. Revolutionary War writer, gained fame as author of several works promoting independence and religious toleration. Served in the War as aide to Gen. Nathanael Greene, and appointed by Congress as secretary to the committee on foreign affairs. Writings: Common Sense, The Rights of Man, The American Crisis, Age of Reason (1794).
|Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) Biography /// Career Facts /// Digital Archive. Author of the Declaration of Independence and the Virginia statute for religious freedom, member of the Continental Congress, statesman, diplomat, Secretary of State, Vice-President, and the 3rd President of the United States.
Writings: “A Summary View of the Rights of British America” (1774), Notes on the State of Virginia, Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom (1786), Jefferson’s Bible, Jefferson’s notes on Slavery
John Jay (1745-1829) Biography /// Another biography. Statesman, diplomat. Fifth President of Continental Congress, first Chief Justice of the U.S., Minister to Spain, Secretary of foreign affairs, co-author of the Federalist Papers (with Madison and Hamilton).
Hugh Henry Brackenridge (1748-1816) Biography. An army chaplain during the Revolutionary War famous for preaching fiery patriotic sermons to the soldiers. Became a lawyer, got involved in the Whiskey Rebellion, and served as a Pennsylvania Supreme Court judge. Writings: Father Bombo’s Pilgrimage to Mecca in Arabia, Modern Chivalry.
|James Madison (1751-1836) Biography /// James Madison Center /// Papers of James Madison. Member of the Continental Congress, author of the Bill of Rights and 29 of the Federalist papers, Secretary of State, and the 4th President of the United States. Writings: Selected Works, Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787, James Madison: “Speech proposing the Bill of Rights” (1789), Memorial and Remonstrance (1785), Detached Memoranda (c.1817)|
Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804) Biography /// Hamilton on the Web. Member of Continental Congress, co-author of the Federalist Papers, First Secretary of the Treasury. Writings: “The Farmer Refuted” (1775).
Major Events and Documents:
Albany Plan for a Union, 1754
Treaty of Paris, 1763
Daniel Dulany: “Considerations”, October 1765
The Resolutions of the Stamp Act Congress, October 19, 1765
William Pitt: “Speech on the Stamp Act”, January 14 1766
John Dickinson: Letters from a Farmer, 1767-68
James Wilson: “Considerations on the Nature and Extent of the Legislative Authority of the British Parliament”,1774
Daniel Leonard’s letter of January 9, 1775
Edmund Burke: “Speech on conciliation with America”, March 22, 1775
The Charlotte Town Resolves, 1775
Patrick Henry: “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death”, 1775
Second Continental Congress, Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms, July 6 1775
Samuel West, “On the Right to Rebel against Governors”, 1776
Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776
The Virginia Declaration of Rights, 1776
Jefferson’s draft of the Declaration of Independence
Declaration of Independence, 4 July, 1776
Letter of George Washington to John Hancock, September 24, 1776
Albigence Waldo: “From the diary of a Surgeon at Valley Forge”, 1777
United States Articles of Confederation, 1781
Draft for a Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom, by Jefferson 1779
From the diary of Ebenezer Denny, 1781, describing the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown
Treaty of Paris, 1783
Contract Between the French King and the Thirteen United States of North America (1783)
James Madison: “Memorial and Remonstrance”, 1785
The Annapolis Convention, 1786
The Barbary Treaties, 1786
US Constitution, 1787
Letter of Transmittal of US Constitution
James Madison: “Speech proposing the Bill of Rights”, 8 June 1789
Bill of Rights and the Amendments to The Constitution
|The Early Republic|
Religious liberty presented new opportunities for evangelical activity, and also denominational strife and division. Calvinism rapidly diminished in influence as the country grew. Arminianism spread as fast as the revivalist preachers (mainly Presbyterian and Methodist), while Unitarianism’s Arminian doctrines took over Boston. Intellectuals struggled with Calvinism’s views of predestination, determinism, and the elect, just as intellectuals during the 1870s and 80s would agonize over science and evolution.
Websites: Early US History /// 19th Century American Studies /// Bibliography of American Philosophy /// Their Own Words /// Heralds of a Liberal Faith /// American Professors of Philosophy and Theology ///
Commentary: American Philosophy in the 18th and 19th Centuries /// American Moral Philosophy in the 1800s /// Psychology in America /// The Christian History Timeline /// Academic Orthodoxy and the Arminianizing of American Theology /// The Connecticut Wits /// Publicists and Orators, 1800-1850 /// The Romantic Revolution, 1800-1860 ///
New Colleges: Colleges rapidly appeared in every state, usually controlled by a religious denomination. Typical is Benjamin Rush’s educational plan for Dickinson College /// American Colleges and Seminaries /// Williams (1793) /// Bowdoin (1794) /// Union (1795) /// Amherst (1821) /// Virginia (1825) /// Oberlin (1833) /// University of Michigan (1845) ///
Major Seminaries: Seminaries allowed specialization in theology and often supplied advanced post-graduate education; they also were born from internal denomination strife. Andover Theological Seminary (1807) /// Harvard Divinity School (1811) /// Princeton Theological Seminary (1812) /// Union Theological Seminary (1812) /// Yale Divinity School (1822) ///
Scholarly and Literary Journals: North American Review (founded 1815) /// Christian Spectator (Yale, 1819-1838) /// Princeton Review (1830- ) /// Southern Literary Messenger (1834) /// Southern Quarterly Review (1842) /// New Englander and Yale Review (1843- ) /// Bibliotheca Sacra (1843- ) /// Scientific American (1845- ) /// Harper’s New Monthly Magazine (1850) ///
Presbyterians: Presbyterian Documents /// In 1782 the American Presbyterian bodies, the Reformed Presbytery and two Associate Presbyteries, were unified with a Constitution of the Associate-Reformed Synod. The Presbyterian Church in Scotland rejected the union in 1783, publishing its complaints in The Constitution of the Associate Reformed Synod in America, considered, disowned, and testified against, as inconsistent with the REFORMATION Constitution of Britain and Ireland; the Reformed Presbytery /// Fifty years later the Presbysterians split apart again in the Schism of 1837 ///
Disciples of Christ / Churches of Christ: The American Restoration Movement /// Stone-Campbell Resources /// How Christian Schism was eventually restored to the Restoration Movement
|Benjamin Rush (1745-1813) Biography /// Another biography /// More biography. Physician, then professor of chemistry in Philadelphia, and later (1780) professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Delegate to the Continental Congress and signer of the Declaration of Independence. Defender of Scottish realism and universalism. Suggested to Thomas Paine the title “Common Sense” for his famous essay. Founder of a Philadelphia abolition society.
Writings: “Observations on the Government of Pennsylvania” (1777), Enquiry into the Influence of Physical Causes Upon the Moral Faculty (1786), Essays, Literary, Moral and Philosophical (1798), “Of the Mode of Education Proper to a Republic” (1798), Medical Inquiries and Observations Upon the Diseases of the Mind (1812).
Elhanan Winchester (1751-1797) Biography /// Another biography. Trained as a Baptist minister, converted to Universalism in Philadelphia and was its foremost representative. Found an ally in Benjamin Rush (1745-1813), another early Universalist. Writings: “God All in All”
Samuel Stanhope Smith (1751-1819) Biography /// Archive at Princeton. Presbyterian minister, Professor of Moral Philosophy (1779-1794) and President of Princeton College (1794-1812). Writings: An Essay on the Causes and Variety of Complexion and Figure in the Human Species (1788), Sermons (1801), Lectures on the Evidences of the Christian Religion (1809), Love of Praise (1810), Lectures on Moral and Political Philosophy (1812), Lectures on Moral and Political Philosophy, The Principles of Natural and Revealed Religion.
|Timothy Dwight (1752-1817) Biography /// Bibliography. Congregational minister; grandson of Jonathan Edwards; President of Yale (1795-1817); founder of Andover Seminary. Continued Edward’s work by inaugurating the “New Haven” theology, later continued by Nathaniel Taylor. Member of the “Connecticut Wits” literary group.
Writings: “The Character of God”, The Anarchaid (1886-87, with Joel Barlow and others), The Conquest of Canaan (1785), The Triumph of Infidelity (1788), Greenfield Hill: A Poem in Seven Parts (1794), The Nature and Danger, of Infidel Philosophy (1798), “Some Events of the Last Century” (1801), “Sermon at the Opening of Andover” (1808), Theology: Explained and Defended (1818-19).
Thomas Cooper (1759-1839) Biography. Cooper’s materialistic philosophy, like Benjamin Rush’s, followed Joseph Priestley‘s views by advancing a strict psychological materialism and arguing that mental processes, including insanity, are explainable by motions of the nervous system. Religious objections prevented Thomas Jefferson from appointing Cooper to a professorship at the University of Virginia. Writings: Selected Works
Archibald Alexander (1772-1851) Biography. Presbyterian minister and first Professor of Princeton Theological Seminary (1812-1851). Writings: “Growth in Grace”, “A Practical View of Regeneration” (1836), Outlines of Moral Science (1854).
Lyman Beecher (1775-1863) Biography /// Family Papers Archive. Father of Henry Ward Beecher, Catharine Beecher, and Harriet Beecher Stowe. New York City minister and abolitionist. Commentary: “Beecher and Religious Pluralism”.
|William Ellery Channing (1780-1842) Biography /// Another biography /// Bibliography. Minister of Federal Street Church in Boston. Early Unitarian and inspirational figure for many Transcendentalists. Opposed slavery.
Writings: “The Moral Argument Against Calvinism (1809), “The System of Exclusion and Denunciation in Religion Considered” (1815), “Unitarian Christianity” (1819).
Commentary: “Channing and Unitarianism”
Nathaniel William Taylor (1786-1858) Biography. Congregational theologian, Dwight Professor of Theology at Yale (1822-58), established the Yale Divinity School. Defender of the “New Haven” theology of Congregationalism. Writings: Practical Sermons (1858); Lectures on the Moral Government of God (1859); Essays and Lectures upon Select Topics in Revealed Theology (1859).
|Charles Hodge (1797-1878) Biography. Princeton theologian who combined Francis Bacon’s inductivism with Scottish common-sense realism. Defended scriptural inerrancy, a tradition laid down by his predecessor at Princeton, Archibald Alexander, and continued by following theologians at Princeton, A. A. Hodge and B. B. Warfield.
Writings: Selected Essays, “What is Presbyterianism?” (1855), “Justification”, Christianity Without Christ, Doctrine & Remarks: The Theology of Romans, Finney’s Lecture’s on Theology, For Whom Did Christ Die?, Ground of Faith in The Scriptures” Is The Church of Rome A Part of the Visible Church?, The Theology of the Intellect & That of the Feelings, Systematic Theology (1873).
Commentary: Hodge’s Objections to Darwinism, “Hodge and the Princeton Doctrine of Scripture”
|Laurens Perseus Hickok (1798-1888) Biography. Congregational pastor (1824-1836); professor of theology at Western Reserve College and then (1853) at Union College; President of Union College (1866-68). Hickok brought German philosophy to America, defending an idealistic philosophy. He also was an abolitionist. He spoke at Lovejoy‘s funeral in 1837, inspiring John Brown to swear to God before the audience that he would destroy slavery.
Writings: Rational Psychology (1849), A System of Moral Science (1853), Empirical Psychology (1855), Rational Cosmology (1858), Creator and Creation, or the Knowledge in the Reason of God and His Work (1872), Human Immortality (1872), Logic of Reason (1874).
Asa Mahan (1799-1889) Biography. President of Oberlin College (1835-1850). With colleague Charles Finney and Nathaniel Taylor, promoted theological perfectionism or “Oberlin” theology. Writings: Scripture Doctrine of Christian Perfection (1839), Doctrine of the Will (1845), A System of Intellectual Philosophy (1854), Science of Logic (1857), A Science of Natural Theology (1867), A Critical History of Philosophy (1873).
Francis Lieber (1800-1872) Biography. Edited the Encyclopedia Americana. Professor of history and political economy at University of South Carolina (1835-56) and Columbia College (1856-65); also Professor of political science at Columbia Law School (1860-72). Writings: Manual of Political Ethics (1838, 1876), Legal and Political Hermeneutics (1838), Laws of Property (1842), Civil Liberty and Self-Government (1852).
Horace Bushnell (1802-1876) Biography. Congregational pastor in Hartford, Connecticutt (1833-59). Writings: Christian Nurture (1847), God in Christ (1849), Christ in Theology (1851), The Vicarious Sacrifice (1856), Nature and the Supernatural (1858), Sermons for the New Life (1858), Work and Play (1864), Moral Uses of Dark Things (1868), Building Eras in Religion (1881). Commentary: The American Schliermacher, Horace Bushnell: A Forgotten Figure
The Scottish “Common-Sense” Realist movement reached America before the Revolution, influenced Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson, and spread widely by 1820. Common-sense realism was first taught in America by John Witherspoon (1722-1794), President of the College of New Jersey. This movement endorsed freedom of the will and tended to support other Arminian challenges to strict Calvinism. Benjamin Rush (1745-1813), Charles Hodge (1797-1878), and Asa Mahan (1799-1889) also were major conduits for Scottish realism into America. Common-sense realism transformed the Presbyterian church in Mid-Atlantic America, and also influenced liberal Congregationalism and Boston Unitarianism. Scottish realism brought greater sophistication to American philosophy, inaugurating its liberation from theology. Professors of “Philosophy” became more common at colleges; they graduated from seminaries, but they pursued “mental” and “moral” philosophy, following Scottish realist Thomas Reid’s division of philosophy in his volumes Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man (1785) and Essays on the Active Powers of the Human Mind (1788).
Websites: Scottish Philosophy in the 18th Century /// Scottish Philosophy in the 19th Century /// Bibliography of American Philosophy /// American Moral Philosophy in the 1800s /// American Psychology before James /// Heralds of a Liberal Faith /// American Professors of Philosophy and Theology ///
Critics of Scottish Realism: John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) ///
Levi Hedge (1766-1844) Biography. Levi Hedge was Harvard’s first professor of philosophy. He was a tutor (1795-1810) and then Professor of logic and metaphysics (1810-27), and then Professor of natural religion, moral philosophy and civil polity (1827-32). Father of Frederick Henry Hedge. Writings: Elements of Logick (1816).
|Francis Wayland (1796-1865) Biography. Baptist minister and President of Brown University (1827-1865).
Writings: The Elements of Moral Science (1835), The Elements of Political Economy (1837), Limitations of Human Responsibility (1838), The Elements of Intellectual Philosophy (1854), Letters on the Ministry of the Gospel (1863).
Thomas Cogswell Upham (1799-1872) Biography. Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy at Bowdoin College, Maine (1824-1867). Among his students were Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Writings: Elements of Mental Philosophy (1827, 1845), Philosophical and Practical Treatise on the Will (1831), Manual of Peace (1836), Inward Divine Guidance. Commentary: Upham and Ethical Reflection
|Mark Hopkins (1802-1887) Biography. Professor of moral and intellectual philosophy (1830-87) and President (1836-72) of William College. His former student James A. Garfield once said: “The ideal college is Mark Hopkins on one end of a log and a student on the other.”
Writings: Lectures on the Evidences of Christianity (1844), Lectures on Moral Science (1863), The Law of Love and Love as a Law (1869).
Francis Bowen (1811-1890) Biography. Bowen was Unitarian in religion and realistic in philosophy. Instructor in intellectual philosophy and political economy (1835-39); Alford Professor of Natural Religion, Moral Philosophy, and Civil Polity at Harvard (1853-89). Editor of the North American Review (1843-1854). Writings: Essays on Speculative Philosophy (1842), The Principles of Metaphysical and Ethical Science Applied to the Evidences of Religion (1855), A Treatise on Logic, or the Laws of Pure Thought (1864), An American Political Economy (1869).
James McCosh (1811-1894) Biography. Taught logic and metaphysics at Queen’s College, Belfast; came to America to become President of Princeton College (1868-88). Writings: The Method of Divine Government, Physical and Moral (1850), The Intuitions of the Mind Inductively Investigated (1860), The Scottish Philosophy (1875).
Noah Porter (1811-1892) Biography. Another biography. Yale Professor of moral philosophy and metaphysics (1847-1892), and President of Yale (1871-1886). Adapted Scottish Realism with German idealism. Writings: The Human Intellect (1868), The Elements of Intellectual Science (1871), The Sciences of Nature versus the Science of Man (1871), Science and Sentiment (1882), Elements of Moral Science, Theoretical and Practical (1884), Kant’s Ethics (1886).
Joseph Haven (1816-1874) Biography. Professor of mental and moral philosophy at Amherst College (1851-58); Professor of systematic theology at Chicago Theological Seminary (1858-70); Professor of mental and moral philosophy at Chicago University (1873-74). Writings: Mental Philosophy (1858), Moral Philosophy, Including Theoretical and Practical Ethics (1859).
|Transcendentalism and the Second Great Awakening|
Websites: American Transcendentalism Web /// American Transcendentalism /// Transcendentalism /// New England Transcendentalism /// Transcendentalists.com /// Religion and the New Republic /// Heralds of a Liberal Faith /// New Churches in New York ///
|Charles G. Finney (1792-1875) Biographies /// Life of Finney /// More biographies. Revivalist preacher and professor at Oberlin College.
Writings: Lectures on Revivals of Religion (1835), Lectures to Professing Christians, Systematic Theology (1846-47), Sermons on Gospel Themes, Works of Charles Finney.
James Marsh (1794-1842) Biography. Congregationalist minister; professor of philosophy at the University of Vermont; President of the University of Vermont (1826-1833). Like Hickok, Marsh brought German idealism to America. Writings: Edited Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Aids to Reflection (1829), The Remains of the Rev. James Marsh (1843).
Amos Bronson Alcott (1799-1888) Biography. Operated the Temple School in Boston, with Sarah Margaret Fuller and Elizabeth Palmer Peabody. Father of Louisa May Alcott. He was an abolitionist whose house was a stop on the Underground railroad. Founded the Concord School of Philosophy in 1879. Writings: Conversations with Children on the Gospels (1836-37), Orphic Sayings, “Ralph Waldo Emerson”. Commentary: Practical Transcendentalism
Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880) Biography /// Bibliography. Novelist, historian, and philosopher associated with the Transcendentalists in Boston. Defended not only abolition but also integration of blacks into American society. Writings: An Appeal in Favor of That Class of Americans Called Africans (1833), Fact and Fiction (1846), The Progress of Religious Ideas (1855), “Anti-Slavery Tracts” (1859), An Appeal for the Indians (1868), Aspirations of the World (1878).
George Ripley (1802-1880) Biography /// Another biography. Minister of the Purchase Street Church in Boston (1826-41). Ripley was an early Unitarian and a central figure in the Transcendentalist movement. Co-founder of the Brook Farm commune. Writings: Discourses on Philosophy and Religion (1833-36).
|Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) Biography One /// Biography Two /// Biography Three /// A Website /// Another website. Primary author of transcendentalism, world-class poet, and famous lecturer.
Writings: Representative Men, Essays and English Traits, Essays, Poems, Other works
Commentary: Emerson’s Philosophy of Education
Orestes Augustus Brownson (1803-1876) Biography /// Another biography /// Bibliography. Unitarian minister in Boston, organized the Society for Christian Union and Progress in 1836, and converted to Catholicism in 1844. Writings: New Views of Christianity, Society, and the Church (1836), Selected Writings, More selected writings.
Frederic Henry Hedge (1805-1890) Biography /// Another Biography. Unitarian minister and transcendentalist, Professor of Theology at Harvard until 1881. Writings: “Progress of Society” (1834), “Conservatism and Reform” (1841), Reason in Religion (1865), The Primeval World of Hebrew Tradition (1870), Ways of the Spirit and Other Essays (1877).
Frederich Augustus Rauch (1806-1841) Biography. German scholar and German Reformed minister, follower of Hegelian transcendentalism, fled to America in 1831. Professor of German, President of Marshall College (1836-41). Rauch was an eminent scholar in classical literature, mental and moral science, and esthetics. Writings: Psychology; or, a view of the Human Soul; including Anthropology (1840), Inner Life of the Christian (1856).
|Sarah Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) Biography /// Another biography. Teacher at Bronson Alcott’s school, writer, and editor of The Dial.
Writings: “Woman in the Nineteenth Century”, “Man versus Man, Woman versus Woman”.
Commentary: Fuller: Performing Civic Equality
Theodore Parker (1810-1860) Biography /// Another biography /// Website. Unitarian minister in West Roxbury, Massachusetts (1837-45); Minister of the Twenty-eighth Congregational Society of Boston (1845-60). Rationalist theologian who was sometimes allied with the Transcendentalists and with Unitarians. Promoted women’s rights and the abolition movement, aiding fugitive slave Anthony Burns in a famous trial. Writings: “Transcendentalism”(1840), “The Transient and Permanent in Christianity” (1841), Sermon on Conscience (1850), Theism, Atheism, and the Popular Theology (1853). Commentary: Parker and Abolition
Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) Biography. Son of Rev. Lyman Beecher and brother of Catherine Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Presbyterian minister in Indiana, then Congregationalist minister in Brooklyn, New York (1847-87). Writings: Life Thoughts (1859)
|Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) Biography /// Another biography /// The Thoreau Project. Emerson’s close friend and transcendentalist partner. Prominent anti-slavery activist.
Writings: Walden, Works of Thoreau
|Walt Whitman (1819-1892) Biography /// Bibliography /// Whitman Archive /// Whitman and Slavery /// Whitman and the Civil War. Famous poet inspired by Emerson; later known as America’s Bard of Democracy.
Writings: Leaves of Grass, Prose, Selected Poetry, Drafts of Song of Myself, Development of Leaves of Grass
Commentary: Whitman and Emerson, Whitman and Transcendentalism
|Abolitionism and the Civil War|
Websites: History of American Slavery /// Africans in America /// American Abolitionism /// Anti-Slavery Movement /// US Civil War /// Judgment Day /// Civil War @ Smithsonian Institution /// Underground Railroad /// Civil War and Reconstruction ///
In Defense of Slavery:
John Caldwell Calhoun (1782-1850) Biography. South Carolina statesman, defender of states’ rights and slavery. U.S. Representative, Vice President (1824-32), Secretary of State, Senator from South Carolina (1832-50). Writings: “Address to the People of South Carolina” (1831), “Slavery a Positive Good” (1837), “The Clay Compromise” (1850), Disquisition on Government (1851), “The Southern Address” (1851), Discourse on the Constitution and Government of the United States (1851).
Sojourner Truth (c.1797-1883) Biography. After gaining her freedom in 1827 she embarked on her mission of speaking on abolition and women’s rights. Writings: The Narrative of Sojurner Truth, “Ain’t I A Woman” (1851).
John Brown (1800-1859) Biography. Radical abolitionist and violent protagonist in Kansas and Virginia. Captured and hung after his armed raid on Harper’s Ferry. Writings: Commentary: Reactions to Harper’s Ferry
|William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879) Biography /// Bibliography. Publisher of the abolitionist magazine The Liberator.
Writings: First Editorial “To the Public” of The Liberator (1831), “On the Death of John Brown” (1859)
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) Biography /// Another biography /// Digital Papers /// Lincoln.net. Sixteenth President of the United States. His election sent the Confederacy into succession and Lincoln pursued the Civil War to preserve the Union. Writings: Debates with Stephen Douglas, First Inaugural Address, Second Inaugural Address, Letter to Horace Greeley.
Horace Greeley (1811-1872) Biography. Founder of the New York Tribune and anti-slavery activist. Writings: An Overland Journey (1859), Recollections of a Busy Life (1869).
|Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) Biography /// Library of Congress Papers. After fleeing from slavery Douglass’s home in Rochester was a major station of the Underground railroad. Inspired by William Lloyd Garrison, his anti-slavery speeches and publications eloquently advanced the abolition cause.
Writings: “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro”, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845), “Speech at the Democratic Convention” (1852), Letter to Horace Greeley, My Bondage and Freedom (1855).
Commentary: Douglass and Transcendentalism.
Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910) Biography. Activist for women’s rights and abolition. Composed the poem “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” in 1862. Founded the American Woman Suffrage Association with Lucy Stone. First woman elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Writings: “What is Religion?” (1893),
Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823–1911) Biography. Influenced by transcendentalism, he became a Unitarian minister and prominent abolitionist. Writings: Out-door Papers (1863); Army Life in a Black Regiment (1870); Common Sense about Women (1882); Cheerful Yesterdays (1898).
Moncure Daniel Conway (1832-1907) Biography /// A second biography /// A third biography /// More Biography. Unitarian minister, transcendentalist, and abolitionist. Writings: The Earthward Pilgrimage (1870), Emerson at Home and Abroad (1882), Selected Writings.
|Industrialization and Evolution|
During the Reconstruction era and the beginnings of the Gilded age, philosophers were scattered across the landscape, found only at the best colleges. Although the title of Professor of Philosophy had become more common by 1880, most of these professors were the presidents of their colleges, some holding a bachelors of divinity, who taught the senior classes in denominational theology and religious ethics. At most, perhaps 40 of these professors actually had serious philosophical training, as G. Stanley Hall reports on “Philosophy in the United States” in 1879. Much of the important philosophical creativity was still generated by theologians, especially those who responded to the issues of workers’ rights or to the challenge of evolution. Another fertile source of philosophical thinking was coming from the new category of “social scientist” who searched for cures to social problems.
Education: Before1860 only a few seminaries (e.g. Andover, Union) offered post-graduate education. In 1861 Yale awarded the first Ph.D. degree, and others followed: Pennsylvania (1870); Harvard (1872); Johns Hopkins (1878); Princeton (1879); and Cornell (1880). Johns Hopkins was founded for graduate students in 1876. The first true professors of philosophy holding an American PhD were G. Stanley Hall (Harvard 1878) and Josiah Royce (Johns Hopkins 1878), but both of them had German educations as well. Hundreds of scholars attended German universities during 1870-1900 for their higher prestige and lower cost. By 1900 that trend was reversed, and American universities swelled with graduate students. /// Early Ph.Ds in Philosophy /// American Professors of Philosophy and Theology ///
Scholarly and Literary Journals: North American Review /// Princeton Review /// Southern Literary Messenger /// Southern Quarterly Review /// New Englander and Yale Review /// Scientific American /// Harper’s New Monthly Magazine /// Appleton’s Magazine /// Atlantic Monthly /// Scribner’s Monthly /// Scribner’s Magazine ///
Commentary: Darwinism and New England Theology /// American Moral Philosophy in the 1800s /// Later American Philosophy /// Philosophy in America by G. S. Hall (1879) /// American Colleges and German Universities by Richard Ely (1880) /// Lords of Industry /// Economists /// Scholars //
|Theological Liberalism and Conservativism|
The Calvinist tradition continued at Princeton, Yale, Union, and innumerable smaller colleges. However, Unitarian Harvard, Liberal Andover, Humanist Chicago, and Personalist Boston had strong counter-balancing theological movements, as historicism, biblical hermenuetics, and evolution became acceptable. American theology was also re-energized by new holiness churches and the Third Great Awakening of the 1880s and 90s. And everyone had to take notice of the Social Gospel and Christian Progressive movements that demanded new religious activism focused on the consequences of unrestrained capitalism, industrialism, and immigration.
Religious Journals: Princeton Review (founded 1830) /// Bibliotheca Sacra (1843- ) /// Southern Presbyterian Review (1847-1885) /// American Presbyterian Review (1859-1871) /// Presbyterian Quarterly (1887-1904) /// Catholic World (1865) /// Presbyterian Review (1880-1889) which became Presbyterian and Reformed Review (1890-1902) and Princeton Theological Review (1902-1929) /// Andover Review (1884-1893) /// American Journal of Theology (Chicago, 1897-1920) and Journal of Religion (1921- ) /// Harvard Theological Review (1908- ) /// Yale Review (1911- ) ///
Commentary: Later Theology /// The “Holiness” Movement /// White Social Gospel /// Black Social Gospel /// Catholicism and Evolution /// Heralds of a Liberal Faith /// Religious Liberalism /// Liberalism /// The Fundamentalist-Modernist Conflict /// The Scopes Trial (1925) /// Process Theology ///
|Andrew Preston Peabody (1811-1893) Biography. Graduated from Harvard at age 15; Unitarian minister in Boston (1833-60). Professor of Christian Morals at Harvard (1860-81).
Writings: Christianity, the Religion of Nature (1864), A Manual of Moral Philosophy (1873), Christianity and Science (1875), Christian Belief and Life (1875).
Commentary: “Peabody against the Mexican War”.
|Daniel Alexander Payne (1811-1893) Biography. Leading Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Co-founder of Wilberforce University and first President (1863-76), becoming the first black president of an American college.
Writings: Recollections of Seventy Years (1888), History of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (1891).
Henry Boynton Smith (1815-1877) Biography /// Another biography. Professor of moral philosophy and metaphysics at Amherst (1847-50); then taught at Union Theological Seminary as Washburn professor of Church History (1850-54) and Roosevelt professor of systematic theology (1854-74). A leader of the New School Presbyterians in the mid-nineteenth century. Founder and editor of the American Theological Review. Writings: “The Relations of Faith and Philosophy” (1849); “The Nature and Worth of the Science of Church History” (1851); “The Problem of the Philosophy of History” (1853); The Idea of Christian Theology as a System (1857); An Argument for Christian Churches (1857), The Reunion of the Presbyterian Churches (1867).
Isaac Hecker (1819-1888). Biography. Catholic priest and theologian. Founded the Paulist Fathers and the Catholic World monthly. Writings: Questions of the Soul (1855), Aspirations of Nature (1857), Catholicity in the United States (1879) and The Church and the Age (1888).
Robert Lewis Dabney (1820-1898) Biography. Presbyterian minister, Professor of Ecclesiastical History and Polity and then Professor of Systematic and Polemic Theology at Union Theological Seminary (1853-1883). Confederate Army chaplain, Professor of Moral and Mental Philosophy at University of Texas (1883-1894). Defended slavery by appealing to biblical passages. Writings: Systematic and Polemic Theology (1871; 2nd ed. 1878), The Sensualistic Philosophy of the Nineteenth Century (1875).
|Archibald Alexander Hodge (1823-1886). Biography /// Archive at Princeton. Son of Charles Hodge. Presbyterian minister, Professor of theology at Allegheny Theological Seminary (1864-1877), then succeeded his father to become Professor of Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary (1878-1886).
Writings: Outlines of Theology (1860) — Selections: “Creeds & Confessions”, “Sola Scriptura”, “Pelagianism, Semi-Pelagianism & Augustinianism”, “The Inspiration of the Bible”; The Atonement (1867); Exposition of the Confession of Faith (1869); System of Theology (1871-73), “Dogmatic Christianity” (1877), “God’s Covenant with Man”, “Predestination” (1886), “The Cross”, “Regeneration”,Sanctification”, “Assurance and Humility”, Popular Lectures on Theological Themes (1887); Selected Essays.
Julius Hawley Seelye (1824-1895) Biography. Nephew of Laurens Hickok. Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy (1858-90) and President of Amherst College (1877-90). Represented Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives (1875-77).Writings: The Way, The Truth and The Life; Christian Missions; The Relations of Learning and Religion; Duty: A Book for Schools; Citizenship.
Washington Gladden (1836-1918) Biography. Congregational minister and prominent voice of the Social Gospel movement. Writings: From the Hub to the Hudson (1869); Working People and Their Employers (1876); Applied Christianity (1886) — selection: “Christianity and Wealth”; Who Wrote the Bible? (1894) — selection.
Francis Greenwood Peabody (1847-1936) Biography. Professor at Harvard Divinity School. Parkman Professor of Theology (1881-1886), Preacher to the University (1886-1906), Plummer Professor of Christian Morals (1886-1912) and the Dean of the Divinity School (1901-1906). Introduced the study of Social Ethics to the Divinity School. Writings: Jesus
Christ and the Social Questions (1900); Jesus Christ and the Christian Character (1905).
Josiah Strong (1847-1916) Biography. Congregational pastor who popularized the ideas of Anglo-Saxon dominance and US imperialism. Writings: Our Country (1885); “Anglo-Saxon Predominance” (1891). Commentary: Voices of Imperialism
|Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield (1851-1921) Biography /// Another biography. Presbyterian minister; succeeded A. A. Hodge as Professor of Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary (1887-1921). His successor, J. Gresham Machen, defended fundamentalism against modernism in the early 20th century.
Writings: Selected Essays, More Essays, Is Predestination the Same Thing as Fate?, A Brief and Untechnical Statement of the Reformed Faith, New Testament Puritanism, The Formation of the Canon of the New Testament, The Meaning of “Theopneustos”, The Resurrection of Christ: A Historical Fact, The Leading of the Spirit (Part 1, 2, 3), The Plan of Salvation (Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).
Commentary: Warfield against Perfectionism ///
Felix Adler (1851-1933) Biography /// Another Biography. Left Judaism for atheism. Founded the New York Society for Ethical Culture in 1876, which advocated religious tolerance and many progressive social reforms. Became Professor of Political and Social Ethics at Columbia (1902-18). Writings: Creed and Deed: A Series of Discourses (1877), Moral Instruction of Children (1892).
Edgar Young Mullins (1860-1928) Biography. President and professor of theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1899-1928). President of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1921-1924. Writings: Why Is Christianity True? (1905); The Axioms of Religion (1908); Baptist Beliefs (1912); Freedom and Authority in Religion (1913); Commentary on Ephesians and Colossians (1913); The Life in Christ; The Christian Religion in its Doctrinal Expression; Talks on Soul Winning (1920); Spiritualism, A Delusion (1920); Christianity at the Crossroads (1924). Commentary: Mohler on Mullins
Walter Rauschenbusch (1861-1918) Biography. German Baptist minister, leading theologian of the Social Gospel movement. Writings: Christianity and the Social Crisis (1908) — selection “The Social Gospel”; A Theology of the Social Gospel (1918).
Edward Scribner Ames (1870-1958) Biography. Liberal humanistic theologian in the Chicago School of pragmatism. Professor of Philosophy at Chicago (1900-36); minister of University Church of Disciples of Christ (1900-1940); Dean of Disciples Divinity House (1927-45). Writings: The Psychology of Religious Experience (1910), The Divinity of Christ (1911), The Higher Individualism (1915), The New Orthodoxy (1918), Religion (1929), Letters to God and the Devil (1933), Beyond Theology: The Autobiography of Edward Scribner Ames (1959).
Shirley Jackson Case (1872-1947) Biography /// Bibliography. Liberal Professor of New Testament at the University of Chicago. Writings: The Historiocity of Jesus (1912), “The Historical Study of Religion” (1949).
|Jacques Maritain (1882-1973) Biography. Thomistic theologian, Professor of Logic and Cosmology in Paris, and later Professor of Philosophy at Princeton (1948-60) and world-wide lecturer.
Writings: Selected writings; La science moderne et la raison (1910), La philosophie bergsonienne (1913), Humanisme intégral (1936), De la justice politique (1940), Les droits de l’homme et la loi naturelle (1942), Christianisme et démocratie (1943), Principes d’une politique humaniste (1944), La personne et le bien commun (1947), Man and the State.
Etienne Gilson (1884-1978) Biography. Scholar of Aquinas and medieval philosophy. Co-founder of the Institute of Mediaeval Studies at Toronto. Writings: The Christian Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas (1961).
Henry Nelson Wieman (1884-1975) Biography /// Bibliography. Presbyterian minister, then later became a Unitarian minister. Professor of philosophy of religion at University of Chicago Divinity School (1927-47). Writings: Religious Experience and Scientific Method (1926), The Issues of Life (1930), Normative Psychology of Religion (1935), Man’s Ultimate Commitment (1958), “My Intellectual Autobiography” (1963).
Paul Johannes Tillich (1886-1965) Biography /// Paul Tillich Society. German Lutheran minister, Professor of Philosophical Theology at Union Theological Seminary (1937-55), Harvard (1955-62), and University of Chicago (1962-65). Writings: Selected writings, The Religious Situation (1925), The Socialist Decision (1932), On the Boundary (1936), The Protestant Era (1948), The Courage to Be (1952), Systematic Theology, Vol. 1 (1951), Vol. 2 (1957), Vol. 3 (1963), The New Being (1955), “Religion and Its Intellectual Critics” (1955), The Shaking of the Foundations (1955), Dynamics of Faith (1957), The Eternal Now (1963).
|Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) Biography /// Another biography /// Archived Papers. Professor of Theology at Union Theological Seminary, New York City.
Writings: “Let Liberal Churches Stop Fooling Themselves” (1931), Moral Man and Immoral Society (1932), An Interpretation of Christian Ethics (1935), Beyond Tragedy (1937), The Nature and Destiny of Man (2 vols: 1941-1943), The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness: A Vindication of Democracy and a Critique of Its Traditional Defence (1944), Faith and History: A Comparison of Christian and Modern Views of History (1949), The Irony of American History (1952), The Self and the Dramas of History (1955), The Structure of Nations and Empires (1959).
Commentary: A Man on a Gray Horse, Niebuhr and Christian Realism
Helmut Richard Niebuhr (1894-1962) Biography /// Archived Papers. The younger brother of Reinhold Niebuhr. German Reformed minister; professor at Eden Theological Seminary (1919-1922; 1927-1931); President of Elmhurst College (1924-27). Professor of Theology and Christian Ethics at Yale Divinity School (1931-62). Writings: The Social Sources of Denominationalism (1929); The Meaning of Revelation (1954), The Purpose of the Church and Its Ministry (1956); The Kingdom of God in America (1937); The Meaning of Revelation (1941); Christ and Culture (1951); Radical Monotheism and Western Culture (1960); The Responsible Self (1962); and Niebuhr’s Faith on Earth: An Inquiry into the Structure of Human Faith (1989).
Bernard Eugene Meland (1899-1993) Biography. Influential leader of the Chicago school of liberal theology, advanced a process theology inspired by A. N. Whitehead. Writings: “Evolution and Christian Thought” (1962). Commentary: Meland’s Alternative in Ethics
Edwin H. Wilson (1899-1993) Biography. Unitarian minister, collaborator with John Dietrich and Curtis W. Reese on a mid-west humanistic Unitarian movement based in Chicago. Co-founder of the American Humanist Association in 1941. Writings: Humanist Manifesto (1933), Humanist Manifesto II (1973), The Genesis of a Humanist Manifesto (1995).
Bernard Joseph Francis Lonergan (1904-1984) Biography /// Research Institute /// Lonergan Institute. Catholic Professor of Theology at universities in Rome, Monreal, Toronto, and Boston. Writings: Insight: A Study of Human Understanding (1957), Method in Theology (1972).
John Courtney Murray (1904-1967) Biography /// Bibliography. Jesuit Professor of Theology at Woodstock, Maryland. Murray edited the magazine America and the journal Theological Studies. Defended religious liberty at the Second Vatican.
|Social Scientists and Social Reformers|
After the Civil War, philosophy’s category of “moral science” was broken up into the fields now known as the social sciences. Anthropology, economics, political science, sociology, and education were the primary disciplines that gradually emerged, whose founders usually had philosophical training and methods. The blurry lines between philosopher, social scientist, and social reformer also reflects how many writers outside academia were just as original and influential on American thought.
Scholarly Journals: American Journal of Theology (1882 – became Journal of Religion) /// Political Science Quarterly (1886) /// Quarterly Journal of Economics (1886) /// American Anthropologist (1888) /// Journal of Political Economy (1892) /// American Historical Review (1895) /// American Journal of Psychology (1887) /// American Journal of Sociology (1895) /// Modern Philology (1903) American Journal of Politics (1938) ///
|Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) Biography /// Online Papers. Leading feminist author and speaker; activist for women’s rights and suffrage. Organized the 1848 Women’s Rights Convention at Seneca Falls with Lucretia Mott.
Writings: Seneca Falls Declaration (1848), “Solitude of Self” (1892), Eighty Years and More (1898).
Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) Biography /// Online Papers. Prominent activist for temperance, abolition, and women’s suffrage. Convicted for illegally voting in 1872 and later pardoned by President Grant. Writings: “Social Purity” (1872). Commentary: Obituary of Anthony, Legal Strategies of Anthony
Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) Biography /// Another biography. Famous orator known as the “Great Atheist” who argued for women’s rights, science over superstitious religion, social justice, and other anti-clerical causes.
Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910) Biography /// Works. Novelist and satirist of the Gilded Age. Writings: A Connecticut Yankee, Huckleberry Finn, Innocents Abroad, Puddn’head Wilson, Tom Sawyer, What is Man? Commentaries: Marketing Twain, Sam Clemens as Mark Twain, Mark Twain on Stage.
Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918) Biography /// Bibliography. The great-grandson of President John Adams, the grandson of President John Quincy Adams, and the son of Charles Francis Adams. Writings: The Education of Henry Adams.
Lester Frank Ward (1841-1913) Biography. Paleontologist and anthropologist, then Professor of Sociology at Brown (1906-13). Writings: Dynamic Sociology (1883), Psychic Factors of Civilization (1893), Pure Sociology (1903), Glimpses of the Cosmos (6 vol., 1913-18).
Albion Woodbury Small (1854-1926) Biography. President of Colby College (1889-1892), then First Professor of Sociology at Chicago (1892-1925). Founder and Editor of the American Journal of Sociology; founder of the American Sociological Association. Writings: General Sociology (1895).
Richard Theodore Ely (1854-1943) Biography. Educated in the methods of the German historical school, Ely was Professor of Political Economy at Johns Hopkins (1881-92), the Professor of Economics at Wisconsin (1892-1925) and Northwestern (1925-33). Ely contributed to socialism, the social gospel movement, progressivism, and institutionalism. Founder of the American Economics Association. Writings: The Past and the Present of Political Economy (1884), The Labor Movement in America (1886), “Socialism in America” (1886), An Introduction to Political Economy (1889), Outlines of Economics (1893), Studies in the Evolution of Industrial Society (1903), Property and Contract in their Relation to the Distribution of Wealth (1914), Ground Under Our Feet: An Autobiography (1938).
Eugene Debs (1855-1926) Biography. Eloquent orator and organizers of many unions including America’s first industrial union, the American Railway Union, in Chicago (causing the 1894 Pullman Strike). Led the Socialist Party and opposed WW I. Writings: Selected writings, “How I Became a Socialist” (1902), “John Bown: America’s Greatest Hero” (1907), “The Canton, Ohio Anti-War Speech” (1918), “Statement to the Court Upon Being Convicted of Violating the Sedition Act” (1918).
|Booker Taliaferro Washington (1856-1915) Biography /// Bibliography. Foremost black educator and political spokesman; founded Tuskegee Institute.
Writings: Up From Slavery.
Commentary: “The Booker T. Washington Era”
Thorstein Veblen (1857-1929) Biography. Professor of Political Economy at Chicago (1892-1906); then professor at Stanford and Wisconsin; co-founder of the New School for Social Research and professor (1919-29). Writings: Selected Writings; Theory of the Leisure Class (1899), The Theory of Business Enterprise (1904).
Franz Boas (1858-1942) Biography /// Another biography. Cultural anthropologist at Columbia. Writings: Growth of Children (1896-1904), Changes in Bodily Form of Descendants of Immigrants (1911), The Mind of Primitive Man (1911), Kultur und Rasse (1913), Primitive Art (1927), Anthropology and Modern Life (1928-1938), General Anthropology (with others) (1938), Race, Language, and Culture (1940).
John Rogers Commons (1862-1945) Biography /// Bibliography. Professor of Economics at Wisconsin; foremost expert on the labor movement and socialism. Writings: The Distribution of Wealth ( 1893), Social Reform and the Church (1894), Races and Immigrants in America ( 1907), Principles of Labor Legislation with J.B. Andrews ( 1916), Legal Foundations of Capitalism (1924), “Institutional Economics” ( 1931), Institutional Economics: Its place in political economy ( 1934), Myself ( 1934), Economics and Collective Action 1950).
Paul Elmer More (1864-1937) Biography /// Archived Papers. Humanist writer and editor with The Independent, New York Evening Post, and The Nation. Writings: Selected writings, Shelburne Essays, 11 vol. (1904-21), Platonism (1917), The Religion of Plato (1921), Hellenistic Philosophies (1923), Greek Tradition, 5 vol. (1924-31), New Shelburne Essays (1928-36), The Sceptical Approach to Religion (1934), Pages from an Oxford Diary (1937).
Robert Ezra Park (1864-1944) Biography. Sociologist at Chicago. Writings: Principles of Human Behavior (1915), Introduction to the Science of Sociology with E. W. Burgess (1921), The City with E. W. Burgess and Roderick McKenzie (1925).
Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1929) Biography. Sociologist at Michigan (1892-1929). Writings: Selected Writings, Human Nature and the Social Order (1902, rev. ed. 1922), Social Organization (1909), Social Process (1918), Sociological Theory and Social Research (1930).
Irving Babbitt (1865-1933) Biography. Professor of French Literature at Harvard (1912-1933). Founded the New Humanism movement with Paul Elmer More (1864-1937). Writings: Literature and the American College (1908), The New Laokoön (1910), The Masters of Modern French Criticism (1912), On Being Creative (1932).
|William Edward Burghardt DuBois (1868-1963) Biography /// Another biography. Professor at Wilberforce and Atlanta University (1897-1910). Leader of the NAACP and foremost black intellectual of his generation. Writings: The Philadelphia Negro (1896), The Suppression of the African Slave Trade (Ph.D. 1896), Atlanta University’s Studies of the Negro Problem (1897-1910), The Souls of Black Folk (1903), John Brown (1909), Quest of the Silver Fleece ( 1911), The Negro (1915), Darkwater (1920), The Gift of Black Folk (1924), Dark Princess (1924), Black Reconstruction (1935), Black Folk, Then and Now (1939), Dusk of Dawn (1940), Color and Democracy (1945), The Encyclopedia of the Negro (1931–1946), The World and Africa (1946), The Black Flame: I. Ordeal of mansart (1957), II. Mansart Builds a School (1959), III. Worlds of Color (1961); The Autobiography of W.E.B. DuBois (1968).|
|Emma Goldman (1869-1940) Biography. Advocate of anarchism, socialism, unions, free speech, women’s rights, and many other progressive causes.
Writings: Anarchism and Other Essays
Alexander Meiklejohn (1872-1964) Biography /// Papers. Professor of Logic and Metaphysics at Brown (1897-1913); President of Amherst College (1912-1923); Professor at Wisconsin (1923-1938). Founded the Social Studies Center in San Francisco in 1933. Prominent philosopher of education; pioneered the Experimental College methods and was a forceful advocate for freedom of thought and speech. Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963. Writings: The Liberal College (1920), Freedom and the College (1923), The Experimental College (1932), What Does America Mean? (1935), Education between Two Worlds (1942), Free Speech and Its Relation to Self-Government (1948), Political Freedom (1960).
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946) Biography /// Bibliography /// World of Gertrude Stein. Novelist, poet, dramatist. Student of William James and friend of many prominent American and European intellectuals. Writings: Tender Buttons (1911)
Charles Austin Beard (1874-1948) Biography. Professor of History and Politics at Columbia (1904-17) and the New School for Social Research (1917-48). Writings: American Government and Politics (1910), An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution (1913), Economic Origins of Jeffersonian Democracy (1915), The Economic Basis of Politics (1922). With Mary Beard: The Rise of American Civilization (1927), America in Midpassage (1939), The American Spirit (1943). Commentary: Beard: The Historian as American Nationalist
Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) Biography. Socialist and feminist; outspoken advocate for the availability of birth control and sex education. Writings: Woman and the New Race (1920), Motherhood in Bondage (1928), My Fight for Birth Control (1931).
Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956) Biography /// Papers. Journalist, outspoken atheist, and social critic. Writings: Selected Writings, In Defense of Women (1918), Prejudices (6 vols: 1919, 1920,1922, 1924, 1926, 1927), Treatise on the Gods (1930)
Max Forrester Eastman (1883-1969) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Columbia, journalist, and socialist. Late in life he was a prominent anti-communist. Writings: The Enjoyment of Poetry (1913), Since Lenin Died (1925), Reflections on the Failure of Socialism (1955), Love and Revolution (autobiography, 1965)
Randolph Silliman Bourne (1886-1918) Biography /// Bibliography. Journalist and political theorist. Writings: “War and the Intellectuals”, “War Is the Health of the State”, “Transnational America”, The Radical Will.
|Walter Lippmann (1889-1974) Biography. Journalist and political theorist. Founder of the New Republic magazine, and columnist for the New York Herald-Tribune.
Writings: A Preface to Politics (1913), Public Opinion (1922), The Phantom Public (1925), A Preface to Morals (1929), The Good Society (1937), The Cold War (1947), Essays in the Public Philosophy (1955).
Commentary: Lippman vs. Dewey
Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) Biography. African-American writer and anthropologist. Writings: Jonah’s Gourd Vine (1934), Mules and Men (1935), Tell My Horse (1937), Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), Moses, Man of the Mountain (1939), Dust Tracks on a Road (1942), Seraph on the Suwanee (1948), Sanctified Church (1981), Spunk (1985), The Complete Stories (1995).
Lewis Mumford (1895-1990) Biography /// Bibliography. Professor at Stanford, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Univ. of California at Berkeley, and elsewhere. Philosopher of technology, urban planning, and architectural theory. Writings: The Golden Day (1926), The Culture of Cities (1938), The Condition of Man (1944), The Conduct of Life (1951), The Myth of the Machine (1967, 1972).
Kenneth Burke (1897-1993) Biography /// Papers. Literary and social critic, philosopher of rhetoric and language, sociologist of symbolic interaction. Writings: Attitudes toward History (2 vols., 1937), Counter-Statement (1931), A Grammar of Motives (1945), Language as Symbolic Action (1966), Permanence and Change: An Anatomy of Purpose (1936), The Philosophy of Literary Form: Studies in Symbolic Action (1941), A Rhetoric of Motives (1950), The Rhetoric of Religion: Studies in Logology (1961), Terms for Order and Perspectives by Incongruity (1964)
Talcott Parsons (1902-1979) Biography /// Archived Papers. Sociologist at Harvard (1928-73). Writings: The Structure of Social Action (1937), The Social System (1951), Towards a General Theory of Action (1951).
|Evolutionary Philosophers and Psychologists|
Evolution was widely accepted before Darwin, even by many clergy, but only as a theory of divine providence aiming at the eventual production of mankind. After the publication of Darwin’s Origin of the Species, only a few daring thinkers embraced his own theory of natural selection by random mutation. Some applied evolution to metaphysics and cosmology; others applied evolution to the human mind. The philosophical category of “mental science” popularized by the Scottish realists was the original home to investigators who called themselves psychologists. They used nerve and brain physiology and experiments trained subjects to track mental processes. Some were eager to apply the new biological theories of evolution. Besides the philosophers and psychologists listed here, the names of Scottish realist James McCosh (above) and pragmatists Charles Peirce and William James (below) belong to this category of early evolutionary philosophers. The contrast between evolution and fundamentalism could not be sharper that at Princeton in the 1860s and 70s, where McCosh taught an evolutionary philosophy and Charles Hodge taught anti-Darwinian fundamentalism. But many universities harbored such conflict during this period. The relations between philosophy and psychology were similarly contentious, as physiological and experimental methods challenged traditional introspection into the mind’s operations. The Psychological Review (founded 1894) exemplifies this struggle in its early volumes. By 1920 psychology departments has mostly split off from philosophy, and Dewey’s social behaviorism and Watson’s reductionist behaviorism ensured evolution’s dominance in philosophy. Of course, mid to late Victorian-age philosophy also had its wild side, supplying many members of the American Society for Psychical Research.
John Bascom (1827–1911) Biography. Protegé of Laurens Hickock, reconciled evolution and theology. Professor of Rhetoric at Williams College (1854-74); Professor of Philosophy and President of University of Wisconsin (1874-87). Writings: Political Economy (1859), Æsthetics or the Science of Beauty (1862), The Philosophy of Rhetoric (1866), Principles of Psychology (1869), The Science of Mind (1881), Science, Philosophy, and Religion (1871), The Philosophy of English Literature (1874), A Philosophy of Religion (1876), Comparative Psychology (1878), Ethics, or the Science of Duty (1879), Natural Theology (1880), Problems in Philosophy (1885), An Historical Introduction to Philosophy (1893), Social Theory: A Grouping of Social Facts and Principles (1895), Evolution and Religion or Faith as a Part of a Complete Cosmic System (1915).
Chauncey Wright (1830-1875) Biography /// Another biography. Cambridge scholar and friend of Charles Peirce. One of the first Americans to openly support Darwin’s theory of natural selection; corresponded with Darwin and other scientists. Writings: Philosophical Discussions (1876).
|William Graham Sumner (1840-1910) Biography. Episcopal minister, Professor of Political and Social Science at Yale (1872-1910). Leading American proponent of social darwinism.
Writings: “The Challenge of Facts”, Folkways (1907), Science of Society with Albert Keller (1927)
John Fiske (1842-1901) Biography /// Another biography /// Another biography /// Archived papers. Expositor of Spencer’s philosophy. Briefly taught philosophy and then history at Harvard. Writings: Outlines of Cosmic Philosophy (1874), Darwinism and Other Essays (1879), Excursions of an Evolutionist (1883), The Destiny of Man (1884), The Idea of God as Affected by Modern Knowledge (1885), The Critical Period of American History, 1783-1789 (1888), The Puritan Theocracy (1889), The American Revolution (1891), A Century of Science (1899), Through Nature To God (1899), Essays Historical and Literary (1902).
|Granville Stanley Hall (1844-1924) Biography /// Papers. Professor of Psychology at John Hopkins and Clark University.
Writings: “Philosophy in the United States” (1879), “The New Psychology” (1885), Adolescence (1904), Educational Problems (1911), Founders of Modern Psychology (1912), Jesus the Christ in the Light of Psychology (1917), Senescence (1922).
Commentary: Hall and the Testing Movement
Paul Carus (1852-1919) Biography. Editor of journals Open Court and The Monist. Defended a monistic philosophy to unify science and religion, and encouraged study of Eastern thought. Writings: Fundamental Problems (1889), The Religion of Science (1893), The Gospel of Buddha (1900), The History of the Devil (1900), Truth on Trial (1911), The Principle of Relativity (1913).
James McKeen Cattell (1860-1944) Biography /// Another biography. Professor of Psychology at Pennsylvania (1887-91) and Columbia (1891-1917). Editor of Psychological Review and other journals. Writings:
|James Mark Baldwin (1861-1934) Biography /// Another biography. Professor of Psychology at Toronto (1889-93), Princeton (1893-1903), Johns Hopkins (1903-08).
Writings: Selected writings, Selected Works; Handbook of Psychology (2 vols. 1889-90), Mental Development in Child and Race (1895), Social and Ethical Interpretations in Mental Development: A Social Psychology (1897), Development and Evolution (1902), Fragments in Philosophy and Science (1902), Thought and Things (3 vols. 1906-11), The Story of the Mind (1905), Darwin and the Humanities (1909), The Individual and Society; or Psychology and Sociology (1911), History of Psychology (1913), Genetic Theory of Reality (1915), The Super-State and the Eternal Values (1916), “Autobiography” (1930).
Commentary: Beyond the Baldwin Effect
Edward Bradford Titchener (1867-1927) Biography /// Archived papers. Professor of Psychology at Cornell University (1892-1927). Writings: Outline of Psychology (1896), Primer of Psychology (1898), Experimental Psychology (1901-05). Commentary: Titchener’s Outline of Psychology.
Edward L. Thordike (1874-1949) Biography. Professor of Psychology at Columbia (1899-1940). Writings: Educational Psychology (1903), Introduction to the Theory of Mental and Social Measurements (1904), The Elements of Psychology (1905), Animal Intelligence (1911), The Measurement of Intelligence (1927), The Fundamentals of Learning (1932), The Psychology of Wants, Interests, and Attitudes (1935).
John Broadus Watson (1878-1958) Biography. Professor of Psychology at Johns Hopkins, then became an independent writer and advertising consultant. Writings: “Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It” (1913), The Ways of Behaviorism (1928).
Jacob Robert Kantor (1888-1984) Biography. Professor of Psychology at Indiana (1920-59); New York University (1952-1963); and Chicago (1964-84). Writings: Principles of Psychology (1924), An Outline of Social Psychology (1929), An Objective Psychology of Grammar (1936), Psychology and Logic (1945), Problems of Physiological Psychology (1947), The Logic of Modern Science (1953), Interbehavioral Psychology (1959), The Scientific Evolution of Psychology (1963), Cultural Psychology (1982).
|Modern American Philosophy|
Philosophy was gradually liberated from theology as modernizing universities tried to imitate the German model, with separate departments of specialists and a broadly scientific mission. 1866-67 was the first turning point with three key events: the first American Ph.D. in philosophy (from Yale); America’s first philosophy journal, Journal of Speculative Philosophy; and Charles Peirce published his first series of essays on logic. In 1877 Josiah Royce taught the first graduate philosophy course in America, at Johns Hopkins, on the philosophy of Schopenhauer. But until 1880 philosophers were almost exclusively trained as ministers and theologians, and theological seminaries and their journals were still the center of philosophical energy. The influence of denominational colleges and theological seminaries did gradually diminish, as the next generation of academic philosophers (like Dewey, Baldwin, Royce, Santayana) finding their positions in the 1880s and 90s did not need a theological degree. Their degrees were from German universities or from a handful of American universities like Harvard, Princeton, Cornell (founded 1865), and Johns Hopkins (founded 1876) that offered the new Ph.D. The professionalization of philosophy was swiftly achieved in the 1890s and early 1900s, as enlarged universities separated the various social sciences and then psychology apart from philosophy, and philosophy departments inflated by hiring the new graduates of Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Cornell, Columbia, and Johns Hopkins.
Websites: The Foundings of Laboratories, Journals, and Associations /// Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy /// Bibliography of American Philosophy /// American Professors of Philosophy and Theology ///
Events: Early Ph.Ds in Philosophy /// Journal of Speculative Philosophy (1867-93) /// The Monist (1888) /// International Journal of Ethics (1890) /// Philosophical Review (1892) /// American Philosophical Association (1900) /// Presidents of the American Philosophical Association /// Journal of Philosophy, Psychology, and Scientific Methods (1904) ///
Commentary: A History of the Epistemological Debate ///
America’s long fascination with Scottish realism was gradually ending, as students sought post-graduate education at prestigious German universities in growing numbers during 1820-1850 to supplement their seminary education in America. The earliest exponents of German thought in America were Laurens Perseus Hickok (1798-1888), James Marsh (1794-1842), and Frederick Augustus Rauch (1806-1841). After the Civil War the threats of scientific evolution and materialistic psychology encouraged many scholars to study Kant and Hegel and take refuge in some form of idealism (personal or absolute idealism). Idealism’s comfortable alliance with Christianity put many idealists in charge of philosophy (where college presidents were fearful of evolution and materialism). Idealism dominated American philosophy and its professionalization from 1880 to 1920. Nearly extinguished during the second half of the 20th Century, idealism’s Hegelian and personalist themes have been continued by some pragmatists, phenomenologists, and pantheists.
Activities: Bronson Alcott’s Concord School of Philosophy /// Thomas Davidson’s Glenmore Summer School /// Society for Phenomenological and Existential Philosophy ///
Influential Texts: Caird’s Hegel (1883) /// Green’s Lectures on the Principles of Political Obligation (1885) /// Bradley’s Appearance and Reality (1893) ///
Henry Conrad Brokmeyer (1828-1906) Biography. Prussian immigrant, educated at Brown and followed Frederick Hedge’s pursuit of German idealism. After moving to St. Louis he met William T. Harris and initiated the St. Louis Hegelian movement. Became Lieutenant Governor of Missouri in the 1870s. Writings: A Mechanic’s Diary (1910).
Charles Carroll Everett (1829-1900) Biography /// Another Biography /// Papers. Unitarian minister and neo-Hegelian idealist. Bussey Professor of Theology at Harvard (1869-1900) and also Dean of the Theological Faculty. Writings: The Science of Thought (1869), Religions before Christianity (1883), Fichte’s Science of Knowledge (1884), Essays on Poetry, Comedy, and Duty (1888), Ethics for Young People (1891), and The Gospel of Paul (1893), Essays, Theological and Literary (1901).
|George Holmes Howison (1834-1916). Biography /// Archived Papers. Professor of mathematics at Washington University in St. Louis; Professor of Philosophy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and then Harvard; Mills Professor of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy and Civil Polity at University of California at Berkeley (1884-1909). Defended a personal and theistic idealism.
Writings: The Limits of Evolution (1901).
William Torrey Harris (1835-1909) Biography. Professor of Philosophy of Education at Washington University at St. Louis (1876-1892), where he was a leader, with Henry Brokmeyer, of the St. Louis Hegelians. Co-founder (with Thomas Davidson, George Howison, A. E. Kroeger, and Denton Snyder) and editor of the Journal of Speculative Philosophy. Became the first U.S. Commissioner of Education (1889-1906). Writings:
Thomas Davidson (1840-1900) Biography. Member of the St. Louis Hegelians from 1868-76, then lectured at a variety of places including New York where he organized summer schools of philosophy (such as the famous Glenmore Summer School of Cultural Sciences). Writings:
George Sylvester Morris (1840-1889) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Johns Hopkins and Michigan. Taught Hegelianism to John Dewey and later hired Dewey at Michigan. Writings: British Thought and Thinkers (1880), Philosophy and Christianity (1883), Kant’s Kritik of Pure Reason (1886), Hegel’s Philosophy of the State (1889).
Denton Jaques Snider (1841-1925) Biography. Original member of the St. Louis Hegelians, independent author and lecturer. Writings: The St. Louis Movement (1920).
George Trumbull Ladd (1842-1921) Biography /// Another biography. Congregational minister in Milwaukee, then Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy at Yale (1881-1906). Writings: Elements of Physiological Psychology (1887); Outlines of Physiological Psychology (1890); Psychology, Descriptive and Explanatory (1894); Philosophy of Mind (1895); “Consciousness and Evolution” (1896), Philosophy of Knowledge (1897); Essays on Higher Education (1899); A Treaty of Reality (1899), The Philosophy of Religion (1905), Knowledge, Life, and Reality (1909). Commentary: Ladd’s Psychology
John Watson (1847-1939) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada (1872-1924). Recognized as second only to Royce as a leader of North American Idealism. Writings: Kant and His English Critics (1881), Schelling’s Transcendental Idealism (1882), Comte, Mill and Spencer (1895), Hedonistic Theories From Aristippus To Spencer (1895), Christianity and Idealism (1897), An Outline Of Philosophy (1898), The Philosophical Basis of Religion (1907), The Philosophy Of Kant Explained (1908), The Interpretation Of Religious Experience (1912), The State In Peace And War (1919).
Borden Parker Bowne (1847-1910) Biography /// Bibliography. Methodist minister; Professor at Boston University (1876-1910). Writings: Metaphysics (1882), Philosophy of Theism (1887), Principles of Ethics (1892), Immanence of God (1905), Personalism (1909), The Essence of Religion (1910).
|Josiah Royce (1855-1916) Biography /// Another biography /// Bibliography /// Royce Peak. Professor of Philosophy at Harvard (1885-1916).
Writings: The Spirit of Modern Philosophy (1892), The World and the Individual (1900-01)–selection “Lecture Three: Realism”, Outlines of Psychology (1903), The Philosophy of Loyalty (1908), The Problem of Christianity (1913), Lectures on Modern Idealism (1919).
James Edwin Creighton (1861-1924) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Cornell. Co-founder and editor, with James Seth and Jacob Gould Schurman, of the Philosophical Review in 1892. First President of the American Philosophical Association (1901). Writings: An Introductory Logic (1898), Studies in Speculative Philosophy (1925).
|Mary Whiton Calkins (1863-1930) Biography. Professor of philosophy and psychology at Wellesley College. Only woman to be President of both the American Philosophical Association and the American Psychological Association. Writings: An Introduction to Psychology (1916); The Persistent Problems of Philosophy, 5th ed. (1925).|
John Elof Boodin (1869-1950) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Kansas, Carleton, and UCLA. Combined the pragmatism and idealism of his teachers, James and Royce. Writings: Time and Reality (1904); Truth and Reality (1911); A Realistic Universe (1916); Cosmic Evolution (1925); Three Interpretations of the Universe (1934); God (1934); The Social Mind (1939); The Religion of Tomorrow (1943).
Ralph Tyler Flewelling (1871-1960) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at USC, founder of The Personalist. Writings: Personalism and the Problems of Philosophy (1915).
William Ernest Hocking (1873-1966) Biography /// Papers. Professor of Philosophy at Harvard (1914-1943). Writings: The Meaning of God in Human Experience (1912), Human Nature and Its Remaking (1923), The Lasting Elements of Individualism (1937), Science and the Idea of God (1944), The Coming World Civilization (1956), The Meaning of Immortality in Human Experience (1957).
Albert Cornelius Knudson (1873-1954) Biography. Professor of Theology at Boston University (1906-1943). Writings: Present Tendencies in Religious Thought (1924), The Philosophy of Personalism (1927), The Doctrine of God (1930), The Doctrine of Redemption (1933), The Validity of Religious Experience (1937), The Principles of Christian Ethics (1943), The Philosophy of War and Peace (1947), Basic Issues in Christian Thought (1950).
Gustavus Watts Cunningham (1881-1968) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Cornell. Writings: Thought and Reality in Hegel’s System (1910), The Idealistic Argument in Recent British and American Philosophy (1933).
Edgar Sheffield Brightman (1884-1953) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Boston University. Writings: Is God a Person (1932), Persons and Values (1952), Person and Reality (1958).
Walter George Muelder (1907-2004) Biography. Professor of Christian Theology and Christian Ethics at Boston (1945-1972). Writings: Religion and Economic Responsibility (1953), The Idea of the Responsible Society (1955), The Foundations of the Responsible Society (1959), Methodist Social Thought and Action (1961), Methodism and Society in the Twentieth Century (1961), Moral Laws and Christian Society Ethics (1966).
Peter Anthony Bertocci (1910-1989) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Boston University. Writings: Free Will, Responsibility, and Grace (1957), The Person God Is (1970), The Goodness of God (1981).
Charles Peirce recounts that pragmatism was born in the discussions of the Metaphysical Club during the early 1870s in Cambridge, Massachusetts. With three founders (Peirce, James, Dewey) pragmatism presented a variety of challenges to both the dominant idealisms and the re-emerging neo-realisms. By re-formulating empiricism to avoid both subjectivism and materialism, the pragmatists agreed on a theory of knowledge and truth that was as non-foundational, experimental, evolutionary, and fallibilistic as the methods of modern science. In education and politics, pragmatism was a core component of social progressivism and working-class socialism. By 1920 Dewey was the lone giant of pragmatism, supported in the next decades by second and third generation thinkers across the social sciences. The 1950s eclipse of pragmatism in philosophy departments consumed by reductive materialism and language analysis was matched by a blossoming of pragmatic thought in semiotics, sociology, social psychology, economics, and other fields hospitable to “applied” pragmatism.
Commentary: Pragmatism by Philip Wiener /// Pragmatism in 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia /// History of Pragmatism /// Feminism, Pragmatism and Continental Philosophy /// Rawl’s Pragmatism /// Symbolic Interactionism /// Legal Pragmatism /// Truth and Pragmatism /// Critique by Durkheim ///
|Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914) Biography /// Writings /// Peirce.org /// Peirce Digital Encyclopedia /// Peirce Society. Son of Harvard astronomer Benjamin Peirce. Professor of Philosophy at Johns Hopkins, occasional Harvard lecturer.
Writings: Selected Writings
Commentary: Peirce’s Logic, Peirce’s Theory of Signs
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841-1935) Biography /// Another biography /// Another biography. Served with distinction for Massachusetts in the Civil War. Developed a theory of “legal realism” or “legal pragmatism” while a lawyer; served on the Massachusetts Supreme Court (1882-1902) and then was an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court (1902-32). Writings: “In Our Youth Our Hearts Were Touched By Fire” (1884), The Common Law (1881) — Lecture I; Speeches (1891, 1913), Collected Legal Papers (1920).
|William James (1842-1910) Biography /// Papers /// William James Society. Professor of Psychology and Philosophy at Harvard University (1872-1910).
Writings: Selected Writings, Principles of Psychology (1890), “The Stream of Consciousness” (1892), The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy (1897)–selection: “The Will To Believe”, Varieties of Religious Experience (1902), Pragmatism (1907), A Pluralistic Universe (1909), The Meaning of Truth (1909), Some Problems of Philosophy (1911), Essays in Radical Empiricism (1912).
Commentary: James and Functional Psychology, Wundt and James
|John Dewey (1859-1952) Biography /// Another biography /// Works of Dewey /// Bibliography /// Chronology /// Dewey Center /// Dewey Society. Professor of Philosophy at Michigan (1884-1893), Chicago (1894-1904), and Columbia (1905-1930).
Writings: Selected Writings; The School and Society (1899), Ethics, with James H. Tufts (1908; 2nd ed. 1932), How We Think (1910; revised ed. 1933), The Influence of Darwin on Philosophy and Other Essays (1910), Democracy and Education (1916), Essays in Experimental Logic (1916), Reconstruction in Philosophy (1920), Human Nature and Conduct (1922), Experience and Nature (1925; 2nd ed. 1929), The Public and Its Problems (1927), The Quest for Certainty (1929), Individualism, Old and New (1930), Philosophy and Civilization (1931), Art as Experience (1934), A Common Faith (1934), Logic: The Theory of Inquiry (1938), Knowing and the Known (1949).
Jane Addams (1860-1935) Biography /// A Second Biography /// A Third Biography /// Bibliography /// Addams and Peace. Christian progressive, sociologist and philosopher, peace activist, founder of American Settlement House movement. Writings: Democracy and Social Ethics (1902), Newer Ideals of Peace (1907), The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets (1909), Twenty Years at Hull House (1910), A New Conscience and an Ancient Evil (1912), Women at The Hague (1915), The Long Road of Woman’s Memory (1916), Peace and Bread in Time of War (1922), The Second Twenty Years at Hull House (1930), The Excellent becomes the Permanent (1932), My Friend, Julia Lathrop (1935).
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) Biography /// Bibliography. Great-granddaughter of Lyman Beecher. Philosopher, social scientist, feminist, poet, and social reformer. Writings: “The Yellow Wall-Paper” as gif or html or audio (1892, 1899), In This Our World (1893), Women and Economics (1898), Concerning Children (1900), The Home (1903), Human Work (1904), The Man-Made World (1904), Suffrage Songs and Verses (1911), Moving the Mountain (1911), “Our Brains and What Ails Them” (1911), “Humanness” (1913), “Social Ethics” (1914), Herland (1915), With Her in Ourland (1916), “Growth and Combat” (1916), His Religion and Hers (1923), “For Birth Control” (1935), The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman: An Autobiography (1935). Commentary: Gilman as Social Scientist and Feminist.
James Hayden Tufts (1862-1942) Biography /// Papers. Professor of Philosophy at Chicago (1892-1930). Writings: Ethics with John Dewey (1908, 2nd ed. 1932), On Democracy: Its Origins and Its Tasks (1917), The Real Business of Living (1918), The Ethics of Cooperation (1918), Education and Training for Social Work (1923), America’s Social Morality: Dilemmas of the Changing Mores (1933).
|George Herbert Mead (1863-1931) Biography /// Another biography /// Another biography /// Bibliography. Professor of Philosophy at Chicago (1894-1930). Also a member of the Chicago School of Sociology.
Writings: Selected Writings, The Philosophy of the Present (1932), Mind, Self, and Society from the Standpoint of a Social Behaviorist (1934), Movements of Thought in the Nineteenth Century (1936), The Philosophy of the Act (1938).
Addison Webster Moore (1861-1930) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Chicago (1898-1929). Writings: Pragmatism and Its Critics (1910).
William Heard Kilpatrick (1871-1965) Biography /// Another biography. Extended Dewey’s pragmatism in progressive education. Professor of Philosophy of Education at Columbia University Teachers College (1909-1938). Writings: The Dutch Schools of New Netherland and Colonial New York (1912), The Montessori System Examined (1914), Froebel’s Kindergarten Principles Critically Examined (1916), Source Book in the Philosophy of Education (1923), Foundations of Method (1925), Education for a Changing Civilization (1926), How We Learn (with Mason Olcott, 1928), Our Educational Task (1930), Education and the Social Crisis (1932), Remaking the Curriculum (1936), Group Education for a Democracy (1940), Selfhood and Civilization (1941), Philosophy of Education (1951).
Horace Meyer Kallen (1882-1974) Biography /// Papers. Professor of Philosophy at Wisconsin (1911-18), and the New School for Social Research (1919-1973). Pragmatic advocate of cultural pluralism and Zionism. Writings: The Book of Job as a Greek Tragedy (1918); Zionism and World Politics (1921); Judaism at Bay (1932); Individualism: An American Way of Life (1933); The Decline and Rise of the Consumer (1936); Art and Freedom (1942); The Education of Free Men (1949); Of Them Which Say They Are Jews (1954); Utopians at Bay (1958); Liberty, Laughter and Tears (1968). Commentary: Kallen’s Cultural Pluralism
Clarence Irving Lewis (1883-1964) Biography /// Another Biography /// Bibliography. Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University. Writings: Mind and The World Order (1929), Symbolic Logic with C.H. Langford (1932), Mind and the World Order (1941)–selection “The Given Element in Experience”, An Analysis of Knowledge and Valuation (1946), The Ground and Nature of the Right (1955), Our Social Inheritance (1957), Values and Imperatives: Studies in Ethics (1969), Collected Papers of Clarence Irving Lewis (1970).
|Alain Locke (1886-1954) Biography /// Another biography /// Another biography. Professor of English, philosophy, and pedagogy at Howard University (1911-1941). A Leader of the Harlem Renaissancemovement.
Writings: The New Negro (ed., 1925), “Harlem”, World View on Race and Democracy (1943), Diversity within National Unity (1945).
Clarence Edwin Ayres (1891-1972) Biography /// Papers. Pragmatic economist at Texas, leader of the “Institutional School” of economics. Writings: Science: The False Messiah (1927), Holier Than Thou: The Way of the Righteous (1929), Huxley (1929), The Problem of Economic Order (1938), The Theory of Economic Progress (1944), The Divine Right of Capital (1946), The Industrial Economy: Its Technological Basis and Institutional Destiny (1952), Toward a Reasonable Society: The Values of Industrial Civilization (1961).
Sidney Hook (1902-1989) Biography /// Hoover Institution. Professor of Philosophy at New York University (1927-72); senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University (1973-89). Writings: Towards the Understanding of Karl Marx (1933), From Hegel to Marx (1936), Reason, Social Myths, and Democracy (1940), The Hero in History (1943), Heresy Yes, Conspiracy No (1953), Common Sense and the Fifth Amendment (1957), The Place of Religion in a Free Society (1968), Academic Freedom and Academic Anarchy (1969), Pragmatism and the Tragic Sense of Life (1974), Philosophy and Public Policy (1980) , Out of Step (1987). Commentary: Relevance of Sidney Hook Today, Sidney Hook Was Right
Charles William Morris (1903-1979) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Chicago (1931-58). Offered a “neo-pragmatism” by combining Peirce with logical positivism. Writings: Six Theories of Mind (1932), Logical Positivism, Pragmatism and Scientific Empiricism (1937), Paths of Life: Preface to a World Religion (1942), Signs, Language and Behavior (1946), The Open Self (1948), Varieties of Human Value (1956), The Pragmatic Movement in American Philosophy (1970), Writings on the General Theory of Signs (1971).
C. Wright Mills (1916-1962) Biography /// Links. Sociologist at Columbia University (1945-62). Writings: White Collar: The American Middle Classes (1951), The Power Elite (1956), The Causes of World War Three (1958), The Sociological Imagination (1959), Power, Politics & People: The Collected Essays of C. Wright Mills (1963).
John E. Smith (1921-2010) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Yale. Writings: Reason and God (1961), The Spirit of American Philosophy (1963), Experience and God (1968), Themes in American Philosophy (1970), The Analogy of Experience (1973), Purpose and Thought: The Meaning of Pragmatism (1978; rev. ed. 1984), America’s Philosophical Vision (1992), Quasi-Religions: Humanism, Marxism, Nationalism (1994).
Joseph Margolis (1924- ) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Temple (1968- ). Writings: Values and Conduct (1971), Persons and Minds (1978), Art and Philosophy (1980), Pragmatism without Foundations: Reconciling Relativism and Realism (1986), Science without Unity: Reconciling the Natural and the Human Sciences (1987), Texts without Referents: Reconciling Science and Narrative (1989), The Truth about Relativism (1991), The Flux of History and the Flux of Science (1993), Historied Thought, Constructed World: A Conceptual Primer for the Turn of the Millennium (1995), Life without Principles: Reconciling Theory and Practice (1996), Reinventing Pragmatism: American Philosophy at the End of the Twentieth Century (2002), The Unraveling of Scientism: American Philosophy at the End of the Twentieth Century (2003), Pragmatism’s Advantage: American and European Philosophy at the end of the Twentieth Century (2010).
|Hilary Putnam (1926- ) Biography /// Bibliography. Professor of Mathematics and philosophy at MIT (1961-76) and Harvard (1976- ).
Writings: Philosophy of Logic (1971), Mathematics, Matter, and Method (1975), Mind, Language, and Reality (1975), Meaning and the Moral Sciences (1978), Reason, Truth and History (1981), Realism and Reason (1983), The Many Faces of Realism (1987), Representation and Reality (1988), Realism with a Human Face (1990), Renewing Philosophy (1992), Words and Life (1994), Pragmatism: An Open Question (1995), The Threefold Cord: Mind, Body and World (2000), The Collapse of the Fact/Value Dichotomy (2002).
Commentary: Putnam and Rorty, Putnam and Metaphysical Realism, Putnam’s Paradox
Nicholas Rescher (1928- ) Biography /// Bibliography. Professor of Philosophy at Pittsburgh (1961- ). Writings: Methodological Pragmatism (1977), Peirce’s Philosophy of Science (1978), System of Pragmatic Idealism (3 vols. 1992-94), Process Metaphysics (1995), Communicative Pragmatism (1998), Pragmatism (1999), Philosophical Reasoning (2001).
|Richard Rorty (1931-2007) Biography /// Bibliography. Professor at Princeton (1961-1982), Virginia (1982-1988), and Stanford (1998-2005). Writings: Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979), Consequences of Pragmatism (1982), Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (1989), Objectivity, Relativism and Truth (1991), Essays on Heidegger and Others (1991), “Feminism, Ideology, and Deconstruction” (1993), Achieving Our Country (1998), Truth and Progress (1998), “Phony Science Wars” (1999), Philosophy and Social Hope (2000), Philosophy as Cultural Politics (2007).|
Richard J. Bernstein (1932- ) Biography /// Bibliography. Professor of Philosophy at Yale (1954-65), Haverford (1966-89), and New School University (1989- ). Writings: John Dewey (1966), Praxis and Action (1971), Beyond Objectivism and Relativism (1983), Philosophical Profiles: Essays in a Pragmatic Mode (1986), The New Constellation (1991), Radical Evil (2002).
John J. McDermott (1932- ) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Queen’s College and Texas A&M. Editor with the Harvard edition of William James and the Virginia edition of James’s Correspondence. Writings: The Culture of Experience: Philosophical Essays in the American Grain (1976), Streams of Experience: Reflections on the History and Philosophy of American Culture (1986).
|Realism, Naturalism, and Process Philosophy|
Scottish Realism was a real force in American philosophy until the deaths of Francis Bowen (1890), Noah Porter (1892), and James McCosh (1894). But this movement’s intuitionist psychology and outdated materialism was obvious by the 1880s. Idealism’s long dominance of philosophy departments only encouraged the next generation of realists to rebellion, and by 1910-20 their forces were able to present a real challenge with a sophisticated grasp of modern psychology and physical science. The early cooperative efforts are:
- The New Realism (1912) by Walter T. Marvin, Ralph B. Perry, Edward G. Spaulding, William P. Montague, Edwin B. Holt, and Walter B. Pitkin.
- Essays in Critical Realism (1920) by Durant Drake, Arthur O. Lovejoy, James B. Pratt, Arthur K. Rogers, George Santayana, Roy Wood Sellars, and Charles A. Strong.
Major variants of realism that flourished in America after 1920 were critical realism, emergent naturalism, process philosophy, and materialistic physicalism. Although most analytic philosophers (see below) have been naturalists, their sympathies usually rested with physicalism. In distinction, the philosophers gathered here almost always sided against physicalism and its tendencies towards reductivism or eliminativism, preferring varieties of pluralism, holism, organicism, contextualism, field theory, emergentism, panpsychism, and/or panentheism. American naturalism has also benefited from phenomenological trends unifying mind and body. Many American naturalists, along with some pragmatists, advanced secular humanism.
|Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) Biography. Professor of Mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge (1885-1910); at University College, London (1910-14); Imperial College of Science and Technology (1914-24); and Professor of Philosophy at Harvard (1924-37).
Writings: Principia Mathematica with Bertrand Russell (1910-13), Process and Reality (1929), Science and the Modern World (1925), Religion in the Making (1926), Process and Reality (1929), Adventures of Ideas (1933), Nature and Life (1934), Modes of Thought (1938).
Charles Augustus Strong (1862-1940) Biography /// Papers. Professor of Psychology at Columbia (1895-1903). Critical Realist. Writings: Why the Mind Has a Body (1903), The Origin of Consciousness (1918), Essays in Critical Realism (1920), The Wisdom of the Beasts (1921), A Theory of Knowledge (1923), Essays on the Natural Origin of the Mind (1930), A Creed for Sceptics (1936).
|George Santayana (1863-1952) Biography /// Santayana Society. Professor of Philosophy at Harvard (1889-1912); thereafter resided in Europe.
Writings: Sonnets (1894), The Sense of Beauty (1896), The Hermit of Carmel and Other Poems (1900), Interpretations of Poetry and Religion (1900), Lucifer: A Theological Tragedy (1901), The Life of Reason or Phases of Human Progress (5 vols. 1905-06), Three Philosophical Poets (1910), Winds of Doctrine (1913), Egotism in German Philosophy (1916), Character and Opinion in the United States(1920), The Realm of Essence (1927), The Realm of Matter (1930), The Genteel Tradition at Bay (1931), Some Turns of Thought in Modern Philosophy (1933), The Last Puritan (1935), The Realm of Truth (1937), The Realm of Spirit (1940), Persons and Places (1944), The Middle Span (1945), The Idea of Christ in the Gospels (1946), Dominations and Powers (1951), My Host the World (1953).
Commentary: Santayana: Catholic Atheist
Frederick J. E. Woodbridge (1867-1940) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Columbia (1902-37). Writings: The Purpose of History (1916), The Realm of Mind (1926), The Son of Apollo: Themes of Plato (1929), Nature and Mind (1937), An Essay on Nature (1940).
Edwin Bissell Holt (1873-1946) Biography. Professor of Psychology at Harvard (1901-18) and Princeton (1926-36). Writings: The Concept of Consciousness (1914), The Freudian Wish and Its Place in Ethics (1915), Animal Drive and the Learning Process (1931).
Arthur Oncken Lovejoy (1873-1963) Biography. Professor of philosophy and history at Johns Hopkins (1910-39). Co-founder with John Dewey of the American Association of University Professors. Writings: The Revolt Against Dualism (1930), The Great Chain of Being (1936).
William Pepperell Montague (1873-1953) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Columbia (1903-1947). New Realist. Writings: “Royce’s Refutation of Realism” (1902), The Ways of Knowing or the Methods of Philosophy (1925), Belief Unbound, a Promethean Religion for the Modern World (1930), The Chances of Surviving Death (1934), The Ways of Things: A Philosophy of Knowledge, Nature and Value (1940), Great Visions of Philosophy (1950).
James Bissett Pratt (1875-1944) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Williams College (1905-43). Critical Realist. Writings: The Psychology of Religious Belief (1905), What is Pragmatism? (1909), Democracy and Peace (1916), Matter and Spirit (1922), Personal Realism (1937), Naturalism (1939), Reason in the Art of Living (1949), Eternal Values of Religion (1950).
Ralph Barton Perry (1876-1957) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Harvard (1902-46). New Realist. Writings: The New Realism with others (1912), General Theory of Value (1926), The Thought and Character of William James (1935), Puritanism and Democracy (1944), The Realms of Value (1954), The Humanity of Man (1956).
Roy Wood Sellars (1880-1973) Biography /// Bibliography. Professor of Philosophy at Michigan and Chicago. Writings: Critical Realism (1916), The Next Step in Religion (1918), Evolutionary Naturalism (1922), Religion Coming of Age (1922), The Philosophy of Physical Realism (1932), Reflection on American Philosophy from Within (1969), Social Patterns and Political Horizons (1970), Principles, Perspectives, and Problems of Philosophy (1970), Neglected Alternatives: Critical Essays by Roy Wood Sellars (1973).
Morris Raphael Cohen (1880-1947) Biography /// Another biography. Professor of Philosophy at City College of New York (1912-38) and Chicago (1938-1942). Writings: Reason and Nature (1931), Law and the Social Order (1933), An Introduction to Logic and Scientific Method with Ernest Nagel (1934), A Preface to Logic (1945), The Faith of a Liberal (1945), “The Dark Side of Religion” (1946), The Meaning of Human History (1947), A Dreamer’s Journey (1949), Reason and Law (1950), American Thought: A Critical Sketch (1954).
Stephen Coburn Pepper (1891-1972) Biography /// Papers. Professor of Philosophy at UC Berkeley (1919-58). Writings: Aesthetic Quality, a Contextualistic Theory of Beauty (1937), The Basis of Criticism in the Arts (1945), A Digest of Purposive Values (1947), Principles of Art Appreciation (1949), The Work of Art (1955), Sources of Value (1955), Concept and Quality: A World Hypothesis (1966).
Herbert Wallace Schneider (1892-1984) Biography /// Bibliography /// Papers. Professor of Philosophy at Columbia. Writings: The Puritan Mind (1930), Meditations in Season (1938), Fountainheads of Freedom with Irwin Edman (1941), A History of American Philosophy (1946, 2nd ed. 1963), Religion in 20th Century America (1952), Three Dimensions of Public Morality (1963), Morals for Mankind (1960), Ways of Being (1962), Civilized Religion (1972).
Susanne Knauth Langer (1895-1985) Biography /// Another biography. Professor of Philosophy at Radcliffe, Wellesley, Smith, and Connecticut College (1954-62). Writings: The Practice of Philosophy (1930), An Introduction to Symbolic Logic (1937), Philosophy in a New Key: A Study in the Symbolism of Reason, Rite, and Art (1942), Feeling and Form: A Theory of Art (1953), Mind: An Essay on Human Feeling (3 vols. 1967, 1972, 1982).
|Charles Hartshorne (1897-2000) Biography /// Another biography /// Memorial. Professor of Philosophy at Chicago (1928-55), Emory (1955-62), and Texas (1962-78).
Writings: Beyond Humanism: Essays in the New Philosophy of Nature (1937), Man’s Vision of God and the Logic of Theism (1941), The Divine Relativity: A Social Conception of God (1948), Reality as a Social Process (1953), The Logic of Perfection (1965), A Natural Theology for Our Time (1967), Creative Synthesis and Scientific Method (1970), Insights and Oversights of Great Thinkers: An Evaluation of Western Philosophy (1983), Omnipotence and Other Theological Mistakes (1983), Creativity in American Philosophy (1984), Wisdom as Moderation (1987).
John Herman Randall, Jr. (1899-1980) Biography /// Bibliography. Professor of Philosophy at Columbia. Writings: The Making of the Modern Mind (1926, 2nd ed. 1940), Our Changing Civilization (1929), Nature and Historical Experience (1958), Aristotle (1960), The Career of Philosophy (3 vols. 1962, 1965, 1977), Hellenistic Ways of Deliverance and the Making of the Christian Synthesis (1970), Plato: Dramatist of the Life of Reason (1970).
Marvin Farber (1901-1980) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Buffalo (1927-80). Founder (1940) and long-time editor of Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. Writings: Phenomenology as a Method (1928), The Foundation of Phenomenology (1940), Naturalism and Subjectivism (1959). Commentary: Farber and Evolution
Paul Weiss (1901-2002) Biography /// Another biography /// Papers. Professor of Philosophy at Bryn Mawr (1931-45), Yale (1945-69), and Catholic University of America (1969-94). Writings: Nature and Man (1947), Man’s Freedom (1950), Philosophy in Process (12 vols, 1955-1988), Modes of Being (2 vols. 1958), Nine Basic Arts (1961), History: Written and Lived (1962), Religion and Art (1963), The God We Seek (1964), Our Public Life (1966), The Making of Men (1967), Reality (1967), Sport: A Philosophical Inquiry (1969), Beyond All Appearances (1974), Cinematics (1975), First Considerations: An Examination of Philosophical Evidence (1977), You, I, and the Others (1980), Toward a Perfected State (1986), Creative Ventures (1992), Being and Other Realities (1995), Emphatics (2000), Surrogates (2002).
Arthur Edward Murphy (1901-1962) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Berkeley, Chicago, Cornell, Brown, Illinois (1939-45), Washington, and Texas (1958-62). Writings: The Uses of Reason (1943), The Theory of Practical Reason (1965), Reason and the Common Good (1963), Reason, Reality, and Speculative Philosophy (1996).
Ernest Nagel (1901-1985) Biography /// Papers. Professor of Philosophy at Columbia (1930- ). Writings: An Introduction to Logic and Scientific Method with M. R. Cohen (1934), Sovereign Reason (1954), Logic without Metaphysics (1957), The Structure of Science (1961), Observation and Theory in Science with others (1971), Teleology Revisited and Other Essays (1979).
Corliss Lamont (1902-1995) Biography /// Another Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Columbia (1928-32, 1947-59), and at Cornell, Harvard and the New School for Social Research. Writings: You Might Like Socialism: A Way of Life for Modern Man (1939), Freedom Is As Freedom Does (1942), Humanism as a Philosophy (1949)–later published as The Philosophy of Humanism (6th ed. 1990, 8th ed. 1997), The Illusion of Immortality (1935, 5th ed. 1990), Freedom of Choice Affirmed (1967, 3rd ed. 1990), Freedom Is as Freedom Does: Civil Liberties in America (1956, 4th ed. 1990), Voice in the Wilderness: Collected Essays of Fifty Years (1974), A Lifetime of Dissent (1988).
Maurice Henry Mandelbaum, Jr. (1908-1987) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Johns Hopkins. Writings: The Problem of Historical Knowledge (1938), The Phenomenology of Moral Experience (1955), Philosophy, Science and Sense-Perception (1964), History, Man and Reason (1971), The Anatomy of Historical Knowledge (1977), Purpose and Necessity in Social Theory (1987).
|Wilfrid Stalker Sellars (1912-1989) Biography /// Bibliography. Professor of Philosophy at Iowa (1938-46), Minnesota (1946-63), Pittsburgh (1963-89).
Writings: “Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind” (1956), “Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man” (1962), Science, Perception and Reality (1963), Philosophical Perspectives (1967), Science and Metaphysics: Variations on Kantian Themes (1967), Essays in Philosophy and its History (1974), “Autobiographical Reflections” (1975), Naturalism and Ontology (1980), Pure Pragmatics and Possible Worlds: The Early Essays of Wilfrid Sellars (1980).
Commentary: Sellars Memorials
Justus Buchler (1914-1991) Biography. Professor at Columbia and Stony Brook. Writings: Toward a General Theory of Human Judgment (1951), Nature and Judgment (1955), Metaphysics of Natural Complexes (1966, 2nd ed. 1990), The Main of Light (1974).
Paul Kurtz (1925- ) Biography /// Center for Inquiry. Professor of Philosophy at University at Buffalo (1965-1991). Writings: The Fullness of Life (1974), Exuberance: An Affirmative Philosophy of Life (1977), In Defense of Secular Humanism (1983), Forbidden Fruit: The Ethics of Humanism (1987), Philosophical Essays in Pragmatic Naturalism (1991), The New Skepticism: Inquiry and Reliable Knowledge (1992), Toward a New Enlightenment(1994), The Courage to Become: The Virtues of Humanism (1997), Embracing the Power of Humanism (2000), Skepticism and Humanism: The New Paradigm (2001), Affirmations: Joyful and Creative Exuberance (2005), What Is Secular Humanism? (2007), Multi-Secularism: A New Agenda (2010), Exuberant Skepticism (2010).
John B. Cobb, Jr. (1925- ) Biography /// Another Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Claremont McKenna College and co-director of the Center for Process Studies. Writings: Selected Essays, A Christian Natural Theology (1965), The Structure of Christian Existence (1967), Liberal Christianity at the Crossroads (1973), Christ in a Pluralistic Age (1975), Process Theology as Political Theology (1982), Sustaining the Common Good (1994), Postmodernism and Public Policy (2001).
Opposed to “synthetic” philosophers who psychologized epistemology by requiring the mind to help create experience and truth, the early “analysts” like Moore, Russell, and Carnap held that immediate knowledge, discernable by analyzing experienced complexes, can be logically constructed into all other forms of legitimate knowledge, like science. Armed with powerful mathematical logics from Frege, Russell, and Wittgenstein, a loose alliance of positivists and post-positivists (all agreed that metaphysics should be replaced by science), together with “ordinary language” philosophers and lots of rationalistic epistemologists attempted in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s to make American philosophy truly scientific and assuredly separate from all other disciplines. Unlike the idealists who disparaged science, and unlike pragmatists who dragged philosophy towards a merger with the social sciences, analytic philosophers preserved a special domain of inquiry characterized by logical, linguistic, and scientific analysis of philosophical problems. Without a drive to do metaphysics, analytic philosophers have been largely content to let modern physics decide ontology in favor of physicalism (either reductionist or non-reductionist) yet they typically preferred 17th/18th century models of the mind and knowledge to any contemporary psychological theories. Towards the end of the 20th Century, analytic philosophy’s disdain for psychology had somewhat abated, although cognitive science and artificial intelligence only occasionally threatened Cartesian assumptions (e.g. epistemic foundationalism, the primacy of first-person knowledge, reflective self-consciousness as paradigmatic mentality, pure logic as constituative of reason, etc.) that still control much philosophy of language, mind and epistemology.
Key Terms: Analysis /// Analysis in Analytic Philosophy /// Church-Turing Thesis /// Eliminative Materialism /// Epiphenomenalism /// Epistemology /// Foundationalism /// Gettier Problem /// Intentionality /// Analysis of Knowledge/// Language of Thought /// Multiple Realizability /// Naturalistic Fallacy /// Naturalized Epistemology /// Narrow Mental Content /// Physicalism /// Provability Logic /// Scientific Realism /// Turing Test ///
|Carl Gustav Hempel (1905-1997) Biography /// Papers. Member of Vienna Circle, emigrated to US in 1939. Professor of Philosophy at City College of New York (1939-40); Queens College (1940-48); Yale (1948-55); Princeton (1955-70); Pittsburgh (1976-85). Defended logical empiricism with Herbert Feigl.
Writings: “Geometry and Empirical Science” (1945), Fundamentals of Concept Formation in Empirical Science (1952), Aspects of Scientific Explanation (1965), Philosophy of Natural Science (1966).
Nelson Goodman (1906-1998) Biography /// Bibliography. Professor of Philosophy at Pennsylvania (1946-64), Brandeis (1964-67), and Harvard (1967-77). Writings: A Study of Qualities (1941), The Structure of Appearance (1951), Fact, Fiction, and Forecast (1955), Languages of Art (1968), Problems and Projects (1972), Ways of Worldmaking (1978), Of Mind and Other Matters (1984), Reconceptions in Philosophy and Other Arts and Sciences with Catherine Elgin (1988).
|Willard Van Orman Quine (1908-2000) Biography /// Another biography /// Bibliography. Professor of Philosophy at Harvard (1936-78).
Writings: “Two Dogmas of Empiricism” (1951), Word and Object (1964), The Ways of Paradox and Other Essays (1976), Ontological Relativity (1977), From a Logical Point of View (1980), Theories and Things (1986), Pursuit of Truth (1992), From Stimulus to Science (1998).
Commentary: Carnap, Quine, and the Fate of Metaphysics
Max Black (1909-1988) Biography /// Another Biography /// Papers. Professor of Philosophy at Illinois (1940-46), Cornell (1946-77). Writings: Language and Philosophy (1949), Models and Metaphors (1962), A Companion to Wittgenstein’s Tractatus (1964), The Labyrinth of Language (1968), Margins of Precision: Essays in Logic and Language (1970).
Norman Adrian Malcolm (1911-1990) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Cornell (1947-78), then King’s College, London. Writings: Dreaming (1959), Knowledge and Certainty (1963), Ludwig Wittgenstein (1967), Problems of Mind: Descartes to Wittgenstein (1971), Memory and Mind (1977), Thought and Knowledge (1977), Nothing is Hidden (1986), Wittgenstein: A Religious Point of View? (1994), Wittgensteinian Themes: Essays 1978-1989 (1996).
Roderick Milton Chisholm (1916-1999) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Brown (1947-95). Writings: Perceiving (1957), Realism and the Background of Phenomenology (1960), Theory of Knowledge (1966, 3rd ed. 1989), Person and Object: A Metaphysical Study (1976), The First Person: An Essay on Reference and Intentionality (1981), The Foundations of Knowing (1982), Brentano and Meinong Studies (1982), Brentano and Intrinsic Value(1986), On Metaphysics (1989), A Realistic Theory of Categories (1996).
|Donald Herbert Davidson (1917-2003) Biography /// Another Biography /// Bibliography. Professor of Philosophy at Queens (1947-50), Stanford (1951-67), Princeton (1967-70), Rockefeller (1970-76), Chicago (1976-81), and UC Berkeley (1981-2003).
Writings: Decision-Making: An Experimental Approach with P. Suppes (1957), “Mental Events” (1950), Actions And Events (1980), Truth And Interpretation (1984), Subjective, Intersubjective, Objective (2001).
Thomas Samuel Kuhn (1922-1996) Biography. Professor of History of Science at Harvard (1948-56), UC Berkeley (1956-64), Princeton (1964-79), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1979-91). Writings: The Copernican Revolution (1957), The Structure of Scientific Revolution (1962, 2nd ed. 1970), The Essential Tension: Selected Studies in Scientific Tradition and Change (1977), The Road Since Structure: Philosophical Essays, 1970-1993 (2000). Commentary: Kuhn and Historicism
Arthur Coleman Danto (1924- ) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Columbia (1951- ). Writings: The Transfiguration of the Commonplace: A Philosophy of Art (1981), “Art, Philosophy, and the Philosophy of Art” (1983), Narration and Knowledge (1985), The Philosophical Disenfranchisement of Art (1986), The State of the Art (1987), Mysticism and Morality: Oriental Thought and Moral Philosophy (1988), Connections to the World: The Basic Concepts of Philosophy (1989), Encounters & Reflections: Art in the Historical Present (1990), Encounters and Reflections: Art in the Historical Present (1990), Beyond the Brillo Box: The Visual Arts in Post-Historical Perspective (1992), Playing With the Edge: The Photographic Achievement of Robert Mapplethorpe (1995), After the End of Art: Contemporary Art and the Pale of History (1997), Philosophizing Art (1999), The Madonna of the Future: Essays in a Pluralistic Art World (2000).
Paul Feyerabend (1924-1994) Biography /// Another Biography. Emigrated to US in 1959; Professor of Philosophy at UC Berkeley (1959-90). Writings: Against Method (1975), Science in a Free Society (1978), Farewell to Reason (1987), Three Dialogues on Knowledge (1991), Killing Time: Autobiography (1995).
Stanley Louis Cavell (1926- ) Biography /// Bibliography /// Homepage /// Cavell on Film. Professor of Philosophy at UC Berkeley (1956-62); Professor of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value at Harvard (1962-97). Writings: Must We Mean What We Say? (1969), The World Viewed: Reflections on the Ontology of Film (1971), The Senses of Walden (1972), The Claim of Reason: Wittgenstein, Skepticism, Morality, and Tragedy (1979), The Claim of Reason (1979), Pursuits of Happiness: The Hollywood Comedy of Remarriage (1981), Philosophical Passages: Wittgenstein, Emerson, Austin, Derrida (1995), Contesting Tears: The Melodrama of the Unknown Woman (1996), The Cavell Reader (1996), The Pitch of Philosophy (1996).
Noam Chomsky (1928- ) Biography /// Another biography /// Chomsky–American Dissident. Professor of Linguistics at MIT (1955- ). Writings: Syntactic Structures (1957), Aspects of the Theory of Syntax (1965), Cartesian Linguistics (1965), Language and Mind (1968), American Power and the New Mandarins (1969), Essays on Form and Interpretation (1977), Human Rights and American Foreign Policy (1978), Rules and Representations (1980), Modular Approaches to the Study of the Mind (1984), The Logical Structure of Linguistic Theory (1985), Knowledge of Language: Its Nature, Origin, and Use (1986), Language and Problems of Knowledge (1987), Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies (1989), Deterring Democracy (1991), New Horizons in the Study of Language and Mind (2000).
|John Rogers Searle (1932- ) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Oxford (1956-59), UC Berkeley (1959- ).
Writings: Speech Acts (1969), Intentionality (1983), The Rediscovery of the Mind (1992), Minds, Brains and Science (1986), Mind, Language, and Society (2000), The Construction of Social Reality (1997), Rationality in Action (2002).
Commentary: Chinese Room Argument
Jaegwon Kim (1934- ) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Swarthmore, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Michigan, and Brown (1987- ). Writings: Supervenience and Mind (1993), Philosophy of Mind (1996), Mind in a Physical World(2000).
Jerry Alan Fodor (1935- ) Biography /// Homepage. Professor of Philosophy at MIT (1959-86), CUNY (1986-88), Rutgers (1988- ). Writings: Psychological Explanation (1968), The Language of Thought (1975), A Theory of Content and Other Essays (1990), Holism: A Shopper’s Guide with E. Lepore (1992), The Elm and the Expert: Mentalese and Its Semantics (1994), Concepts: Where Cognitive Science Went Wrong (1998), In Critical Condition (1998), The Mind Doesn’t Work That Way: The Scope and Limits of Computational Psychology (2000), Hume Variations (2003).
Keith Lehrer (1936- ) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Arizona. Writings: Knowledge (1979), Thomas Reid (1989), Rational Consensus in Science and Society (1981), Theory of Knowledge (1990), Metamind (1990), Self-Trust: A Study of Reason, Knowledge, and Autonomy (1997).
Thomas Nagel (1937- ) Biography. Professor of Philosophy and Law at New York University. Writings: The Possibility of Altruism (1970), “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?” (1974), Mortal Questions (1979), What Does It All Mean? (1987), The View from Nowhere (1989), Equality and Partiality (1991), Other Minds (1995), and The Last Word (1997). Commentary: Nagel on Moral Luck
Alvin I. Goldman (1938- ) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Arizona and Rutgers (2002- ).Writings: A Theory of Human Action (1970), Epistemology and Cognition (1986), Liaisons: Philosophy Meets the Cognitive and Social Sciences (1992), Philosophical Applications of Cognitive Science (1993), Knowledge in a Social World (1999), Pathways to Knowledge: Private and Public (2002).
Saul Aaron Kripke (1940- ) Biography /// Homepage. Professor of Philosophy at Rockefeller University (1968-77); McCosh Professor of Philosophy at Princeton (1977-97); CUNY (1997- ). Writings: Naming and Necessity (1980), Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language (1982).
Ernest Sosa (1940- ) Biography. Professor of Natural Theology and Philosophy at Brown (1964- ). Writings: “The Raft and the Pyramid: Coherence versus Foundations in the Theory of Knowledge” (1980), Knowledge in Perspective: Selected Essays in Epistemology (1991)
|David Kellog Lewis (1941-2001) Biography /// Bibliography. Professor of Philosophy at UCLA (1966-70), Princeton (1970-2001).
Writings: Convention (1969), Counterfactuals (1973), Philosophical Papers V.1 (1983), On the Plurality of Worlds (1986), Philosophical Papers V.2 (1983), Parts of Classes (1991).
Daniel C. Dennett (1942- ) Biography /// Bibliography. Professor of Philosophy at UC Irvine (1965-71), Tufts (1971- ). Writings: Content and Consciousness (1969), Brainstorms (1978), Elbow Room (1984), The Intentional Stance (1987), Consciousness Explained (1991), Darwin’s Dangerous Idea (1995), Kinds of Minds (1996).
Paul M. Churchland (1942- ) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at UC San Diego (1984- ). Writings: Scientific Realism and the Plasticity of Mind (1979), Matter and Consciousness (1984), Images of Science: Scientific Realism versus Constructive Empiricism (1985), A Neurocomputational Perspective: The Nature of Mind and the Structure of Science (1989), The Engine of Reason, The Seat of the Soul: A Philosophical Journey into the Brain (1995). Commentary: Churchland’s Pragmatic Pluralism
Philip S. Kitcher (1947- ) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Minnesota, UC San Diego, Columbia. Writings: Abusing Science: The Case Against Creationism (1982), The Nature of Mathematical Knowledge (1983), Vaulting Ambition: Sociobiology and the Quest for Human Nature (1985), The Advancement of Science (1993), The Lives to Come: The Genetic Revolution and Human Possibilities (1996), Science, Truth, and Democracy (2001), In Mendel’s Mirror: Philosophical Reflections on Biology (2003).
|Ethical and Political Theory|
Many of the Idealists, Pragmatists, Naturalists, and Analytics published important works on ethics or social/political philosophy. This last category gathers together some additional major thinkers who wrote mostly about ethical, social, and political theory during the dominance of analytic philosophy in the second half of the 20th Century. Analytic philosophy itself, due to its acceptance of the fact/value dichotomy and its focus on the meaning of moral judgments, tended to relegate moral theory and applied ethics to lower status. Utilitarians and Kantians had to take notice of new schools of metaethics and moral theory aroused by developments in analytic philosophy, such as emotivism and other types of non-cognitivisms and anti-realisms. By the end of the 20th Century, applied ethics and political theory had returned to a level of respectability not seen since Dewey, attracting philosophical concentration upon diverse topics including bioethics, minority rights, democratic theory, and globalization.
Key Terms: Ethics /// Ethics /// Ethics and Metaethics /// Metaethics /// Moral Realism /// Moral Anti-Realism /// Virtue Ethics /// Political Philosophy /// Political Obligation /// Democracy /// The Nature of Law /// Legal Rights
|Richard Peter McKeon (1900-1985) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Chicago (1935-73).
Writings: The Philosophy of Spinoza (1928), Freedom and History: The Semantics of Philosophical Controversies (1952), Thought, Action, and Passion (1974), Freedom and History and Other Essays (1990).
Commentary: Richard McKeon
Ayn Rand (1905-1982) Biography /// Bibliography /// Ayn Rand Society. Russian immigrant; novelist and philosopher who defended ethical egoism and capitalism. Writings: The Fountainhead (1943), Anthem (1946), Atlas Shrugged (1947), For the New Intellectual: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (1961), The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism (1964), Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology (1966), Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (1966), The Romantic Manifesto: A Philosophy of Literature (1969), Philosophy: Who Needs It (1982), The Voice of Reason: Essays in Objectivist Thought (1988).
Charles Leslie Stevenson (1908-1979) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Michigan. Writings: “The Emotive Meaning of Ethical Terms” (1937), “Persuasive Definitions” (1938), Ethics and Language (1944), Facts and Values (1963)
William K. Frankena (1908-1994) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Michigan (1937-78). Writings: Ethics (1963), Perspectives on Morality (1976).
Richard Booker Brandt (1910-1997) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Swarthmore (1936-64), Michigan (1964-81). Writings: The Philosophy of Schliermacher (1968), A Theory of the Good and the Right (1979), Morality, Utilitarianism, and Rights (1992), Facts, Values and Morality (1996)
Robert Alan Dahl (1915- ) Biography. Professor of Political Science at Princeton. Writings: Politics, Economics and Welfare with C. E. Lindblom (1953), A Preface to Democratic Theory (1956), Who Governs? Democracy and Power in an American City (1961), Congress and Foreign Policy (1964), After the Revolution? Authority in a Good Society (1970, 2nd ed. 1990), Polyarchy (1971), Size and Democracy with E. R. Tufte (1973), Dilemmas of Pluralist Democracy (1982), A Preface to Economic Democracy (1985), Controlling Nuclear Weapons: Democracy Versus Guardianship (1985), Democracy and Its Critics (1989), Toward Democracy: A Journey (2 vols. 1997), On Democracy (1999), How Democratic is the American Constitution? (2002).
Kurt E. Baier (1917- ) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Pittsburgh. Writings: The Moral Point of View (1958), The Rational and the Moral Order: The Social Roots of Reason and Morality (1994)
Philippa Foot (1920- ) Biography. Tutor at Oxford (1949-69); Professor of Philosophy at UCLA (1969-2002). Writings: Virtues and Vices and Other Essays in Moral Philosophy (1978), Natural Goodness (2003).
Stephen Edelson Toulmin (1922-2009) Biography. Professor at Oxford, Leeds, Brandeis, Michigan State, Chicago, and University of Southern California. Writings: The Place of Reason in Ethics (1949), The Philosophy of Science (1953), The Uses of Argument (1958), Foresight and Understanding (1961), The Discovery of Time (1965), Human Understanding (1972), Wittgenstein’s Vienna with Alan Janik (1973), The Abuse of Causitry: A History of Moral Reasoning with Albert Jonsen (1987), Cosmopolis: The Hidden Agenda of Modernity (1990), Return to Reason (2001).
|John Rawls (1921-2002) Biography /// A Second Biography /// A Third Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Princeton (1950-52), Cornell (1953-59), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1960-62), Harvard (1962-2002).
Writings: “Two Concepts of Rules” (1955), A Theory of Justice (1971), Political Liberalism (1993), Lectures on the History of Moral Philosophy (2000), Collected Papers (2001), The Law of Peoples (2001), Justice as Fairness (2001).
Commentary: The Original Position
Annette C. Baier (1929- ) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Pittsburgh. Writings: A Progress of Sentiments: Reflections on Hume’s Treatise (1991), “What Do Women Want in a Moral Theory?” (1983), Moral Prejudices: Essays on Ethics (1994), The Commons of the Mind (1997).
Alasdair MacIntyre (1929- ) Biography /// Homepage. Professor of Philosophy at Oxford, Essex, and Notre Dame. Writings: Marxism (1953), The Unconscious (1958), Difficulties in Christian Belief (1959), A Short History of Ethics (1965), Marxism and Christianity (1968), The Religious Significance of Atheism with Paul Ricoeur (1969), Against the Self-Images of the Age (1971), After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory (1981, 2nd ed. 1984), Whose Justice? Which Rationality? (1988), Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry: Encyclopaedia, Genealogy, and Tradition (1990), First Principles, Final Ends and Contemporary Philosophical Issues (1990), Dependent Rational Animals (1999).
Charles Taylor (1931- ) Biography /// Bibiography. Professor of Philosophy at McGill (1961- ); also Professor of Social and Political Theory at All Souls College, Oxford (1976-81). Writings: Hegel (1975), Hegel and Modern Society (1979), Human Agency and Language (1985), Philosophy and the Human Sciences (1985), Sources of the Self (1989), The Ethics of Authenticity (1991), Reconciling the Solitudes: Essays on Canadian Federalism and Nationalism (1993), Multiculturalism with Amy Gutmann (1994), Philosophical Arguments (1995), Varieties of Religion Today: William James Revisited (2002).
Ronald Myles Dworkin (1931- ) Biography. Professor at Yale Law School (1962-69); Professor of Philosophy and Jurisprudence at Oxford (1969- ), jointly appointed at New York University (1975- ). Writings: Taking Rights Seriously (1977), A Matter of Principle (1985), Law’s Empire (1986), Life’s Dominion (1993), Freedom’s Law (1996).
David Gauthier (1932- ) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Toronto (1958-80) and Pittsburgh (1980-2002). Writings: Practical Reasoning (1963), The Logic of Leviathan (1969), Morals by Agreement (1986), Moral Dealing: Contract, Ethics, and Reason (1990), The Social and the Solitary (2003).
Michael Walzer (1937- ) Biography. Faculty Member at Institute for Advanced Study (1980- ). Writings: The Revolution of the Saints: A Study in the Origins of Radical Politics (1965), Obligations: Essays on Disobedience, War and Citizenship (1970), Political Action (1971), Regicide and Revolution (1974, 2nd ed. 1992), Just and Unjust Wars (1977, 2nd ed. 1992, 3rd ed. 2000), Radical Principles (1977), Spheres of Justice (1983), Exodus and Revolution (1985), Interpretation and Social Criticism (1987), The Company of Critics (1988, 2nd ed. 2002), Pluralism, Justice, and Equality with David Miller (1995), On Toleration (1997).
|Robert Nozick (1938-2002) Biography. Professor of Philosophy at Princeton, Rockefeller (1967-69), and Harvard (1969-2002).
Writings: Anarchy, State, and Utopia (1974), Philosophical Explanations (1981), The Examined Life (1990), The Nature of Rationality (1994), “Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism?” (1998), Socratic Puzzles (1999), Invariances: The Structure of the Objective World (2001).