American Philosophy

A Historical Anthology

By Barbara MacKinnon

Subjects: American Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Philosophy
Paperback : 9780873959230, 704 pages, June 1985
Hardcover : 9780873959223, 704 pages, June 1985

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Table of contents


I. Early American Philosophy

1. Puritan Thought Jonathan Edwards

Study Questions

Bibliography 2. The American Enlightenment Benjamin Franklin

Thomas Jefferson

Study Questions

Bibliography 3. Transcendentalism Ralph Waldo Emerson

Henry David Thoreau

Study Questions

II. Classical American Philosophy
4. Evolutionary Thought John Fiske

Chauncey Wright

John Dewey

Study Questions

Bibliography 5. Pragmatism Charles Sanders Pierce

Study Questions

Bibliography 6. The Pragmatism and Metaphysics of C. S. Pierce Study Questions

Bibliography 7. The Pragmatism and Radical Empiricism of William James Study Questions

Bibliography 8. The Naturalism and Experimentalism of John Dewey Study Questions

Bibliography 9. The Idealism and Absolute Pragmatism of Josiah Royce Study Questions

III. Twentieth Century Philosophy in America
10. Early Twentieth Century Realism & Naturalism Naturalism

The New Realism

Critical Realism

George Santayana

Study Questions

Bibliography 11. Thomism Bernard Lonergan

Anton Pegis

Study Questions

Bibliography 12. Process Philosophy Alfred North Whitehead

Charles Hartshorne

Study Questions

Bibliography 13. Systematic Metaphysics Justus Buchler

Paul Weiss

Robert Neville

Wilfrid Sellars

Study Questions

Bibliography 14. Phenomenology Richard Schmitt

Aron Gurwitsch

Don Idhe

Study Questions

Bibliography 15. The New Empiricism C. I. Lewis

Rudolf Carnap

W. V. O. Quine

Study Questions

Bibliography 16. Language Philosophy John Searle

Norman Malcom

Donald Davidson

Study Questions

Bibliography 17. Twentieth Century American Moral Philosophy John Dewey

Charles Stevenson

Kurt Baier

John Rawls

Ruth Macklin

Study Questions

Bibliography Index


This anthology demonstrates the richness and diversity of the American intellectual heritage. In it we see how Jonathan Edwards grapples with the problem of how to reconcile freedom and responsibility with Calvinist religious beliefs; how Franklin and Jefferson exemplified American enlightenment thought; and how the Transcendentalists, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, formulated their particular romantic idealist beliefs.

A second and significant portion of the anthology is devoted to Pragmatism. Substantive excerpts from Peirce, James and Dewey, as well as Royce, are collected here.

A third part is devoted to other Twentieth-Century American philosophies. No other collection of writings in this field includes the breadth of coverage that this one does. Among the chapters in this third part of the book are those on early Process Philosophy, Phenomenology, Positivism, and Language Philosophies. Selections from such philosophers as Whitehead, Weiss, Buchler, Gurwitsch, Sellars, Quine, Davidson, and Rawls, along with many others are included in this part. A final chapter is devoted to twentieth-century American Moral Philosophy.

The book is specifically designed to be used as a text for courses in American philosophy. A substantive introduction that emphasizes the historical setting as well as major interests and ideas of the philosophers accompanies each chapter. Extensive bibliographies and study guide questions follow each chapter. The selections include more than any one course will cover, but in their completeness also allow individual teachers and readers to select what they want.

Barbara MacKinnon is Professor of Philosophy at the University of San Francisco.