C. I. Lewis
The Last Great Pragmatist
An intellectual biography of the American philosopher C. I. Lewis.
2006 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title
Noted scholar-historian Murray G. Murphey explores the life and intellectual work of C. I. Lewis (1883–1964), the central figure in American philosophy between the "golden age" of James and Royce and the later scene of Quine and Goodman, Sellars and Rorty. As professor of philosophy at Harvard and the founder of modal symbolic logic, Lewis taught and deeply influenced a generation of philosophers. Murphey traces the development of Lewis's thought from his early Idealism through his Conceptual Pragmatism and his defense of that position against the onslaught of Logical Positivism in the 1930s and 1940s. He also examines how Lewis developed in a more precise and systematic way the Pragmatism of Peirce, James, and Dewey, while retaining their combination of empiricism and humanism and marshalling the weapons of analytic philosophy in their defense. Detailed attention is given to the important contributions of Lewis's work in logic, epistemology, value theory, meaning, and ethics.
Murray G. Murphey is Professor Emeritus of American Civilization at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of many books, including Philosophical Foundations of Historical Knowledge, also published by SUNY Press; The Development of Peirce's Philosophy; and (with Elizabeth Flower) A History of Philosophy in America.