American Philosophic Naturalism in the Twentieth Century

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John Joseph Ryder
Prometheus Books, 1994 - Philosophy - 566 pages
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This comprehensive collection, bringing together significant essays by leading philosophers of the twentieth century, represents one prominent school of American thought - philosophic naturalism. Naturalism holds that nature is objective and can be studied to gain knowledge that is not determined by methodology, perspective, belief, or theory. For the naturalist, "nature" is an all-encompassing concept; nothing is other than natural and any notion of a supernatural realm is rejected. Naturalism, however, cannot be equated with materialistic reductionism or strict determinism. Certain nonmaterial aspects of human existence - thoughts, feelings, meanings, values, beliefs, ideals, and free will - are included within the scope of the naturalist's approach. John Ryder divides this work into five parts, which demonstrate the range of naturalistic inquiry: (1) conceptions of nature; (2) nature, experience, and method; (3) values ethical and social; (4) values aesthetic and religious; and (5) naturalism and contemporary philosophy. The distinguished contributors are: Justus Buchler, Morris Cohen, John Dewey, Abraham Edel, Marvin Farber, Sidney Hook, Paul Kurtz, John Lachs, Corliss Lamont, Thelma Lavine, Peter Manicas, John McDermott, Ernest Nagel, W.V.O. Quine, John Herman Randall, Jr., George Santayana, Meyer Schapiro, Roy Wood Sellars, Evelyn Shirk, and F.J.E. Woodbridge. For students and scholars alike, American Philosophic Naturalism in the Twentieth Century is an excellent introduction to and overview of an important school of philosophy.

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Section 1Nature Discerned
Nature Unified and Mind Discerned

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About the author (1994)

Ryder is professor of philosophy and dean of arts and sciences at SUNY-Cortland.

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