From a Philosophical Point of View: Selected Studies by Morton White

By Morton White

Essentially the most very important philosophers of contemporary occasions, Morton White has spent a occupation construction bridges one of the more and more fragmented worlds of the arts, social sciences, and normal sciences. From a Philosophical viewpoint is a range of White's top essays, written over a interval of greater than sixty years. jointly those choices signify the assumption that philosophers may still mirror not just on arithmetic and technological know-how but in addition on different facets of tradition, reminiscent of faith, artwork, heritage, legislation, schooling, and morality.

White's essays hide the whole diversity of his pursuits: reviews in ethics, the speculation of data, and metaphysics in addition to within the philosophy of tradition, the heritage of pragmatism, and allied currents in social, political, and felony idea. The e-book additionally contains items on philosophers who've prompted White at various levels of his profession, between them William James, John Dewey, G. E. Moore, and W. V. Quine. all through, White argues from a holistic viewpoint opposed to a pointy epistemological contrast among logical and actual ideals and in addition opposed to an both sharp one among descriptive and normative ideals.

White continues that after the thinker abandons the dogma that the logical research of arithmetic and physics is the essence of his topic, he frees himself to renew his conventional position as a scholar of the principal associations of civilization. Philosophers may still functionality no longer basically as spectators of all time and lifestyles, he argues, yet as empirically minded scholars of tradition who try and use a few of their rules for the good thing about society.

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It was Dewey who absorbed something from Hegel without missing his main point. Dewey’s work in philosophy, along with the antiformalistic jurisprudence of Justice Holmes, the anticlassical economics of Thorstein Veblen, and the economically oriented political science and history of Charles Beard and others, formed a coherent liberal American ideology in the first quarter of the twentieth century. These thinkers not only admired the dynamic histories prepared by nineteenth-century economists, biologists, and historians but tried to use them in an effort to reform the world and our beliefs about it.

We can still be the spiritual custodians of what is good in our tradition and the implacable critics of what is bad. The tasks of the practical intellectual continue to be what they always have been: to pursue the truth, to expose sham and injustice, to seek ways of avoiding the destruction of the world, to help make it as happy and as sane as it can be. If such intellectuals are spurned by governments, by parties, by the public, or accepted only on impossible terms, they must go their own way and they must protest.

Therefore, in order to illustrate and clarify what I have in mind, I shall turn to a basic problem in the philosophy of history and another in the philosophy of law. History is an institution insofar as no civilized society can live without some image of its past. And no one can deny the pervasiveness of legal institutions. 26 C H A P T E R 4 One of the historian’s concerns is to report particular facts, and another is to present a connected picture of the past. The first expresses itself in simple declarative statements, such as “Caesar crossed the Rubicon”, and the second in lengthy sequential narratives about the life of some person or the development of a society or a nation.

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