|American Philosophic Naturalism|
This distinctively American philosophical movement from the early 20th century
comprised a rather diverse collection of positions ranging from that of George
Santayana to that of John
Dewey. Still other versions of American Naturalism include the views of
R. Cohen and Roy
Wood Sellars. There are, however, some common attitudes that ran through
the different versions of American Naturalism. These include: 1) a rejection
of the supernatural or transcendental; 2) realism and anti-reductionism; 3)
a belief in the scientific method (broadly construed!) as the only sound means
of acquiring knowledge of the world; 4) a rejection of the dualism of mind and
nature that had been a central theme of modern philosophy. This mind-nature
dualism was seen as the source of many of the other problematic dualisms postulated
in modern philosophy (appearance-reality, fact-value, etc.), so in attempting
to reintegrate mind into nature, American Naturalists typically set themselves
against all dualisms. However, the realist and anti-reductionist attitudes of
the American Naturalists generally kept them away from eliminativist analyses
of one side or the other of these offending dualisms in their attempts to dissolve
Examples of or Books on American Naturalism
Hook, Sidney. The Quest for Being. New York: Columbia University Press, 1961.
Krikorian, Y.H. (ed.) Naturalism and the Human Spirit. New York: Columbia University Press, 1944.
Lamprecht, Sterling P. The Metaphysics of Naturalism. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc., 1967.
Ryder, John (ed.). American Philosophic Naturalism in the 20th Century. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1994.
Shea, William M. The Naturalists and the Supernatural. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1984.
Woodbridge's Realistic Naturalism
Back to the F.J.E. Woodbridge