Process and Reality: an Essay in Cosmology

  • Marvin F
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Early in this century American philosophy made a 'linguistic' turn that determined the direction it would take all the way to the present day. In the spirit of the times, language made its way to the forefront of philosophy, the end result being (among other things) Positivism and a scientistic approach to the Geisteswissenschaften. It is a turn many of us, looking back, wish it had never made. Because of this turn, certain philosophers and ways of doing philosophy all but stopped being considered. Among these philosophers were Dewey and James. These thinkers have in recent decades been resurrected by contemporary neopragmatists, most notably Richard Rorty, who look back at the arid desert of mid-twentieth century philosophy and wonder how far we have come after all. To quote Rorty (who is certainly no Whiteheadian), American philosophical thought 'began taking its cue from Frege rather than Locke.' Broadly considered, this meant that language rather than experience, mind rather than body, was taken to be the most serious matter for philosophy.

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  • F. S. Marvin

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