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The Cambridge History of Philosophy 1870–1945
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    Miller, Jason 2015. Dredging and Projecting the Depths of Personality: The Thematic Apperception Test and the Narratives of the Unconscious. Science in Context, Vol. 28, Issue. 01, p. 9.

    HEYNICKX, RAJESH 2013. BRIDGING THE ABYSS: VICTOR BASCH'S POLITICAL AND AESTHETIC MINDSET. Modern Intellectual History, Vol. 10, Issue. 01, p. 87.

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    The Cambridge History of Philosophy 1870–1945
    • Online ISBN: 9781139053563
    • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521591041
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Book description

The Cambridge History of Philosophy 1870–1945 comprises over sixty specially commissioned essays by experts on the philosophy of this period and is designed to be accessible to non-specialists who have little previous familiarity with philosophy. As with the other volumes in the series, much of the emphasis of the essays is thematic, concentrating on developments during the period across a range of philosophical topics, from logic and metaphysics to political philosophy and philosophy of religion. Several chapters also discuss the changing relationship of philosophy to the natural and social sciences during this period. The result is an authoritative survey of this rich and varied period of philosophical activity, which will be of critical importance not only to teachers and students of philosophy but also to scholars in neighbouring disciplines such as the history of science, the history of ideas, theology and the social sciences.

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Review of the hardback:'The overall standard of the contributions is high, and there is much to be gained from the brief but incisive essays … a valuable reference work.'

Source: Political Studies Review

Review of the hardback:'… The Cambridge History of Philosophy is a magnificent achievement: a superb resource that can be recommended to all philosophers and anyone with an interest in the history of the period.'

Source: British Journal for the History of Philosophy

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Page 1 of 3


  • 1 - Positivist thought in the nineteenth century
    pp 7-26
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521591041.003
  • View abstract
    Summary
    For expository purposes one can divide the dramatis personae of the philosophical advocacy of positivism into three national groups. In Germany a form of positivism developed among physical scientists, consciously in opposition to the prevailing idealism of German philosophy. In the nineteenth century the positivist attitude appeared first in France, then in England and finally in Germany. French positivism was anti-theoretical, strongly empiricist in the sense that the only legitimate source of knowledge was human sensory experience. The positivism of Mach and Avenarius restricted the ontology of physics to persisting clusters of sensations. The abstraction of a general law of evolution from chemistry, biology and human history is just such a work of philosophy. The biologist-philosophers of the second half of the nineteenth century realised this transformation very well. Having abandoned a transcendental source for morality, they looked for one from within the biological realm itself.
  • 2 - Neo-Kantianism: the German idealism movement
    pp 27-42
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521591041.004
  • View abstract
    Summary
    Neo-Kantianism includes all Kant's successors, including Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, and probably Schopenhauer. One important general feature of this movement is that its adherents were frustrated with the state of German philosophy around the middle of the nineteenth century. The movement lasted for at least seventy years, and some scholars have gone so far as to suggest that it lasted almost a century. Even within a short period, the numbers involved are large: Klaus Christian Köhnke lists dozens of philosophers who lectured on Kant between 1862 and 1890. Further while some of the schools centred on certain topics for investigation, there were considerable differences both in the interests of the members of the schools as well as the changes in the membership in them. It is usual to focus on the two major schools: the Southwest school and the Marburg school. Vaihinger and Simmel are just two examples of the new directions for the Neo-Kantians.
  • 3 - Idealism in Britain and the United States
    pp 43-59
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521591041.005
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The sudden rise of idealistic philosophy, with its wide influence through religion and politics, does not seem explicable except as a response to the nineteenth-century crisis of faith. Green examined the roots of the popular philosophy in Locke. Locke's aim, according to Green, was to explain the origin of ideas in individuals and the connections between ideas which constitute knowledge. Bradley developed his account of judgement by distinguishing between the grammatical and logical forms of judgements. Bosanquet's longest and most important book was Logic or the Morphology of Knowledge. Bosanquet considered judgements to be the fundamental units of knowledge. He accepted Bradley's view that judgements are true or false entities composed of ideas referred to reality. The only American idealist with an international reputation was the Harvard philosopher Josiah Royce. Even though idealism maintained its popularity longer in Britain than in the United States, its later developments lacked the cohesion of the philosophers as far as this chapter is considered.
  • 4 - Idealism in Russia
    pp 60-66
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521591041.006
  • View abstract
    Summary
    Idealism flourished in Russia in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The most significant thinker in this movement was Vladimir Soloviev, whose ideas influenced an entire generation of philosophers and inspired the Russian religious-philosophical renaissance of the early twentieth century. At the outset of Soloviev's career, the principal secular vision of Russia's salvation was offered by populism, a political movement which flourished among the radical intelligentsia who had lost confidence in European conceptions of progress. The main theorists of populism were Pëtr Lavrov and Nikolai Mikhailovskii. Both reacted to the postivistic materialism that had dominated Russian radicalism in the 1860s. Soloviev's influence was paramount in the remarkable renaissance of Russian religious philosophy in the early twentieth century. Russian metaphysical idealism is important not because of its truth, but because of what it reveals about the characteristic quest of Russian thikers.
  • 5 - Bergson
    pp 67-73
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521591041.007
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter sketches Bergson's work and shows it as opening and closing doors, rather than as providing a manifesto for a new philosophical programme. To establish the strategic contrast with Bergson, it offers a brief sketch of Russell's position. As with Descartes, mathematics played a key role. Since antiquity, mathematics had often been conceived as having two distinct objects: number in arithmetic, and space in geometry. Bergson's epistemology gives priority to action. Human beings, he claims, have 'virtual actions', provided by instinct or learning. It is these which carve out the world for use, and effect an indispensable segmentation of our experience into items which can also be classified and regimented for the purposes of action. Bergson's earlier works, the phenomenological approach was pursued in various ways, in line with his claim that precision in philosophy had to be subject-specific. In 1903, Bergson systematised his earlier work by introducing a general distinction between two forms of knowledge, intuition and analysis.
  • 6 - Pragmatism
    pp 74-90
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521591041.008
  • View abstract
    Summary
    Pragmatism entered public debate in 1898, when William James lectured on 'Philosophical conceptions and practical results' to the Philosophical Union at Berkeley. Pragmatism is relevant to questions about realism. The views described in this chapter have an empiricist flavour. Earlier empiricists tended to adopt an austere conception of experience. James's Pragmatism presents the doctrine as a way of overcoming 'The Present Dilemma in Philosophy', it offers a middle way between scientistic positivism and idealism. The pragmatist principle is a tool for reflective self-controlled reasoning, and Peirce was suspicious of placing too much trust in reflective rationality outside the realm of science. Indeed, and this is an important point of contrast with James, the fundamental role of his pragmatism lay in explaining the importance and character of scientific knowledge and the life of the scientist. The most famous and important application of James's pragmatism is his account of truth.
  • 7 - Psychology: old and new
    pp 91-106
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521591041.009
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter follows the emergence of the new psychology out of the old in the national traditions of Britain, Germany and the United States, with some reference to French, Belgian, Austrian and Italian thinkers. The order of treatment follows the centre of gravity of psychological activity. Biological psychology was developed in England by medical physiologists such as William Carpenter and Henry Maudsley, by biologically inspired intellectuals such as Spencer and Lewes, and by research naturalists including Charles Darwin, Romanes and C. Lloyd Morgan. The new American psychology gained textual presence through books by Ladd and James. Both authors were advocates of a new psychology, but neither was convinced that experiment would be its defining feature. Psychological works contained discussions of psychology's subject matter, its methods, its relation to philosophy and metaphysics, the existence of unconscious mental states and the plausibility of attributing innate faculties or representational capacities to the mind.
  • 8 - The unconscious mind
    pp 107-116
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521591041.010
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The concept of the unconscious entered the scene in the latter half of the nineteenth century from two directions. First, unconscious mental entities and processes were postulated explicitly many times over in the context of nascent empirical psychology. Notions of the unconscious were also introduced in metaphysical contexts, the chief and most spectacular instance being Eduard von Hartmann's Philosophy of the Unconscious. The unconscious was associated with a very different cultural tendency, namely the surge of interest in Schopenhauer and the recrudescence of romanticism in the late nineteenth century. Hartmann's philosophy of the unconscious, by contrast, requires considerable historical reconstruction in order to become intelligible from a late twentieth century perspective. Consciousness, according to Bergson, is the mark of the present, and so, essentially an action-directed function. Bergson's conception of the unconscious evidently stands or falls with his philosophical system as a whole and is disengaged from the problems of psychological explanation addressed by Freud.
  • 9 - Logic: revival and reform
    pp 117-127
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521591041.011
  • View abstract
    Summary
    From the end of the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century, logic languished in stagnation and neglect. Ironically, the revival of logic began as a retrospective movement. De Morgan was the first of many mathematicians who were to change and ultimately appropriate logic. De Morgan's major works were Formal Logic and 'Syllabus of a Proposed System of Logic'. The most significant development came from another mathematician, the English autodidact genius George Boole. German logicians continued to produce large and wordy textbooks of traditional logic, importing at the same time a pseudo-empirical or psychological justification for the valid inferences as 'laws of thought'. Venn was also an early and astute historian of his subject, declaring his suspicion that Kant 'had a disastrous effect on logical speculation', noting Lambert's neglected anticipation of Boole's use of algebraic symbols. Boole reintroduced consideration of propositional logic along with its operations of conjunction, disjunction and negation, with implication symbolised by Peirce and Schröder.
  • 10 - Foundations of mathematics
    pp 128-156
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521591041.012
  • View abstract
    Summary
    It is uncontroversial to say that the nineteenth century saw more important changes in the philosophy of mathematics than any previous period of similar length in the history of philosophy. The traditional subjects were treated in entirely new ways. This applies to arithmetic, the theory of real and complex numbers and functions, algebra and geometry. One of Dirichlet's important theoretical innovations in arithmetic was the use of complex function theory to prove facts about the natural number sequence. The general appeal to set theory was perhaps regarded by Dedekind as straightforward, based on his experience with algebra and number theory, although he later came to see this reliance as ill-advised. Frege's work and Dedekind's, although technically similar, make an interesting contrast. Both succeeded in deriving the basic principles of arithmetic, both showed how the vagueness of intuition could be avoided, both support the abstractness of arithmetic and higher mathematics. Cantor's works contains generalisations without appeal to reductionism.
  • 11 - Theories of judgement
    pp 157-173
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521591041.013
  • View abstract
    Summary
    Bolzano's theory of judgement distinguishes between the Satz an sich, which would now standardly be described as the 'proposition' and the sentence thought or uttered. Bolzano's theory serves to secure the objectivity of truth. It was Franz Brentano who was responsible for the first major break with the combination theory of judgement through the doctrine of intentionality set forth in his Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt. Husserl divides meaning acts into two classes, those associated with uses of names, which are acts of presentation, and those associated with uses of sentences, which are acts of judgement. Meinong's On Assumptions offers not only a new view of the psychology of judgemental activity but also, with its theory of objectives, a new contribution to the ontology of judgement. Reinach conceives the totality of states of affairs as an eternal Platonic realm comprehending the correlates of all possible judgements, whether positive or negative, true or false, necessary or contingent, atomic or complex.
  • 12 - The logical analysis of language
    pp 174-192
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521591041.014
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter sketches the emergence and early development, particularly in the works of Gottlob Frege and Bertrand Russell, of a revolutionary approach to the solution of philosophical problems concerning the nature of human understanding, thought, and judgement. The revolution in philosophy, inaugurated by Frege, overturned virtually every explicit commitment and every tacit assumption present in the foregoing approach to problems concerning the nature of human understanding, thought, judgement, and reason. He took linguistic phenomena to be fundamental, and to hold the key to questions concerning content, meaning, understanding, thought, and the like. For Frege, predicates, relational expressions, and logical constants are first-level function-names which yield a complete expression when the appropriate number of complete expressions are inserted into their argument-places. The major contributions to the development of logico-linguistic analysis, and to the formulation of a theory of thought and judgement were to be made by Wittgenstein.
  • 13 - The atomism debate
    pp 193-206
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521591041.015
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter examines the appraisals of atomism by Mach, Ostwald, Duhem and Boltzmann. It shows the phenomenalism Boltzmann derived from Kantian philosophy. Mach found that although scientists talk about space and time, about forces, point masses, and atoms, whenever they come to test their theories, they make use only of their thoughts and of their sense-impressions. Ostwald's position is worth describing if only because it presents us with the negative image of Duhem's. Ostwald subscribed to determinism, to realism, and to physicalist reductionism. Like Mach, Duhem separated science from metaphysics. But his reasons were very different: unlike Mach he was not inclined to regard metaphysics as meaningless. Boltzmann's philosophy can be consistently set out, provided his ontology is sharply distinguished from both his epistemology and his methodology. Qua metaphysician, Boltzmann subscribed to atomistic realism and to a Darwinian version of reductionism.
  • 14 - Theories of space-time in modern physics
    pp 207-218
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521591041.016
  • View abstract
    Summary
    Classical physics is grounded on the assumption that space, time and physical events are completely independent realities. This assumption was called into question by the special theory of relativity, which affirms 'the principle of relativity' that a frame of reference in uniform translatory motion relative to an inertial frame cannot be distingished from that inertial frame by any physical experiment. In 1908 Minkowski realised that the special theory can be formulated in terms of a four-dimensional spatio-temporal structure which is absolute, and not relative, since it is the same as seen from all reference frames. The general theory is both a theory of gravitation and a theory of space-time geometry. Whereas in Newtonian physics and in the special theory space-time is considered as given rigidly once and for all, in general relativity it is treated as a physical field interacting with matter.
  • 15 - The debate over the Geisteswissenschaften in German philosophy
    pp 219-234
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521591041.017
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The decades around 1900 witnessed a lively debate in German philosophy about the nature of knowledge and methodology in the social and cultural sciences, and about the appropriate demarcation criterion distinguishing these Geisteswissenschaften from the more established natural sciences. Mill's model was a reasonable fit for some sciences of man, like political economy and associationistic psychology, areas prominent in the British context. The Neo-Kantians were unified by several commitments. All opposed positivism by advocating a sharp separation in method and theoretical aims between the human and natural sciences, rather than classifying the sciences in terms of their different subject matters. Neo-Kantians were also concerned to defend historical knowledge against perceived threats of naturalism and historicism. In this context, they opposed historical realism, as well as positivism. An important philosophical lesson about the structure of a demarcation criterion separating the human from the natural science is offered by this chapter.
  • 16 - From political economy to positive economics
    pp 235-244
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521591041.018
  • View abstract
    Summary
    By the 1820s, it was commonplace in learned circles to refer to political economy as a science. Marshall's tools of consumer's and producer's surplus paved the way to other graphical representations of welfare economics. The problem of distributive justice has been at the centre of economic discourse since Aristotle, but in the 1880s, it received a new lease of life with the absorption of utilitarianism and the techniques of marginalism. Austrian economics also endorsed a strong liberalism, if not libertarianism. Austrian economists evince a complete faith in market mechanisms and an appreciation for cases of unintended beneficial consequences. Under the influence of Herbert Spencer and Social Darwinism, several American economists of this period cultivated a very different approach to the science of economics. The advent of positive economics was part and parcel of a wider movement to enhance the professional standing of the discipline.
  • 17 - Sociology and the idea of social science
    pp 245-252
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521591041.019
  • View abstract
    Summary
    Auguste Comte, who coined the neologism in the 1830s, did so to distinguish a kind of social understanding that would be consonant with what he took to be the modern esprit and called it 'positive'. Emile Durkheim was a Kantian who, like Kant's more immediate successors in Germany, accepted his starting point but could not accept it as a premise. For Durkheim, it was to start with an idea that had to be understood, as he put it, sociologically. Durkheim's philosophy of history was considerably more attenuated than that, say, of Hegel. The argument starts from the idealists; action is not mere behaviour, bodily motion that can reliably be observed and sufficiently explained as a physiological response to observable external stimuli. The arguments from the philosophy of language and the new philosophy of science do not undermine the project of a naturalistic morality itself.
  • 18 - Utilitarians and idealists
    pp 253-265
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521591041.020
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The 1870s was a decade of new beginnings in British moral philosophy. This was partly in reaction to the work of J. S. Mill, who had dominated the previous decade and whose Utilitarianism had appeared in book form in 1863. Sidgwick spends a whole book of the 'Methods' on the Aristotelian project of outlining the common sense morality of his day. Both Green and Bradley think that the moral deliverances of the common man should be respected and, indeed, are more likely to be right than the philosophers. Sidgwick took himself to have healed the breach between intuitionism and utilitarianism at a more abstract level by deriving utilitarianism on intuitive principles, he also takes himself to have healed the breach between utilitarianism and common sense. Bradley's Ethical Studies was one of the first works in which the developing idealism of Oxford was displayed to the general public. Herbert Spencer gives a would-be scientific account of moral thought.
  • 19 - Nietzsche
    pp 266-276
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521591041.021
  • View abstract
    Summary
    Perceptions of Nietzsche as a thinker worth exploring have risen steadily in the English-speaking world since then, and he is increasingly seen as important in the formation of twentieth-century consciousness. Nietzsche's reassessment of reason is fundamental to his critique of values. The master morality emerges from the top of the group whom Nietzsche assumes are more powerful, more dynamic, more daring, more life-affirming, healthier, and harder. It is produced autonomously in conditions of abundance. The herd morality emerges from the dynamics of groups independently of hierarchy. Most members of a natural group cluster around an average, and this is what the herd morality seeks to promote and preserve. Nietzsche regards the master morality as superior to both the slave morality and the herd morality, but it is not the case that the master morality is espoused and every other morality criticised from its standpoint. Nietzsche takes utilitarianism, universality and altruism are to be the dominant value in the slave morality.

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