The present paper is devoted to a systematic reconstruction of the philosophical approach of the Swedish-born thinker John Elof Boodin (1869-1950). Sellars Roy Wood, (1916), Critical Realism: A Study of the Nature and Conditions of Knowledge, Chicago and New York, Rand McNally and Company. Furthermore, he participated in the department Philosophy Club. “Why,” he asks, “should a man’s soul be crowded into one system of philosophy?” (1908: 302). In 1899, Boodin finished his dissertation on “The Concept of Time.”. There were many kinds of idealism (and many pre-eminent idealists) in the United States around the 1890s, such as the Hegelian-inspired St. Louis Group around Henry C. Brokmeyer and William Harris, the “personalisms” of Borden Parker Bowne and George H. Howison and several explicitly religious versions of idealism. Nor do physical things have properties in themselves. Philosopher-Poet,” Swedish-American Historical Quarterly, 35, 124-50. At that time, Harvard no doubt was the stronghold of (the still quite young) American philosophy. Also his seminal lecture series Pragmatism from 1907 and especially his 1909 monograph A Pluralistic Universe should be seen under this aspect.6 However, it was John Dewey who most firmly stressed the realistic element in pragmatism. Boodin, although invited to do so (see below, fn. And it is more than obvious that his principal inspirations were promoted by his tight academic contacts with James and Royce at Harvard. […] Real processes occur all around us of prime importance for our welfare. Inq. HomeIssuesXI-1Symposia. There is also need for building out the pragmatic theory in neglected directions. 7Boodin published eight books and more than sixty articles for journals, both in the field of theoretical philosophy (which concerns us here) and in the field of practical philosophy. We will see later why. 22As Boodin further makes it clear, the pragmatist holds that the truth of a hypothesis stands in close connection to human habit and conduct. 19 It should be noted that Ostwald – unlike Boodin – not only rejected materialism, but also atomism. what one thinks and believes, is! Be that as it may, the particularly realistic element in Boodin’s approach to pragmatism had obviously to do with his European, Swedish, roots. Dewey John, (1905), “The Realism of Pragmatism,” Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods, 2, 324-7. Thus one can read in his book The Social Mind from 1939: I was uprooted from my community. “Truth in science is what gives us the maximum possible sum of satisfaction, taste included, but consistency both with previous truth and with novel fact is always the most imperious claimant.” (. In some cases, even nowadays it is unclear, where exactly pragmatism and realism part their ways (see in this connection, for example, the writings of the late Hilary Putnam). It was a complete cleavage with my world before eighteen. On the other hand, he explicitly demarcates his position from “the movement sometimes called ‘the new realism’” (ibid.). Thus in an article from 1905, titled “The Realism of Pragmatism,” Dewey points out: Speaking of the matter only for myself, the presuppositions and tendencies of pragmatism are distinctly realistic; not idealistic in any sense in which idealism connotes or is connoted by the theory of knowledge. For one thing, he stressed that Truth and Reality and the present volume “furnish a survey of the field of general philosophy from the point of view of pragmatic realism” (Boodin 1916: vii). At one of the Philosophy Club’s meetings, James gave a talk titled “Is Life Worth Living?”. Section 4 discusses Boodin’s specific understanding, blending and eventual disentanglement of pragmatist and realist ideas. 38It is at this very point that, according to Boodin, pragmatism and realism coincide. 21 See esp. Being one of nineteen children of a farmers family (his father had married twice), he, at the age of 18, decided (like a couple of his siblings) to emigrate to the United States. John E. Boodin will be remembered by the readers of The Monist for his article ‘Philosophic Tolerance’ (April, 1908) in which he supported the pragmatism of Professor James. In Boodin’s words: It should be noted that Ostwald – unlike Boodin – not only rejected materialism, but also atomism. In either case the soul is endeavoring to create an objective counterpart to its tendencies or needs, to mirror itself, become conscious of itself. In its opening paragraph the following is clarified: “Prof. Boodin does not refer to James’s lecture series in his paper, but he mentions the latter’s “favorite principle of pragmatism” (Boodin 1908: 305). (Boodin 1910: 602-3). Section 5 concludes the paper with some critical comments. is obviously prefigured in Sellars’s writings. Its accentuation of practice and consequences appeared as something “distinctively American” (Sellars 1969: 27). is therefore wrongheaded.18 For Boodin, “our experience, at any rate, seems to depend in many ways upon an extra-experiential constitution” (1916: 16). We have at least found a motive for our ideas seeking agreement with their intended reality, for successful adjustment in the end depends upon such agreement. (philosophy) The idea that beliefs are identified with the actions of a believer, and the truth of beliefs with success of those actions in securing a believer's goals; the doctrine that ideas must be looked at in terms of their practical effects and consequences. Boodin himself belonged to that very generation, so that it appears more adequate to speak of the “pragmatism of a European-born philosopher” than of Boodin’s “European pragmatism.”3. It is a place where everybody has something to do. It is apparent that Boodin seeks some sort of “idealized” as well as “humanized” conception of reality and truth. Consequently, both idealism and materialism are, in his view, variants of “dogmatism” (. Here at least the artist has the sense of doing something, for in the other temples there is nothing to do but contemplate that which is, whether beauty or desert. See, in this connection, Kuklick (, It can hardly surprise that statements like these provoked a. . 19 of. Brad Shipway, Southern Cross University. This plan didn’t work out, but Boodin received a funded scholarship at nearby Brown University. We must interpolate, somehow, realities which are not immediate experience.” (1916: 20). In Royce’s opinion, there is no way out of our “absolute system of ideas.” Reality itself is an idea, and it is for this reason that Royce, quite frankly, states: “[W]e propose to answer the question: What is to be? On Boodin’s reading, energetics provides us with the essential tools for bridging the gap between “the” subjective and “the” objective. Instead, he published – in the very same year – an article titled “What Pragmatism Is and Is Not” for The Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Method. Editorial Comment to Boodin, (1910), The Monist, 20, 614-5. Edward Gleason Spaulding, another of the new realists, even went as far as to assert that consciousness and the process of knowing as such are “eliminable” (Spaulding in Holt. 15Summing up thus far, it can be stated that Boodin, when he entered the American philosophical scene, encountered a confusing, if not chaotic, diversity of programs, movements and related -isms. And it is more than obvious that his principal inspirations were promoted by his tight academic contacts with James and Royce at Harvard. And in recent years interesting experiments have been made by Rutherford and others to prove the real existence of the atom. Their originality has lain mostly in the simplicity and directness of their aim – the clearness and intensity of their emphasis. Nor do physical things have properties in themselves. Critical realism refers to a philosophical position on the world and science. Strong (eds), (1920), Essays in Critical Realism: A Co-Operative Study in the Problem of Knowledge, London, Macmillan. But already two years earlier they had published “The Program and First Platform of Six Realists.” In this manifesto, they came along with a couple of – more or less general – realist theses. III). Boodin John Elof, (1909), “What Pragmatism Is and Is not,” Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods, 23, 627-35. Thus one can read in his book, Werkmeister writes in this connection: “James was instrumental in preparing the way for realism. It will be shown that Boodin’s work underwent a development from a more or less direct form of pragmatism to a certain variant of realism, which Boodin himself called “functional” realism. The knower and the known are related through certain energetic dependencies. 9 See, in this connection, already Lovejoy 1908; further, for an evaluation, Kuklick 2017. Summing up thus far, it can be stated that Boodin, when he entered the American philosophical scene, encountered a confusing, if not chaotic, diversity of programs, movements and related -isms. Thus, if at all, then functional realism stood in sharp contrast to the essentialist version of critical realism. Most people who are in government are pragmatists and therefore politicians. To begin with, when Boodin published his “Functional Realism” the philosophical context had significantly changed as compared to the time when, came out. Even during his lifetime, Boodin had the impression that his philosophical contributions were not sufficiently appreciated. Moreover, the little town housed around one hundred Swedish immigrants, which in turn helped Boodin to work for the Episcopal Church during the first few years. Werkmeister writes in this connection: “James was instrumental in preparing the way for realism. Boodin 1916: 3). More generally, “[p]roperties have no meaning for science, except as energy determinations, characteristics within energy systems” (ibid. 17 In his Pragmatism, James explicitly states that „[t]ruth happens to an idea. 5 Holt, Montague and Perry all had studied under Royce at Harvard. At one of the Philosophy Club’s meetings, James gave a talk titled “Is Life Worth Living?”. In 1896-97, he taught Logic, Ethics, and Comparative Religion at Brown. At that time the editor asked him to make a reply to comments on his views in the editorial article which appeared in the following issue [cf. 23All of this sounds pretty Jamesian.12 And the same holds true for the following passage (although it could likewise be read before the Peircean background): Is pragmatism realistic? This becomes particularly clear from Lovejoy’s contribution to the 1920 essay volume. European PragmatismBetween Pragmatism and Realism. 1, edited by George P. Adams & William Pepperell Montague, New York, Macmillan,135-66. Its verity is in fact an event, a process: the process namely of its verifying itself, its veri-fication.” (James [1907] 2017: 74). Suzuki 1962). (Drake et al. 12It is a well-known fact that, in the further course of the twentieth century, pragmatism became the predominant philosophical current in the United States (cf. Laying the focus on what is implied by a realistic – in contrast to an idealistic – point of view, he declares: It is clearly Royce’s version of idealism to which Boodin is alluding in the last two sentences of that passage. As, on the other hand, Werkmeister makes it particularly clear, Royce’s variant o, Before discussing the details and the development of Boodin’s philosophical position, it is instructive to take a brief look at the surrounding philosophical context. At the same time he speaks of “my friend Royce” (1908: 303), mentions the latter’s “absolute idealism” (1908: 300) and suggests that “[i]deals may prove truer than facts” (ibid.). Holt, for example, claimed that “[t]he entities […] under study in logic, mathematics, and the physical sciences are not mental in any usual or proper meaning of the word ‘mental’” (Holt in Holt, 1910: 394). Boodin 1916: 33). When reflecting back on the early parts of his career, W. Sellars claimed that: According to Nelson, “Boodin lived in the continual hope that times would change and that people would increasingly look to his work […] as a source of sanity, value, and enlightenment. This paper joins a broad discussion of the relationship between John Dewey's pragmatism and the tradition of critical theory. : 606) and therefore to be abandoned. : 632)13. Few great reformations have been original, to any great extent, in their intellectual content. I was introduced to the group by a friend of mine, the brilliant and human William James, who spent a lifetime trying to provide a framework and who is now at work on some plans for the interior. Editorial Comment to Boodin, (1908), The Monist, 18, 306. Consequently, “we cannot resolve reality, whether conscious or unconscious, into bundles of perception, or into experience of any form, altogether. . Sellars (1922: 72-3) and the reconstruction in Slurink 1996. He obviously knew of Peirce’s 1905 contribution for The Monist (Peirce’s paper had the title “What Pragmatism Is”). 15 of, , published in 1909. (Boodin 1911b: 223-4), 33Understood that way, the object itself becomes “a truth process” (ibid. I have met him repeatedly and have felt the sympathetic charm of his personality. 19(1), 83–95 (2012) CrossRef Google Scholar Remember that American realism had emerged in two forms, “new” and “critical” realism. These latter conditions should be conceived of as – energetically definable – “truth-makers,” which in James’s theory wouldn’t find any place because of their being postulated as existing. He writes: But after all, the center of interest in this religion is not the temple but the artists. by the assertion that: To be means simply to express, to embody the complete internal meaning of a certain absolute system of ideas, – a system, moreover, which is genuinely implied in the true internal meaning of purpose of every finite idea, however fragmentary.” (Royce 1900, 36). As Sellars further points out, critical realism is a “mediate” (77) position. Reflecting on his own philosophical development, especially on his time at Harvard,10 he provides the reader with the following picture: The temple where I spend most of my time is an unfinished Gothic sort of structure, where many artists are at work, each in his own way. According to Pihlström, Boodin was of the opinion “that his work and training on his home farm with intimate contact with nature may have made him an ‘empirical realist’” (Pihlström 2010: 6). However, as Sellars repeatedly stressed (see, for example, Sellars 1924: 383), there existed two “wings” within the critical realist movement: a metaphysical (“essentialist”) wing, primarily represented by the work of Santayana, and an empirical (“naturalist”) wing, primarily represented by Sellars’s own contributions. On the other hand, it should be seen that his entire academic education took place in the United States. Drake Durant, Lovejoy Arthur O., Pratt James B., Rogers Arthur K., Santayana George, Wood Sellars Roy & Charles A. 8 Furthermore, they demarcated their understanding of the term “critical” from the Kantian one by declaring that “the word ‘critical’ has no reference to the Kantian philosophy, which should not be allowed to monopolize that excellent adjective.” (Drake et al. 24On the whole, Boodin applauds the Jamesian variant of pragmatism. Critical Realism and Pragmatism in Educational Research. However, James’s theory of. Pragmatism is a philosophical approach that evaluates theories or beliefs in terms of the success of their practical application. While there is a pool of scholars that critical realists often draw upon (e.g. (Boodin 1909: 627). Boodin knew no English when he arrived in Colchester, Illinois, in 1887. Yet, the philosophical scenario in the 1910s and 1920s was quite complex. Titled “Pragmatism. It is apparent that Boodin seeks some sort of “idealized” as well as “humanized” conception of reality and truth. 21 of The Monist, published in 1911, that Boodin directly replied to that comment. A VISTA ON HISTORY OF SCIENCE ‘‘Science’’ derives from the Latin word ‘‘scientia,’’ broadly meaning ‘‘knowledge.’’ Science is the rigorous and time-consuming activity through 456 FILIPE J. SOUSA Recall that James’s Pragmatism had appeared in 1907. , Chicago and New York, Rand McNally and Company. Thus, in section 2 of this paper, I shall provide some information concerning Boodin’s life and work, and, in section 3, I shall reflect on the philosophical situation in the United States during the first two decades of the twentieth century. James William, (2017 [1907]), Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking, Whithorn, Anodos. At any rate, Boodin starts his article with the following characterization: In the first place, pragmatism as a doctrine is so simple and so old as a matter of scientific procedure that it is impossible to understand why so much dust should have been raised about it by its opponents. For him, [p]hysical things possess dynamic capacities. 6 For the latter, see the insightful reconstruction in Slater 2011. The principle aim of this paper was to establish “functional” realism as a “third way” within the realist movement. is, according to Boodin, only a halfway house. 6 Although the later works of W. Sellars, specifically the Sellars one finds in Science and Metaphysics, is willing to concede some ground to the pragmatist tradition, I am primarily concerned with W. Sellars’ work leading up to the publication of Science and Metaphysics in 1968. Royce’s Gifford Lectures, delivered at the University of Aberdeen in two series in 1899 and 1900, proved to be particularly impactful. XIV). Also his seminal lecture series, from 1907 and especially his 1909 monograph, However, it was John Dewey who most firmly stressed the. , it is interesting to note that Boodin does not make any mention of it in “Functional Realism.” To be sure, at two places he casually refers to James (1934: 161) and to Dewey (1934: 171). Accordingly, metaphysics “implies, and furnishes the inspirations of, the special sciences” (ibid.). Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License; additional terms may apply. Sellars Roy Wood, (1922), Evolutionary Naturalism, Chicago, Open Court. For him, as for James, truth, “so far as we are finite seekers are concerned, is a limit which we are far from having realized. For the best answers, search on this site https://shorturl.im/avVDP. It is quite hard to understand how this should motivate a realist position. Consequently, “we cannot resolve reality, whether conscious or unconscious, into bundles of perception, or into experience of any form, altogether. For the time being, it is important to note that, according to Boodin, any talk of truth requires some basis in the extra-mental realm. It is at this very point that, according to Boodin, pragmatism and realism coincide. […] In the realm of truth, as well as art, man must be the measure, however finite and passing the measure may be. Boodin John Elof, (1939), The Social Mind: Foundations of Social Philosophy, New York, Macmillan. . Accordingly, relativity is “a fundamental characteristic of energy systems” (ibid. James William, (1912), Essays in Radical Empiricism, New York, Longmans, Green. 1The present paper is devoted to a systematic reconstruction of the philosophical approach of the Swedish-born thinker John Elof Boodin (1869-1950). Both approaches promise much. Sellars Roy Wood, (1908), “Critical Realism and the Time Problem,” The Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods, 5, 542-48. (Boodin 1911b: vii). James’s conception of philosophy stands, according to Boodin, in that very tradition. The main difference between critical theory and constructivism is that critical theory is a theory focusing on critiquing and changing society as a whole while constructivism is a theory that states humans construct knowledge through their intelligence, experiences and interactions with the world.. Critical theory and constructivism are two key concepts you encounter in sociology. It is for this reason that Boodin assumes that things cannot be infinitely divisible. See Wiktionary Terms of Use for details. It is all but astonishing that Boodin continues thus: ’s editors (most probably Carus) laconically commented upon this claim by raising the following question: “If pragmatism avowedly accepts the scientific method, would it not be better to call it the ‘Philosophy of Science’?” (Editorial Comment to Boodin 1910: 614). According to Boodin, on the other hand, “[t]ruth is our version of reality. , published in 1911, that Boodin directly replied to that comment. Critical Realism (CR) is a branch of philosophy that distinguishes between the 'real' world and the 'observable' world. is, according to its subtitle, an “Introduction to Metaphysics.” Boodin’s 1934 “Functional Realism” doesn’t contain any mentioning of pragmatism or pragmatic elements. experience, at any rate, seems to depend in many ways upon an extra-experiential constitution” (1916: 16). In his own words: Realism has always insisted upon the trans-subjective reference of the cognitive meaning. They make, at the outset, a bifurcation of thing and environment as though they were only externally related. Accordingly, science, from the pragmatist point of view, is “a systematic sorting of experience in the realization of our interests” (ibid.

difference between critical realism and pragmatism

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