By Morton Gabriel White
Even though a superb many memoirs are being released nowadays, this autobiography by means of Morton White has exact value simply because specialist philosophers seldom write their memoirs and, after they do, they hardly produce books as attractive as this one. As historian of principles and a thinker, White is ready to situate his lifestyles within the deeper and broader highbrow currents of his time, and hence the tale of his studies at Columbia, Harvard, and the Institute for complex examine is a brilliantly conceived contribution to the historical past of yank philosophy within the 20th century. Readers fascinated about the advance of upper schooling should be enthusiastic about White's description of the struggles over faith at Harvard within the Fifties, whereas historians of city existence should be a lot attracted to his brilliant account of his boyhood at the reduce East aspect of latest York. and scholars of pragmatism will research a lot in regards to the twentieth-century assault at the contrast among analytic and artificial statements from a letter written to White through the Polish philosopher Alfred Tarski, and from the three-way correspondence of Nelson Goodman, W. V. Quine, and White reproduced in an appendix. The author's dialogue of his touch with such influential thinkers as John Dewey, G. E. Moore, and Isaiah Berlin, and particularly his vast correspondence with Berlin, will additional improve the book's entice a wide viewers. certainly, White's autobiography may still allure extra awareness one of the knowledgeable public than any ebook written by way of an American thinker in lots of years.--Peter H. Hare, SUNY amazing provider Professor of Philosophy and Editor, Transactions of the C. S. Peirce Society: A Quarterly magazine in American Philosophy.
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Extra info for A Philosopher's Story
In 1940 I published a criticism of Sidney Hook's John Dewey in the Partisan Review under the title “From Marx to Dewey”—an ironic allusion to the fact that Hook, the author of a book called From Hegel to Marx, was then shifting his political allegiances from revolutionary Marxism to liberal Deweyan philosophy as he moved to the right. When I compare my very safe thesis with my very unsafe Marxist journalism in the late thirties, I ask myself why I was not as daring in my thesis as I was in my articles and reviews, why I didn't write a systematic thesis.
In the Partisan Review, a sharp attack on the popular semantics of Stuart Chase, S. I. Hayakawa, and Count Korzybski. In the next couple of years I published reviews of Richard von Mises' Probability, Statistics, and Truth and of Quine's Mathematical Logic. In 1940 I published a criticism of Sidney Hook's John Dewey in the Partisan Review under the title “From Marx to Dewey”—an ironic allusion to the fact that Hook, the author of a book called From Hegel to Marx, was then shifting his political allegiances from revolutionary Marxism to liberal Deweyan philosophy as he moved to the right.
The book is still cited occasionally, so it may continue to be of some use. Yet I sometimes wonder why I hadn't been as bold in my thesis as I had been in some of my other juvenilia. To me it is now a little startling to think that I was publishing articles and reviews in 1939, 1940, and 1941, before I defended my thesis in the spring of 1942—articles and reviews that were very different in spirit from The Origin of Dewey's Instrumentalism. Some were in analytic philosophy; some were politico-philosophical pieces that appeared in the Partisan Review.