Phenomenology in America: Studies in the Philosophy of Experience (review)
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BOOK REVIEWS 501 legendary. He and his wife helped a number of students financially and otherwise, even taking them in to live with them. At meals there was a long table full who would not forget the warmth and wealth of the experience, emanating especially from him at the head of the board. Rucker brings out that the towering figures who established the Chicago philosophy shared it with several disciplines, notably with psychology at first, and education; extensively with the world's first department of sociology, which responded to Mead in W. I. Thomas, Ellsworth Faris, Ernest Burgess, Robert Park, and later Louis Wirth. Albion Small was closer to Dewey. Clarence Ayres, after his Chicago degree in philosophy , carried Dewey into economics, along with Veblen's approach. Charles E. Metriam in political science was open to what was occurring in philosophy as well as in other fields. Though most of Merriam's distinguished Ph. D.'s came after the great clays of pragmatism, Lasswell had been an assiduous Mead auditor. Rucker lists the noted Chicago men of science sympathetic enough with the educational ferment of pragmatism to talk about their interests to the children in Dewey's Elementary School or help plan and guide experiments, anticipating today's enrichment programs. Chamberlin spoke on the solar system; Coulter on plant relations; Whitman on zoology; Loeb on physiology. Other speakers were Thomas, Vincent, and Small in sociology; Starr in anthropology; Salisbury in geography; Michdlson in physics; Alexander Smith in chemistry; Cowles in ecology. If there is to be such cooperation in a school program again, the spirit of pragmatism is needed. There are signs of revival of the only authentically American philosophy. Seven books were published by Dewey alone in the decade before World War II interfered. Then came the influx of logico-linguistic analysis, phenomenology and existentialism, and more influence of Marx and Freud. Now these foreign strains have been domesticated or appraised. Dewey has spread through thirty languages. The University of Southern Illinois is undertaking to get out all his writings afresh. Mead is in French, German and Italian, and on the way in Japanese. His Selected Writings are in demand in paperback, mostly by students of sociology; but pragmatism was never limited departmentally. The future is open. VAN METER University o/ Cincinnati Phenomenology in America: Studies in the Philosophy o/ Experience. Ed. with an intro, by James M. Edie. (Cmcago: Quadrangle Books, 1967. Pp. 309. $2.45) The concert of phenomcnological as opposed to other sorts of philosophy is at best difficult to untangle. Historically the phenomenological movement arose as a reaction to various strains of psychologism and neo-Kantianism inherent in late nineteenth century German philosophy. In its beginnings phenomenology was nothing more than a self-critical quest for a common method for doing philosophy. The method was to be ontologically neutral, certain in its results, and descriptive rather than explanatory. The concepts of intuition and essence became central to the working out of this method, and phenomenologists came to see their task as the description by intuitive 502 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY means of the essential structures of experience. In Husserl, however, phenomenology became first transcendental and then idealistic, employing a number of Cartesian categories in its philosophy of mind. Disavowing these categories the pnenomenologist Heidegger not only denied the validity of intuition but construed phenomenology as essentially outological. Claiming phenomenological status for his major philosophical work, Being and Nothingness, Sartre combined a modified Cartesian philosophy of mind with a number of the conceptual commitments of classical existentialism. In Merleau-Ponty phenomenology loses all pretence to certainty in its results and becomes closely related to contextualism pragmatically understood. Since phenomenology has in large measure been identified with these four philosophers, one can easily see the difficulties involved in defining its nature. H there is a common thread running through the development of phenomenology, however, it is probably a commitment to the concept of description as central to philosophical method. Since this commitment is shared by Wittgenstein and Austin, philosophers usually not classified as phenomenologists , this account of the nature of phenomenology is clearly insufficient. To distinguish phenomenology from other philosophical methods, I believe, two further things need to...