Excerpt from Contemporary American Philosophy, Vol. 1: Personal Statements
Plans for bringing out one or two volumes Of Contemporary American Philosophy were suggested and definitely set in motion shortly after the publication, in 1924, of the first volume of Contemporary British Philosophy. The project was entrusted to a committee of the American Philosophical Association, made up of three Divisional Committees, of the Eastern, Western, and Pacific Divisions of the Association, whose chairmen were to act as the American Editors of the volumes.
The contributors to the volumes were selected on the basis of a referendum vote of the membership Of the three Divisions of the American Philosophical Association. The Editors regret that either through the more or less accidental omissions in this hastily taken referendum or through sudden illness, as in the case of Professor Addison Moore, a number of colleagues whose essays would have been greatly valued are not here represented. Each contributor was requested to state his principal philosophic beliefs, the reasons supporting them, and the manner in which he had reached them. It is hoped that the publication Of these philosophic autobiographies will serve the purpose of clarifying the minds Of the writers, and of helping their students to a better understanding of their various specific doctrines. An explicit confession of the temperamental sympathies and prejudices of a philosopher, and Of such Of his life's circumstances as seem to him to have been relevant in Shaping his conclusions, may possess as much philosophic value both to the writer and to his readers as the conclusions to which they contribute. And the honest attempt to psycho-analyse one's mind may and should result in a wholesomely humiliating realization of the extent to which one's own beliefs (and not merely those of one's neighbours) are determined by subjective causes rather than by Objective reasons.
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