The Meeting of Extremes in Contemporary Philosophy

The Meeting of Extremes in Contemporary Philosophy

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Dr. Bosanquet's volume, in spite of its comparative brevity, is unusually comprehensive and suggestive; first because his survey of the current conflicting types of thought bears the stamp of his exceptionally wide knowledge and clear insight, and further on account of the highly interesting developments which, in his opinion, must mark the future. "You are no longer taking a single bearing with a single compass, but covering a whole region with a systematic survey" (p. ix). This interest centers-as may be inferred from his title-in something approaching paradox. For his analysis of the present situation is directed to show that the opposed schools whose vigorous polemics animate modern speculation share so much in common that they really are-often unconsciously-allies rather than antagonists, and the explicit principles which mark their divergence have implicit consequences which logically lead to a convergence that is still more fundamental; and thus the perspectives of philosophy are completely transformed. This result springs mainly from the rapidly changing character of philosophic discussion; it is becoming subtler, more refined, and the old "bombardment at long ranges" has given place to "sapping and mining" (p. vii). Whither this concealed activity leads and where the next explosion will occur thus constitute fascinating problems. I venture to add that in my opinion Dr. Bosanquet's own position on several fundamental points seems to be more clearly expressed than in his earlier volumes-with regard to sense-data, the relation between existence and thought, and between philosophy and religion; but this again is merely the more explicit formulation of what has always been implicit in the author's idealism. This ground of agreement, however, is to be found not in mere devotion to truth or sincerity of conviction. The trenchancy of the "extremes" is well illustrated by the case which first attracted the author's notice-"the startling difference and agreement" between Italian neo-idealism, and the neo-realism of Professor Drake and his collaborators, together with Dr. Alexander (p. viii); between the system for which "reality is thinking," and "being" or "mind" are "mutually contradictory terms," and that which asserts the non-mental nature of reality.1 It would be unfair to summarize Dr. Bosanquet's treatment of the basis wherein he finds the identity of these antithetical standpoints; it must suffice to draw attention to the degree of their divergence as one indication of the fresh interest which his analysis gives to the issues involved; I shall refer to an equally striking instance later. -The Journal of Philosophy, Volume 19 [1922]show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 248 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 14.22mm | 435.45g
  • Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1514627701
  • 9781514627709