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PREFACE

To avoid any misunderstanding as to the scope of the present book, let me say at the outset that with the exception of the Appendix, it is a critique, rather than a history. I have attempted not merely to summarize, but to estimate, present philosophical tendencies; and my criticism is throughout based on the realistic philosophy which I set forth constructively only at the end.

Since my method has been critical rather than expository I shall doubtless be charged with having committed the error personae, with having attributed to certain writers views which they would not recognize as their own. Be this as it may, I have in any case formulated the views which I have criticised, so that the merits of the question may always be in the foreground of study. I have assumed it to be more important to discover whether certain current views were true or false than to discuss with painstaking nicety the question of their attribution.

Furthermore, I realize that I have given to the several tendencies which I have discussed the relative emphasis which is characteristic of Anglo-American thought. This appears in the importance which I have attached to the blend of “critical” or Kantian, with metaphysical or Hegelian motives in idealism; in my identification of realism with the "new" or non-dualistic realism; and in the prominence which I have given both to realism and to pragmatism. The difference in respect of distribution and emphasis between an Anglo-American and a Continental survey of contemporary philosophy may be observed from a comparison of the present volume with Ludwig Stein's excellent book, Die Philosophische Strömungen der Gegenwart. 46

Portions of the present book are reprinted from periodicals; and I have made due acknowledgment in the proper places. I desire also gratefully to acknowledge the help of my friends Professor E. B. Holt, Professor E. G. Spaulding, Dr. M. P. Mason, Dr. H. M. Sheffer, and Dr. Günther Jacoby.

RALPH BARTON PERRY.

CAMBRIDGE, September, 1911.

PAGE

$ 2. The Prestige of Science .

§ 3. The Agreement between Science and Common Sense

§ 4. The Properties of Bodies

51

§ 5. Explanation and Description in Science

53

$ 6. Conditions of Scientific Description .

54

$ 7. Illustrations of Scientific Method. Galileo's Conception

of Acceleration.

§ 8. The Conception of Mass

57

$ 9. The Conservation of Energy

58

$ 10. The Analytical Version of Scientific Concepts

60

CHAPTER IV. NAIVE AND CRITICAL NATURALISM .

§ 1. The Two Varieties of Naturalism.

§ 2. Three Characteristic Philosophical Errors. “The Specula-

tive Dogma'.

64

§ 3. 'Pseudo-simplicity,' and 'Indefinite Potentiality'

66

§ 4. Naive Naturalism. Büchner's Monism of Matter

68

§ 5. Spencer's Monism of Force .

70

$ 6. Haeckel's Monism of Substance

72

$ 7. Critical Naturalism..

75

§ 8. The Sensationalism of Karl Pearson

76

$ 9. The Modified Position of Ernst Mach

78

§ 10. The Experimentalism of H. Poincaré.

79

$11. The Failure of Critical Naturalism. The Priority of Logic

and Mathematics .

82

CHAPTER V. RELIGION AND THE LIMITS OF SCIENCE

85

§ 1. Religious Philosophy and the Limits of Science

85

§ 2. Naturalism and Supernaturalism. .

88

§ 3. The General Character of Contemporary Criticism of

Science

89

§ 4. The Fallibility of Science

91

$ 5. The Disparagement of the Descriptive Method

$ 6. The Ideal of Descriptive Economy .

§ 7. The Option of Hypotheses.

$ 8. The 'Real' Cause and 'Mere' Description

99

§ 9. The Unreality of Space and Time. The Kantian Argu-

ment

§ 10. Infinity and Continuity.

103

$11. The Priority of Consciousness.

105

$ 12. Science as a Limited Body of Truth

108

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