John Edwin Smithから米国哲学のお勉強を少々

プラグマティズムの伝統を引く哲学者のJohn Edwin Smith氏が亡くなったという記事を読む;

December 19, 2009
John Edwin Smith, Philosopher and Author, Dies at 88

John Edwin Smith, a prominent philosopher and author whose work tackled large questions about the nature of truth from a pragmatic, pluralistic and specifically American perspective, died on Dec. 7 in Arlington, Va. He was 88 and lived in New Haven.

The cause was a stroke, his daughter Diana Smith said.

At his death, Mr. Smith was the Clark professor of philosophy emeritus at Yale, where he had taught from 1952 until his retirement in 1991.

Throughout his career, Professor Smith was known for championing, and often resuscitating, unfashionable branches of his field. Chief among them was the philosophy of religion, a subject that had fallen out of favor in the Rationalist climate of the mid-to-late 20th century.

During those years, when American philosophy was dominated by an aloof, ivory-tower approach, Professor Smith argued for a more democratic stance: the search for truth, he argued, was an inherently social, communitarian enterprise.

Where midcentury American philosophy embraced the cool concern with logic then popular in Europe, Professor Smith helped revive interest in seminal American thinkers of the past, among them the pragmatists William James, Charles Sanders Peirce and John Dewey, and the idealist Josiah Royce.

Professor Smith’s books include “Royce’s Social Infinite: The Community of Interpretation” (Liberal Arts Press, 1950); “Reason and God: Encounters of Philosophy With Religion” (Yale University, 1961); “The Analogy of Experience: An Approach to Understanding Religious Truth” (Harper & Row, 1973); and “Purpose and Thought: The Meaning of Pragmatism” (Yale University, 1978).

He was the editor of the multivolume series “The Works of Jonathan Edwards” (Yale University), which collects the writings of that distinguished 18th-century American theologian.

John Edwin Smith was born in Brooklyn on May 27, 1921. He earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Columbia in 1942, followed by a master’s of divinity from Union Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from Columbia. Before joining the Yale faculty, he taught at Vassar and Barnard Colleges.

Professor Smith’s wife of 55 years, Marilyn Schulhof Smith, who taught philosophy at the University of Hartford, died in 2006. Besides his daughter Diana, he is survived by another daughter, Robin Smith Swanberg of Wellesley, Mass., and a grandchild.

Among his other books are “The Spirit of American Philosophy” (Oxford University, 1963); “Religion and Empiricism” (Marquette University, 1967); “Experience and God” (Oxford University, 1968); “Jonathan Edwards: Puritan, Preacher, Philosopher” (University of Notre Dame, 1992); and “Quasi-Religions: Humanism, Marxism, and Nationalism” (St. Martin’s, 1994).

ここで名前が挙がっている過去の米国の思想家のうち、Josiah Royceについては、

Sam Addison “Josiah Royce
Kelly A. Parker “Josiah Royce
彼の立場は「絶対観念論(absolute idealism)」。ウィリアム・ジェームズとの長期に亙る論争と相互的な影響関係で知られる。その著作の範囲は形而上学、認識論、論理学から宗教哲学、さらにはコミュニティ論や人種問題に至るまで広範である。私の19世紀米国思想についての知識は昔鶴見俊輔の『アメリカ哲学』を読んだ頃から殆ど進歩していないのだが、その本ではたしか彼は「ヘーゲル主義者」と呼ばれていたのではなかったか。

アメリカ哲学 (講談社学術文庫)

アメリカ哲学 (講談社学術文庫)

18世紀のピューリタン神学者Jonathan Edwardsについては、

William Wainwright “Jonathan Edwards”