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The Federal Convention sent the proposed Constitution to the Confederation Congress, which at the end of September 1787 submitted it to the states for ratification.Sony VAIO VGN-NS71B/W Battery

Immediately, the Constitution became the target of many articles and public letters written by opponents of the Constitution. For instance, the important Anti-Federalist authors "Cato" and "Brutus" debuted in New York papers on September 27 and October 18, 1787, respectively.Sony VAIO VGN-NS72JB/W Battery

Hamilton decided to launch a measured and extensive defense and explanation of the proposed Constitution as a response to the opponents of ratification, addressing the people of the state of New York. He wrote in Federalist No. 1 that the series would "endeavor to give a satisfactory answer to all the objections which shall have made their appearance, that may seem to have any claim to your attention." Sony VAIO VGN-NS90HS Battery

Hamilton recruited collaborators for the project. He enlisted John Jay, who after four strong essays (Federalist Nos. 2, 3, 4, and 5), fell ill and contributed only one more essay, Federalist No. 64, to the series; though he wrote a pamphlet in the spring of 1788, Sony VAIO VGN-NS92JS Battery

An Address to the People of the State of New-York, that made his distilled case for the Constitution (Hamilton cited it approvingly in Federalist No. 85). James Madison, present in New York as a Virginia delegate to the Confederation Congress, was recruited by Hamilton and Jay, and became Hamilton's major collaborator.Sony VAIO VGN-NS92XS Battery

Gouverneur Morris and William Duer were also apparently considered; Morris turned down the invitation, and Hamilton rejected three essays written by Duer. Duer later wrote in support of the three Federalist authors under the name "Philo-Publius", or "Friend of Publius".Sony VAIO VGN-NW21EF/S Battery

Hamilton chose "Publius" as the pseudonym under which the series would be written. While many other pieces representing both sides of the constitutional debate were written under Roman names, Albert Furtwangler contends that "'Publius' was a cut above 'Caesar' or 'Brutus' or even 'Cato.' Publius Valerius was not a late defender of the republic but one of its founders. Sony VAIO VGN-NW21JF Battery

His more famous name, Publicola, meant 'friend of the people.'" It was not the first time Hamilton had used this pseudonym: in 1778, he had applied it to three letters attacking Samuel Chase.


The Federalist Papers appeared in three New York newspapers: the Independent Journal, the New-York Packet, and the Daily Advertiser, beginning on October 27, 1787. Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF Battery

Between them, Hamilton, Madison and Jay kept up a rapid pace, with at times three or four new essays by Publius appearing in the papers in a week. Garry Wills observes that the pace of production "overwhelmed" any possible response: "Who, given ample time could have answered such a battery of arguments? And no time was given."Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF/W Battery

Hamilton also encouraged the reprinting of the essay in newspapers outside New York state, and indeed they were published in several other states where the ratification debate was taking place. However, they were only irregularly published outside New York, and in other parts of the country they were often overshadowed by local writers.Sony VAIO VGN-NW21ZF Battery

The high demand for the essays led to their publication in a more permanent form. On January 1, 1788, the New York publishing firm J. & A. McLean announced that they would publish the first thirty-six essays as a bound volume; that volume was released on March 2 and was titled The Federalist. Sony VAIO VGN-NW31EF/W Battery

New essays continued to appear in the newspapers; Federalist No. 77 was the last number to appear first in that form, on April 2. A second bound volume containing the last forty-nine essays was released on May 28. The remaining eight papers were later published in the newspapers as well. Sony VAIO VGN-NW31JF Battery

A number of later publications are worth noting. A 1792 French edition ended the collective anonymity of Publius, announcing that the work had been written by "MM Hamilton, Maddisson E Gay", citizens of the State of New York. In 1802, George Hopkins published an American edition that similarly named the authors.Sony VAIO VGN-NW320F/B Battery

Hopkins wished as well that "the name of the writer should be prefixed to each number," but at this point Hamilton insisted that this was not to be, and the division of the essays among the three authors remained a secret.Sony VAIO VGN-NW320F/TC Battery

The first publication to divide the papers in such a way was an 1810 edition that used a list left by Hamilton to associate the authors with their numbers; this edition appeared as two volumes of the compiled "Works of Hamilton". In 1818, Jacob Gideon published a new edition with a new listing of authors, based on a list provided by Madison. Sony VAIO VGN-NW35E Battery

The difference between Hamilton's list and Madison's formed the basis for a dispute over the authorship of a dozen of the essays.

Both Hopkins's and Gideon's editions incorporated significant edits to the text of the papers themselves, generally with the approval of the authors.Sony VAIO VGN-NW380F/S Battery

In 1863, Henry Dawson published an edition containing the original text of the papers, arguing that they should be preserved as they were written in that particular historical moment, not as edited by the authors years later.

Modern scholars generally use the text prepared by Jacob E. Cooke for his 1961 edition of The Federalist; this edition used the newspaper texts for essays nos. 1-76 and the McLean edition for essays nos. 77-85. Sony VAIO VGN-NW380F/T Battery

Disputed essays

The authorship of seventy-three of the Federalist essays is fairly certain. Twelve of these essays are disputed over by some scholars, though the modern consensus is that Madison wrote essays Nos. 49-58, with Nos. 18-20 being products of a collaboration between him and Hamilton;Sony VAIO VGN-NW50JB Battery

No. 64 was by John Jay. Some newer evidence suggests James Madison as the author. The first open designation of which essay belonged to whom was provided by Hamilton, who in the days before his ultimately fatal gun duel with Aaron Burr provided his lawyer with a list detailing the author of each number.Sony VAIO VGN-NW51FB/N Battery

This list credited Hamilton with a full sixty-three of the essays (three of those being jointly written with Madison), almost three quarters of the whole, and was used as the basis for an 1810 printing that was the first to make specific attribution for the essays.Sony VAIO VGN-NW51FB/W Battery

Madison did not immediately dispute Hamilton's list, but provided his own list for the 1818 Gideon edition of The Federalist. Madison claimed twenty-nine numbers for himself, and he suggested that the difference between the two lists was "owing doubtless to the hurry in which [Hamilton's] memorandum was made out.Sony VAIO VGN-NW70JB Battery

" A known error in Hamilton's list—Hamilton incorrectly ascribed No. 54 to John Jay, when in fact Jay wrote No. 64—has provided some evidence for Madison's suggestion.

Statistical analysis has been undertaken on several occasions to try to decide the authorship question based on word frequencies and writing styles. Nearly all of the statistical studies show that the disputed papers were written by Madison.Sony VAIO VGN-NW71FB/N Battery

Influence on the ratification debates

The Federalist was written to support the ratification of the Constitution, specifically in New York. Whether they succeeded in this mission is questionable. Separate ratification proceedings took place in each state, and the essays were not reliably reprinted outside of New York;Sony VAIO VGN-NW71FB/W Battery

furthermore, by the time the series was well underway, a number of important states had already ratified it, for instance Pennsylvania on December 12. New York held out until July 26; certainly The Federalistwas more important there than anywhere else, Sony VAIO VGN-NW91FS Battery

but Furtwangler argues that it "could hardly rival other major forces in the ratification contests"--specifically, these forces included the personal influence of well-known Federalists, for instance Hamilton and Jay, and Anti-Federalists, including Governor George Clinton.Sony VAIO VGN-NW91GS Battery

Further, by the time New York came to a vote, ten states had already ratified the Constitution and it had thus already passed — only nine states had to ratify it for the new government to be established among them; the ratification by Virginia, the tenth state, placed pressure on New York to ratify. Sony VAIO VGN-NW91VS Battery

In light of that, Furtwangler observes, "New York's refusal would make that state an odd outsider."

As for Virginia, which only ratified the Constitution at its convention on June 25, Hamilton writes in a letter to Madison that the collected edition of The Federalist had been sent to Virginia; Sony VAIO VGN-SR11M Battery

Furtwangler presumes that it was to act as a "debater's handbook for the convention there," though he claims that this indirect influence would be a "dubious distinction.“Probably of greater importance to the Virginia debate, in any case, were George Washington's support for the proposed Constitution and the presence of Madison and Edmund Randolph,Sony VAIO VGN-SR11MR Battery

the governor, at the convention arguing for ratification.

Another purpose that The Federalist was supposed to serve was as a debater's handbook during the ratification controversy, and indeed advocates for the Constitution in the conventions in New York and Virginia used the essays for precisely that purpose.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140D Battery

Structure and content

In Federalist No. 1, Hamilton listed six topics to be covered in the subsequent articles:

  1. "The utility of the UNION to your political prosperity" – covered in No. 2 through No. 14
  2. "The insufficiency of the present Confederation to preserve that Union"—covered in No. 15 through No. 22Sony VAIO VGN-SR140D/B Battery
  3. "The necessity of a government at least equally energetic with the one proposed to the attainment of this object"—covered in No. 23 through No. 36
  4. "The conformity of the proposed constitution to the true principles of republican government"—covered in No. 37 through No. 84Sony VAIO VGN-SR140D/P Battery
  5. "Its analogy to your own state constitution"—covered in No. 85
  6. "The additional security which its adoption will afford to the preservation of that species of government, to liberty and to prosperity"—covered in No. 85.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140D/S Battery

Furtwangler notes that as the series grew, this plan was somewhat changed. The fourth topic expanded into detailed coverage of the individual articles of the Constitution and the institutions it mandated, while the two last topics were merely touched on in the last essay.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E Battery

The papers can be broken down by author as well as by topic. At the start of the series, all three authors were contributing; the first twenty papers are broken down as eleven by Hamilton, five by Madison and four by Jay. The rest of the series, however, is dominated by three long segments by a single writer: Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E/B Battery

No. 21 through No. 36 by Hamilton, No. 36 through 58 by Madison, written while Hamilton was in Albany, and No. 65 through the end by Hamilton, published after Madison had left for Virginia.

Opposition to the Bill of Rights

The Federalist Papers (specifically Federalist No. 84) are notable for their opposition to what later became the United States Bill of Rights. Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E/P Battery

The idea of adding a Bill of Rights to the Constitution was originally controversial because the Constitution, as written, did not specifically enumerate or protect the rights of the people, rather it listed the powers of the government and left all that remained to the states and the people.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E/S Battery

Alexander Hamilton, the author of Federalist No. 84, feared that such an enumeration, once written down explicitly, would later be interpreted as a list of the only rights that people had.

However, Hamilton's opposition to a Bill of Rights was far from universal. Sony VAIO VGN-SR140N/S Battery

Robert Yates, writing under the pseudonym Brutus, articulated this view point in the so-called Anti-Federalist No. 84, asserting that a government unrestrained by such a bill could easily devolve into tyranny. Other supporters of the Bill, such as Thomas Jefferson, argued that a list of rights would not and should not be interpreted as exhaustive; Sony VAIO VGN-SR165E/B Battery

i.e., that these rights were examples of important rights that people had, but that people had other rights as well. People in this school of thought were confident that the judiciary would interpret these rights in an expansive fashion. The matter was further clarified by the Ninth Amendment.Sony VAIO VGN-SR165E/P Battery

Judicial use

Federal judges, when interpreting the Constitution, frequently use the Federalist Papers as a contemporary account of the intentions of the framers and ratifiers. They have been applied on issues ranging from the power of the federal government in foreign affairs (in Hines v. Davidowitz) to the validity of ex post facto laws Sony VAIO VGN-SR165E/S Battery

?in the 1798 decision Calder v. Bull, apparently the first decision to mentionThe Federalist). By 2000, The Federalist had been quoted 291 times in Supreme Court decisions.

The amount of deference that should be given to the Federalist Papers in constitutional interpretation has always been somewhat controversial. Sony VAIO VGN-SR190EBJ Battery

As early as 1819, Chief Justice John Marshall noted in the famous case McCulloch v. Maryland, that "the opinions expressed by the authors of that work have been justly supposed to be entitled to great respect in expounding the Constitution. No tribute can be paid to them which exceeds their merit; Sony VAIO VGN-SR190EBQ Battery

but in applying their opinions to the cases which may arise in the progress of our government, a right to judge of their correctness must be retained." Madison himself believed not only that The Federalist Papers were not a direct expression of the ideas of the Founders, but that those ideas themselves,Sony VAIO VGN-SR190EEJ/C Battery

and the "debates and incidental decisions of the Convention," should not be viewed as having any "authoritative character." In short, "the legitimate meaning of the Instrument must be derived from the text itself; or if a key is to be sought elsewhere, it must be not in the opinions or intentions of the Body which planned & proposed the Constitution,Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NAB Battery

but in the sense attached to it by the people in their respective State Conventions where it recd. all the Authority which it possesses."

American philosophy is the philosophical activity or output of Americans, both within the United States and abroad.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NBB Battery

The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy notes that while American philosophy lacks a "core of defining features, American Philosophy can nevertheless be seen as both reflecting and shaping collective American identity over the history of the nation."Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NDB Battery

The American philosophical tradition began at the time of the European colonization of the New World. The Puritan arrival in New York set the earliest American philosophy into the religious tradition, and there was also an emphasis on the relationship between the individual and the community.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NEB Battery

This is evident by the early colonial documents such as the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut (1639) and the Massachusetts Body of Liberties (1641).

Thinkers such as John Winthrop emphasized the public life over the private, holding that the former takes precedence over the latter, while other writers, such as Roger Williams (co-founder of Rhode Island) held that religious tolerance was more integral than trying to achieve religious homogeneity in a community.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NGB Battery

18th century

18th century American philosophy is often broken into two halves, the earlier half being marked by Puritan Calvinism, and the latter characterized by the American incarnation of the European Enlightenment that is associated with the political thought of the Founding Fathers.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190PAB Battery


Jonathan Edwards is considered to be "America's most important and original philosophical theologian." Noted for his energetic sermons, such as "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" (which is said to have begun the First Great Awakening), Edwards emphasized "the absolute sovereignty of God and the beauty of God's holiness."Sony VAIO VGN-SR190PCB Battery

Working to unite Christian Platonism with an empiricistepistemology, with the aid of Newtonian physics, Edwards was deeply influenced by George Berkeley, himself an empiricist, and Edwards derived his importance of the immaterial for the creation human experience from Bishop Berkeley.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190PFB Battery

The non-material mind consists of understanding and will, and it is understanding, interpreted in a Newtonian framework, that leads to Edwards' fundamental metaphysical category of Resistance. Whatever features an object may have, it has these properties because the object resists. Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VN Battery

Resistance itself is the exertion of God's power, and it can be seen in Newton's laws of motion, where an object is "unwilling" to change its current state of motion; an object at rest will remain at rest and an object in motion will remain in motion.Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VN Battery

As a Calvinist and hard determinist, Jonathan Edwards also rejected the freedom of the will, saying that "we can do as we please, but we cannot please as we please." According to Edwards, neither good works nor self-originating faith lead to salvation, but rather it is the unconditional grace of God which stands as the sole arbiter of human fortune.Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VRN Battery

The Age of Enlightenment

While the early 18th century American philosophical tradition was decidedly marked by religious themes, the latter half saw a reliance on reason and science, and, in step with the thought of the Age of Enlightenment, a belief in the perfectibility of human beings, laissez-faire economics, and a general focus on political matters.Sony VAIO VGN-SR19XN Battery

Four of the Founding Fathers, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and James Madison, wrote extensively on political issues. In continuing with the chief concerns of the Puritans in the 17th century, the Founding Fathers debated the relationship between the individual and the state,Sony VAIO VGN-SR19XN Battery

as well as the nature of the state, importantly concerning the state's relationship to God and religion. It was at this time that the United States Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution were written, and they are the result of debate and compromise.Sony VAIO VGN-SR210J/S Battery

The Constitution sets forth a federated republican form of government that is marked by a balance of powers accompanied by a checks and balances system between the three branches of government: a judicial branch, an executive branch led by the President, Sony VAIO VGN-SR21M/S Battery

and a legislative branch composed of a bicameral legislature where theHouse of Representatives is the lower house and the Senate is the upper house.

While the Declaration of Independence does contain within it references to the Creator, the Founding Fathers were decidedly not exclusively theistic,Sony VAIO VGN-SR21RM/H Battery

some openly professing personal concepts ofdeism, as was characteristic of other European Enlightenment thinkers, such as Maximilien Robespierre, François-Marie Arouet (better known by his pen name, Voltaire), and Rousseau.[5] The most notably and self-consciously Christian of the Founding Fathers was John Adams. Sony VAIO VGN-SR21RM/S Battery

However, the 1796 Treaty of Tripoli, signed by John Adams, states that "the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion".

Thomas Paine, the intellectual, pamphleteer, and revolutionary who wrote Common Sense and Rights of Man was an influential Enlightenment thinker and American Founding Father.Sony VAIO VGN-SR220J/B Battery

Common Sense, which has been described as “the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era" provides justification for the American revolution and independence from the British Crown.

19th century

The 19th century saw the rise of Romanticism in America. Sony VAIO VGN-SR220J/H Battery

The American incarnation of Romanticism was transcendentalism and it stands as a major American innovation. The 19th century also saw the rise of the school of pragmatism, along with a smaller, Hegelian philosophical movement led by George Holmes Howison that was focused in St. Louis, though the influence of American pragmatism far outstripped that of the small Hegelian movement.Sony VAIO VGN-SR240J/B Battery


Transcendentalism in the United States was marked by an emphasis on subjective human experience, and can be viewed as a reaction against intellectualism in general and the mechanistic, reductionistic worldview in particular. Sony VAIO VGN-SR240N/B Battery

Transcendentalism is marked by the holistic belief in an ideal spiritual state that 'transcends' the physical and empirical, and this perfect state can only be attained by one's own intuition and personal reflection, as opposed to the prescriptions and doctrines of organized religion.Sony VAIO VGN-SR290JTH Battery

Famous transcendentalist writers include Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Margaret Fuller.

The transcendentalist writers all desired a deep return to nature, and believed that real, true knowledge is intuitive and personal and arises out of personal immersion and reflection in nature, as opposed to scientific knowledge that is the result of empirical sense experience. Sony VAIO VGN-SR290JTJ Battery

Things such as scientific tools, political institutions, and the conventional rules of morality as dictated by traditional religion need to be transcended. This is found in Henry David Thoreau's Walden; or, Life in the Woods where transcendence is achieved through immersion in nature and the distancing of oneself from society.Sony VAIO VGN-SR290JTQ Battery

Darwinism in America

The release of Charles Darwin's evolutionary theory in his 1859 publication of On the Origin of Species had a strong impact on American philosophy. John Fiske and Chauncey Wright both wrote about and argued for the re-conceiving of philosophy through an evolutionary lens. Sony VAIO VGN-SR290JVB/C Battery

They both wanted to understand morality and the mind in Darwinian terms, setting a precedent for evolutionary psychology and evolutionary ethics.

Darwin's biological theory was also integrated into the social and political philosophies of English thinker Herbert Spencer and American philosopher William Graham Sumner. Sony VAIO VGN-SR290JVH/C Battery

Herbert Spencer, who coined the oft-misattributed term "survival of the fittest," believed that societies were in a struggle for survival, and that groups within society are where they are because of some level of fitness. This struggle is beneficial to human kind, as in the long run the weak will be weeded out and only the strong will survive.Sony VAIO VGN-SR290NTB Battery

This position is often referred to as Social Darwinism.

Sumner, much influenced by Spencer, believed along with the industrialist Andrew Carnegie that the social implication of the fact of the struggle for survival is that laissez-faire capitalism is the natural political-economic system and is the one that will lead to the greatest amount of well-being.Sony VAIO VGN-SR29VN/S Battery

William Sumner, in addition to his advocacy of free markets, also espoused anti-imperialism (having been credited with coining the term "ethnocentrism"), and advocated for the gold standard.


Perhaps the most influential school of thought that is uniquely American is pragmatism.Sony VAIO VGN-SR29XN/S Battery

It began in the late nineteenth century in the United States with Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, andJohn Dewey. Pragmatism begins with the idea that belief is that upon which one is willing to act. It holds that a proposition's meaning is the consequent form of conduct or practice that would be implied by accepting the proposition as true.Sony VAIO VGN-SR2RVN/S Battery

Charles Sanders Peirce

Polymath, logician, mathematician, philosopher, and scientist Charles Sanders Peirce coined the term "pragmatism" in the 1870s.He was a member of The Metaphysical Club, which was a conversational club of intellectuals that also included Chauncey Wright, future Supreme CourtJustice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., and another early figure of pragmatism, William James.Sony VAIO VGN-SR390NAB Battery

In addition to making profound contributions to semiotics, logic, and mathematics, Peirce wrote what are considered to be the founding documents of pragmatism, "The Fixation of Belief" (1877) and "How to Make Our Ideas Clear"(1878).Sony VAIO VGN-SR390NAH Battery

In "The Fixation of Belief" Peirce argues for the superiority of the scientific method in settling belief on theoretical questions. In "How to Make Our Ideas Clear" Peirce argued for pragmatism as summed up in that which he later called the pragmatic maxim: "Consider what effects, that might conceivably have practical bearings, we conceive the object of our conception to have.Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/P Battery

Then, our conception of these effects is the whole of our conception of the object". Peirce emphasized that a conception is general, such that its meaning is not a set of actual, definite effects themselves. Instead the conception of an object is equated to a conception of that object's effects to a general extent of their conceivable implications for informed practice. Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/S Battery

Those conceivable practical implications are the conception's meaning.

The maxim is intended to help fruitfully clarify confusions caused, for example, by distinctions that make formal but not practical differences. Sony VAIO VGN-SR49VN/H Battery

Traditionally one analyzes an idea into parts (his example: a definition of truth as a sign's correspondence to its object). To that needful but confined step, the maxim adds a further and practice-oriented step (his example: a definition of truth as sufficient investigation's destined end).Sony VAIO VGN-SR51B/P Battery

It is the heart of his pragmatism as a method of experimentational mental reflection arriving at conceptions in terms of conceivable confirmatory and disconfirmatory circumstances — a method hospitable to the formation of explanatory hypotheses, and conducive to the use and improvement of verification.Sony VAIO VGN-SR51B/S Battery

Typical of Peirce is his concern with inference to explanatory hypotheses as outside the usual foundational alternative between deductivist rationalism and inductivist empiricism, though he himself was a mathematician of logic and a founder of statistics.Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF Battery

Peirce's philosophy includes a pervasive three-category system, both fallibilism and anti-skeptical belief that truth is discoverable and immutable, logic as formal semiotic (including semiotic elements and classes of signs, modes of inference, and methods of inquiry along with pragmatism and critical common-sensism),Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/P Battery

Scholastic realism, theism, objective idealism, and belief in the reality of continuity of space, time, and law, and in the reality of chance, mechanical necessity, and creative love as principles operative in the cosmos and as modes of its evolution.Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/S Battery

William James

William James (1842–1910) was "an original thinker in and between the disciplines of physiology, psychology and philosophy." He is famous as the author of The Varieties of Religious Experience, his monumental tome Principles of Psychology, and his lecture "The Will to Believe."Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/W Battery

James, along with Peirce, saw pragmatism as embodying familiar attitudes elaborated into a radical new philosophical method of thinking and resolving dilemmas. In his 1910 Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking he wrote:Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MR Battery

“[T]he tangible fact at the root of all our thought-distinctions, however subtle, is that there is no one of them so fine as to consist in anything but a possible difference of practice. To attain perfect clearness in our thoughts of an object, then,Sony VAIO VGN-SR59VG Battery

we need only consider what conceivable effects of a practical kind the object may involve — what sensations we are to expect from it, and what reactions we must prepare.”

James is also known for his radical empiricism which holds that relations between objects are as real as the objects themselves.Sony VAIO VGN-SR59VG/H Battery

James was also a pluralist in that he believed that there may actually be multiple correct accounts of truth. He rejected the correspondence theory of truth and instead held that truth involves a belief, facts about the world, other background beliefs, and future consequences of those beliefs. Sony VAIO VGN-SR70B/S Battery

Later in his life James would also come to adopt neutral monism, the view that the ultimate reality is of one kind, and is neither mental nor physical.

John Dewey

John Dewey (1859–1952), while still engaging in the lofty academic philosophical work of James and Peirce before him, Sony VAIO VGN-SR72B/P Battery

also wrote extensively on political and social matters, and his presence in the public sphere was much greater than his pragmatist predecessors. In addition to being one of the founding members of pragmatism, John Dewey was one of the founders of functional psychology and was a leading figure of the progressive movement in U.S. schooling during the first half of the 20th century. Sony VAIO VGN-SR72B/S Battery

Dewey argued against the individualism of classical liberalism, asserting that social institutions are not "means for obtaining something for individuals. They are means for creating individuals."  He held that individuals are not things that should be accommodated by social institutions, instead, social institutions are prior to and shape the individuals. Sony VAIO VGN-SR73JB/S Battery

These social arrangements are a means of creating individuals and promoting individual freedom.

Dewey is well-known for his work in the applied philosophy of the philosophy of education. Dewey's philosophy of education is one where children learn by doing. Sony VAIO VGN-SR74FB/S Battery

Dewey believed that schooling was unnecessarily long and formal, and that children would be better suited to learn by engaging in real-life activities. For example, in math, students could learn by figuring out proportions in cooking or seeing how long it would take to travel distances with certain modes of transportation.Sony VAIO VGN-SR90FS Battery

20th century

Pragmatism, which began in the 19th century in America, by the beginning of the 20th century began to be accompanied by other philosophical schools of thought, and was eventually eclipsed by them, though only temporarily. Sony VAIO VGN-SR90NS Battery

The 20th century saw the emergence of process philosophy, itself influenced by the scientific world-view and Einstein's theory of relativity. The middle of the 20th century was witness to the increase in popularity of the philosophy of language and analytic philosophy in America. Sony VAIO VGN-SR90S Battery

Existentialism and phenomenology, while very popular in Europe in the 20th century, never achieved the level of popularity in America as they did in continental Europe.

Rejection of idealism

Pragmatism continued its influence into the 20th century, and Spanish-born philosopher George Santayana was one of the leading proponents of pragmatism in this period. Sony VAIO VGN-SR90US Battery

He held that idealism was an outright contradiction and rejection of common sense. He held that, if something must be certain in order to be knowledge, then it seems no knowledge may be possible, and the result will be skepticism. According to Santayana, knowledge involved a sort of faith, which he termed "animal faith."Sony VAIO VGN-SR91NS Battery

In his book Scepticism and Animal Faith he asserts that knowledge is not the result of reasoning. Instead, knowledge is what is required to order to act and successfully engage with the world. As a naturalist, Santayana was a harsh critic of epistemological foundationalism.Sony VAIO VGN-SR91PS Battery

The explanation of events in the natural world is within the realm of science, while the meaning and value of this action should be studied by philosophers. Santayana was accompanied in the intellectual climate of 'common sense' philosophy by the thinkers of the New Realism movement, such as Ralph Barton Perry.Sony VAIO VGN-SR91S Battery

Process philosophy

Process philosophy embraces the Einsteinian world-view, and its main proponents include Alfred North Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne. The core belief of process philosophy is the claim that events and processes are principle ontological categories.Sony VAIO VGN-SR91US Battery

Whitehead asserted in his book The Concept of Nature that the things in nature, what he referred to as "concresences" are a conjunction of events that maintain a permanence of character. Process philosophy is Heraclitan in the sense that a fundamental ontological category is change.Sony VAIO VGN-SR92NS Battery

Charles Hartshorne was also responsible for developing the process philosophy of Whitehead into process theology.

Analytic philosophy

The middle of the 20th century was the beginning of the dominance of analytic philosophy in America. Sony VAIO VGN-SR92PS Battery

Analytic philosophy, prior to its arrival in America, had begun in Europe with the work of Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and the logical positivists. According to logical positivism, the truths of logic and mathematics are tautologies, and those of science are empirically verifiable.Sony VAIO V

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Any other claim, including the claims of ethics, aesthetics, theology, metaphysics, and ontology, are meaningless (this theory is called verificationism). With the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, many positivists fled Germany to Britain and America, and this helped reinforce the dominance of analytic philosophy in the United States in subsequent years.Sony VAIO VGN-SR92US Battery

W.V.O. Quine, while not a logical positivist, shared their view that philosophy should stand shoulder to shoulder with science in its pursuit of intellectual clarity and understanding of the world. He criticized the logical positivists and the analytic/synthetic distinction of knowledge in his essay "Two Dogmas of Empiricism" and advocated for his "web of belief," Sony VAIO VGN-SR93DS Battery

which is a coherentist theory of justificiation. In Quine's epistemology, since no experiences occur in isolation, there is actually a holistic approach to knowledge where every belief or experience is intertwined with the whole. Quine is also famous for inventing the term "gavagai" as part of his theory of the indeterminacy of translation.Sony VAIO VGN-SR93JS Battery

Saul Kripke, a student of Quine at Harvard, has profoundly influenced analytic philosophy. Kripke was ranked among the top ten most important philosophers of the past 200 years in a poll conducted by Brian Leiter (Leiter Reports: a Philosophy Blog; open access poll) Kripke is best known for four contributions to philosophy: Sony VAIO VGN-SR93PS Battery

(1) Kripke semantics for modal and related logics, published in several essays beginning while he was still in his teens. (2) His 1970 Princeton lectures Naming and Necessity(published in 1972 and 1980), that significantly restructured the philosophy of language and, as some have put it, "made metaphysics respectable again". Sony VAIO VGN-SR93YS Battery

His interpretation of the philosophy of Wittgenstein.[26] (4) His theory of truth. He has also made important contributions to set theory (see admissible ordinal and Kripke-Platek set theory)

David Kellogg Lewis, another student of Quine at Harvard, was ranked as one of the greatest philosophers of the 20th century in a poll conducted by Brian Leiter (open access poll).Sony VAIO VGN-SR94FS Battery

He is well-known for his controversial advocacy of modal realism, the position which holds that there is an infinite number of concrete and causally isolated possible worlds, of which ours is one.[28] These possible worlds arise in the field of modal logic.Sony VAIO VGN-SR94GS Battery

Thomas Kuhn was an important philosopher and writer who worked extensively in the fields of the history of science and the philosophy of science. He is famous for writing The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, one of the most cited academic works of all time. Sony VAIO VGN-SR94HS Battery

The book argues that science proceeds through different paradigmsas scientists find new puzzles to solve. There follows a widespread struggle to find answers to questions, and a shift in world views occurs, which is referred to by Kuhn as a paradigm shift.[29] The work is considered a milestone in the sociology of knowledge.Sony VAIO VGN-SR94VS Battery

Return to political philosophy

The analytic philosophers troubled themselves with the abstract and the conceptual, and American philosophy did not fully return to social and political concerns (that dominated American philosophy at the time of the founding of the United States) until the 1970s.Sony VAIO VPC CW2MFX/PU Battery

The return to political and social concerns included the popularity of works of Ayn Rand, who promoted Ethical egoism (which she calledObjectivism) in her novels, The Fountainhead in 1943 and Atlas Shrugged in 1957.

These two novels gave birth to the Objectivist movement, one which started as a small group of students called The Collective, Sony VAIO VPC S11V9E/B Battery

one of whom was a young Alan Greenspan, the well-known libertarianChairman of the Federal Reserve. Objectivism holds that there is an objective external reality that can be known with reason, that human beings should act in accordance with their own rational self-interest, and that the proper form of economic organization is laissez-faire capitalism.Sony VAIO VPCB119GJ/B Battery

Academic philosophers have been highly critical of the quality and intellectual rigor of Rand's work, but she remains popular within the American libertarian movement.

In 1971 John Rawls published his book A Theory of Justice. The book puts forth Rawls' view of justice as fairness, one which is based on a form of social contracttheory. Sony VAIO VPCB11AGJ Battery

Rawls employs the use of a conceptual mechanism called the veil of ignorance to outline his idea of the original position.

In Rawls' philosophy, the original position is the correlate to the Hobbesian state of nature. While in the original position, persons are said to be behind the veil of ignorance, Sony VAIO VPCB11AVJ Battery

which makes these persons unaware of their individual characteristics and their place in society, such as their race, religion, wealth, etc. The principles of justice are chosen by rational persons while in this original position. The two principles of justice are the equal liberty principle and the principle which governs the distribution of social and economic inequalities.Sony VAIO VPCB11V9E Battery

From this, Rawls argues for a system of distributive justice in accordance with the Difference Principle, which says that all social and economic inequalities must be to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged.

Viewing Rawls as promoting excessive government control and rights violations, libertarian Robert Nozick published Anarchy, State, and Utopia in 1974.Sony VAIO VPCCW18FJ/P Battery

The book advocates for a minimal state and defends the liberty of the individual. He argues that the role of government should be limited to "police protection, national defense, and the administration of courts of law, with all other tasks commonly performed by modern governments – Sony VAIO VPCCW18FJ/R Battery

education, social insurance, welfare, and so forth – taken over by religious bodies, charities, and other private institutions operating in a free market."

Nozick asserts his view of the entitlement theory of justice, which says that if everyone in society has acquired their holdings in accordance with the principles of acquisition,Sony VAIO VPCCW18FJ/W Battery

transfer, and rectification, then any pattern of allocation, no matter how unequal the distribution may be, is just. The entitlement theory of justice holds that the "justice of a distribution is indeed determined by certain historical circumstances (contrary to end-state theories),Sony VAIO VPCCW19FJ/W Battery

but it has nothing to do with fitting any pattern guaranteeing that those who worked the hardest or are most deserving have the most shares."

Alasdair MacIntyre, while he was born and educated in the United Kingdom, has spent around forty years living and working in the United States. Sony VAIO VPCCW1AFJ Battery

He is responsible for the resurgence of interest in virtue ethics, a moral theory first propounded by the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle.  He is considered the preeminent Thomist political philosopher. He holds that "modern philosophy and modern life are characterized by the absence of any coherent moral code, Sony VAIO VPCCW1AHJ Battery

and that the vast majority of individuals living in this world lack a meaningful sense of purpose in their lives and also lack any genuine community". He recommends a return to genuine political communities where individuals can properly acquire their virtues.

Outside academic philosophy, political and social concerns took center stage with the Civil Rights Movement and the writings of Martin Luther King, Jr.Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E Battery


While there were earlier writers who would be considered feminist, such as Sarah Grimké, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Anne Hutchinson, the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s, also known as second-wave feminism, is notable for its impact in philosophy.Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/B Battery

The popular mind was taken with Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique. This was accompanied by other feminist philosophers, such as Adrienne Rich. These philosophers critiqued basic assumptions and values of philosophy, such as objectivity and what they believe to be masculine approaches to ethics, for example, rights-based political theories. Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/L Battery

They wrote that there is no such thing as a value-neutral inquiry and they sought to analyze the social dimensions of philosophical issues.

Modern times

Towards the end of the 20th century there was a resurgence of interest in pragmatism. Largely responsible for this are Hilary Putnam and Richard Rorty. Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/P Battery

Rorty is famous as the author of Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature and Philosophy and Social Hope. Hilary Putnam is well known for his quasi-empiricism in mathematics, his challenge of the brain in a vat thought experiment,and his other work in philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and philosophy of science.Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/R Battery

The debates that occur within the philosophy of mind have taken center stage. American philosophers such as Hilary Putnam, Donald Davidson,[45] Daniel Dennett,[46]Douglas Hofstadter,[47] John Searle,[48] as well as Patricia and Paul Churchland[49] continue the discussion of such issues as the nature of mind and the hard problem of consciousness,Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/W Battery

a philosophical problem indicated by the Australian philosopher David Chalmers.

Noted American legal philosophers Ronald Dworkin and Richard Posner work in the fields of political philosophy and jurisprudence. Posner is famous for his economic analysis of law, a theory which uses microeconomics to understand legal rules and institutions.Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/B Battery

Dworkin is famous for his theory of law as integrity and legal interpretivism.

African-American philosopher Cornel West is known for his analysis of American cultural life with regards to race, gender, and class issues, as well as his associations with pragmatism and transcendentalism.Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/L Battery

Alvin Plantinga is a Christian thinker known for his evolutionary argument against naturalism, his assertion that one can know God as a properly basic belief, and hismodal version of the ontological argument for the existence of God. Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/R Battery

Michael C. Rea has developed Plantinga's thought by claiming that both naturalism and supernaturalism are research programmes that have to be adopted as a basis for research.Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/W Battery,Sony VAIO VPCCW26EC Battery,Sony VAIO VPCCW26FX/B Battery,Sony VAIO VPCCW28EC Battery,Sony VAIO VPCCW28FJ/P Battery,Sony VAIO VPCCW28FJ/R Battery,Sony VAIO VPCCW28FJ/W Battery,Sony VAIO VPCCW29FJ/W Battery,Sony VAIO VPCCW2AFJ Battery,Sony VAIO VPCCW2AHJ Battery

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