A Philosopher's Story by Morton Gabriel White


enter site By Morton Gabriel White

Even supposing an excellent many memoirs are being released nowadays, this autobiography by means of Morton White has distinct importance simply because specialist philosophers seldom write their memoirs and, once they do, they not often produce books as attractive as this one. As historian of principles and a thinker, White is ready to situate his lifestyles within the deeper and broader highbrow currents of his time, and for this reason the tale of his reviews at Columbia, Harvard, and the Institute for complicated examine is a brilliantly conceived contribution to the historical past of yank philosophy within the 20th century. Readers eager about the improvement of upper schooling can be occupied with White's description of the struggles over faith at Harvard within the Nineteen Fifties, whereas historians of city existence could be a lot drawn to his brilliant account of his boyhood at the decrease East aspect of latest York. and scholars of pragmatism will study a lot concerning the twentieth-century assault at the contrast among analytic and artificial statements from a letter written to White via the Polish philosopher Alfred Tarski, and from the three-way correspondence of Nelson Goodman, W. V. Quine, and White reproduced in an appendix. The author's dialogue of his touch with such influential thinkers as John Dewey, G. E. Moore, and Isaiah Berlin, and particularly his huge correspondence with Berlin, will extra improve the book's entice a large viewers. certainly, White's autobiography may still allure extra consciousness one of the proficient public than any e-book written by means of an American thinker in lots of years.--Peter H. Hare, SUNY exclusive provider Professor of Philosophy and Editor, Transactions of the C. S. Peirce Society: A Quarterly magazine in American Philosophy.

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But Ben grandly and characteristically waved me away with his left hand, pushed his right hand up against Gerry's chest, and kept his interlocutor in an upright position so that he could finish his point before the train arrived. Ben Nelson's friend Paul Goodman would often visit Columbia while on vacation from Chicago, to which he had gone under the aegis of Richard McKeon, as had a number of other City College and Columbia boys—for example, William Barrett—in the years just before I came to Columbia in 1936.

He encouraged me by taking my work seriously and was < previous page page_37 next page > < previous page page_38 next page > Page 38 intrigued by my familiarity with Irish-American life. After all, my father had been a friend of Al Smith, about whom Jim once thought he would do a book, and I had taken enough beatings from young Irishmen to think of myself as a specialist on their way of life. So in 1953, when asked by Jim's publisher to write an appreciation of his work for a pamphlet about him, I could honestly and sincerely write that I had been reading him with excitement and appreciation ever since Studs Lonigan pounded his way into my consciousness with all the significance he had for a boy living on the streets of New York in the thirties.

We laughed a lot about Neurath's Index Verborum Prohibitorum, as he called it, because it seemed to contain so many words we were in the habit of using freely. Ben, like Meyer Schapiro, was one of the great talkers in New York at that time. One night Ben, my boyhood friend Gerry Rosenbaum, and I had left a party near Columbia and had entered the subway station at 116th Street at about two in the morning—it was possible to do that sort of thing without < previous page page_38 next page > < previous page page_39 next page > Page 39 anxiety in those days.

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