Download American Philosophy: The Basics by Nancy Stanlick PDF

By Nancy Stanlick

American Philosophy: The Basics introduces the historical past of yank concept from early Calvinists to the hot England Transcendentalists and from agreement thought to modern African American philosophy. the most important query it asks is: what it's that makes American Philosophy detailed? This vigorous and compelling ebook strikes via key sessions within the improvement of yank proposal from the founding fathers to the transcendentalists and pragmatists to modern social commentators. Readers are brought to:
* essentially the most vital thinkers in American heritage together with Jonathan Edwards, Thomas Paine, Charles Sanders Pierce, Thomas Kuhn, Cornel West and lots of extra
* advancements in 5 key components of notion: epistemology, metaphysics, faith and ethics, social philosophy, and political philosophy
* The contributions of yankee girls, African-Americans and local Americans.

Featuring feedback for extra studying and assuming no past wisdom of philosophy, this is often a fantastic first creation for somebody learning or drawn to the historical past of yankee thought.

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Extra resources for American Philosophy: The Basics

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The issue of the creation of a national constitution for the newly formed American republic was therefore both practically important and philosophically significant. In “Thoughts on Government” (1776), Adams argued that direct democracy would be problematic. Adams argued instead for a division of powers to control the interests of factions and the influence of selfinterest that would tend toward corruption in violating the rights of citizens. Adams’ plan, which is the plan of Federalists, is division of powers in government to preserve liberty.

That it was to be a moral nation, founded on the ideals of Enlightenment and consistent with the rights and dignity of humanity, is clear. That the Founders thought of Enlightenment reason as Godly is even more clear. But Enlightenment reason respects individual conscience and each person is to be left alone to worship (or not) as he sees fit. 29 30 THE ENLIGHTENMENT REVOLUTIONARIES Jefferson not only penned the document supporting freedom of and from religion, he lived the conclusion. He is not the only American to have looked with a skeptical eye on the Bible, but he is one of the few who took it upon himself actually to edit the Bible to make it read in a way he thought fully consistent with Christianity.

Reason is a gift from God. If reason is given to us 25 26 THE ENLIGHTENMENT REVOLUTIONARIES by God, Paine’s argument goes, then it is Godly reason and we ought to put it to good and proper use regarding religion. Paine took issue with prayer, claiming it is ridiculous since it amounts to asking God to change the way things are. If the faithful believe that everything is as God wishes it to be, praying to change the way things are is absurd. Since Christians, according to Paine, hold the position that God knows best and has arranged the world so that it will be the best, Christians who pray to change what occurs are essentially saying that they know better than God what should happen.

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