His major contributions to theoretical philosophy are the following: the 1911 book Truth and Reality; the 1916 book A Realistic Universe; and an article published in 1934 (in The Philosophical Review) titled “Functional Realism.” In Truth and Reality, Boodin explicitly argues for what he calls “pragmatic realism” (see Boodin 1911a, esp. DeForge, R., Shaw, J.: Back-and fore-grounding ontology: exploring the linkages between critical realism, pragmatism, and methodologies in health & rehabilitation sciences. And he continues: The ultimate realities with which metaphysics deals are no less plastic in the hands of the potter than the realities of art. There were many. 8On the whole, Boodin’s philosophical work fell into oblivion with the death of its author. Sellars Roy Wood, (1924), “Critical Realism and Its Critics,” The Philosophical Review, 33, 379-97. insofar as they aimed at a more reflected approach to the issue of cognition (especially perception) than our everyday’s “naïve” as well as philosophical “new” realism. (Boodin 1916: 71). The education philosophy can be broken down into four main schools of thought: Idealism, Realism, Pragmatism and Existentialism. John, (1905), “The Realism of Pragmatism,”, Essays in Critical Realism: A Co-Operative Study in the Problem of Knowledge, (eds), (1910), “The Program and First Platform of Six Realists,”, The Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods, The New Realism: Cooperative Studies in Philosophy, William, (1904), “Does Consciousness Exist?,”, Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking, A Pluralistic Universe. Kuklick Bruce, (2017), “Who Owns Pragmatism?,” Modern Intellectual History, 14, 565-83. 18 Boodin refers here implicitly to James’s Essays in Radical Empiricism from 1912. 15 of, , published in 1909. Regarding the situation in late nineteenth-century American philosophy, it can be said that. James’s “Does Consciousness Exist?” is a good example in this respect. Their most outstanding contribution was the cooperative volume The New Realism, which appeared in 1912. But for all that I can not agree with or accept the philosophy of the great Harvard Professor, and I go so far as to look upon its wide acceptance as a symptom of the immaturity and naivite that obtains sometimes even in the professional circles of our universities. The pragmatic element primarily pertains to the dynamic aspect of energetically conceived reality. He points out: While such a theory, with abundant illustrations from natural science, accounts for how knowledge can control the world of processes, it leaves us in the dark as to the real question – the relevancy of knowledge to its object. 4After his stay at Harvard, Boodin had a couple of academic positions in the United States, culminating with his becoming Faculty Research Lecturer at U.C.L.A. The finite fragmentary intent must find its reality or correction in a larger whole. Both are viewed as epistemologies that present a different idea of what constitutes as knowledge . 7Boodin published eight books and more than sixty articles for journals, both in the field of theoretical philosophy (which concerns us here) and in the field of practical philosophy. 19 It should be noted that Ostwald – unlike Boodin – not only rejected materialism, but also atomism. 48However, a more charitable reading would account for the fact that the systematical and historical relation of pragmatism and realism, as it were, provoked the sort of eclectic fusion to be found in Boodin’s later work. he provides the reader with the following picture: Boodin is extremely enthusiastic about the prospects of this whole enterprise. 41Let us now make a time jump to 1934. See, in this connection, his extended critique of James’s variant of pragmatism in Carus 1908. Holt, for example, claimed that “[t]he entities […] under study in logic, mathematics, and the physical sciences are not mental in any usual or proper meaning of the word ‘mental’” (Holt in Holt, 1910: 394). Because CR principles are usually used to underpin the developmen… Boodin, although invited to do so (see below, fn. On the whole, Boodin’s philosophical work fell into oblivion with the death of its author. 2 Werkmeister writes in this connection: “James was instrumental in preparing the way for realism. Realism pragmatism v3 3 Realism and Pragmatism in a mixed methods study Abstract Aim: A discussion of how adopting a Realist rather than Pragmatist methodology affects the conduct of mixed methods research. Thus the weight of a body varies at different points of the surface of the earth; it is, in other words, a function of the attraction of the earth. On the other hand, the realist aspect as such is undermined, or at least downplayed, by statements such as: “Things are the result of interest and conceptual interpretation.” (. Werkmeister writes in this connection: “James was instrumental in preparing the way for realism. Writes Boodin: For the dogmatic method, too often applied in matters of philosophy, we must substitute the empirical or critical method – the method which the special sciences have proved so fruitful in their own domain. 29Apparently, pragmatism stood in need of being defended (or at least of being clarified) against its opponents. Sixty-Second Philosopher (Seek to 49:30): Ian Shoales speeds through the origins of pragmatism and its misapprehension throughout American history. 8 Furthermore, they demarcated their understanding of the term “critical” from the Kantian one by declaring that “the word ‘critical’ has no reference to the Kantian philosophy, which should not be allowed to monopolize that excellent adjective.” (Drake et al. : 632)13. , published in 1911, that Boodin directly replied to that comment. There he studied philosophy and received his master’s degree in 1896. Shook John R., (1998), Pragmatism: An Annotated Bibliography, 1898-1940, Amsterdam, Rodopi. This becomes particularly clear from Lovejoy’s contribution to the 1920 essay volume. 4 See Randall 1966. : 305). (Ibid.). As, on the other hand, Werkmeister makes it particularly clear, Royce’s variant o, Before discussing the details and the development of Boodin’s philosophical position, it is instructive to take a brief look at the surrounding philosophical context. 19It was certainly this very passage that provoked the following critical comment by the journal’s editors: Pragmatism is the latest philosophical movement which is at present sweeping over the country, and the foregoing article by Professor Boodin may be taken as a typical instance of the philosophic temperament that is at present in the ascendancy. The, ’s editor-in-chief, German-born Paul Carus, stood in close contact to the pragmatists. James’s books and articles published during the first decade of the twentieth century contain many realistic tendencies, and not less than seven of the leading realists – Drake, Montague, Perry, Pratt, Santayana, Sellars, and Strong – have repeatedly stated that their philosophical position was determined by James.” (Werkmeister 1949: 371). , Boodin delivered a couple of programmatic clarifications. Editorial Comment to Boodin, (1908), The Monist, 18, 306. Nor do physical things have properties in themselves. It is, by the way, quite difficult to determine what the distinctive characteristic of “European” pragmatism could be. Whether we can realize it or not only the historical outcome of the pragmatic test can prove.” (, In this case, too, an Editorial Comment was attached. According to Pihlström, Boodin was of the opinion “that his work and training on his home farm with intimate contact with nature may have made him an ‘empirical realist’” (Pihlström 2010: 6). Ostwald Wilhelm, (1895), “Die Überwindung des wissenschaftlichen Materialismus,” Verhandlungen der Gesellschaft deutscher Naturforscher und Ärzte, 1895, 155-68. He believed in eternal truth and rejected its relativization by the pragmatists. Drake Durant, Lovejoy Arthur O., Pratt James B., Rogers Arthur K., Santayana George, Wood Sellars Roy & Charles A. They make, at the outset, a bifurcation of thing and environment as though they were only externally related. There, he primarily studied with the American idealist Josiah Royce and came in closer (friendship-like) contact with James. The energy concept simply proves to be more general than the concept of matter. On the other hand, it should be seen that his entire academic education took place in the United States. I will briefly describe positivist empiricism, interpretivist constructionism, and critical realism below. With all due respect for Professor James, for whose extraordinary and fine personality I cherish an unbounded admiration, I must confess that I would deem it a misfortune if his philosophy would ever exercise a determining and permanent influence upon the national life of our country.” (Carus 1908: 361-2). Boodin attempted to tackle this sort of challenge. is that pragmatism is the pursuit of practicality over aesthetic qualities; a concentration on facts rather than emotions or ideals while realism is a concern for fact or reality and rejection of the impractical and visionary. 1The present paper is devoted to a systematic reconstruction of the philosophical approach of the Swedish-born thinker John Elof Boodin (1869-1950). Carus Paul, (1908), “Pragmatism,” The Monist, 18, 321-62. & Edward G. Spaulding (eds), (1912), The New Realism: Cooperative Studies in Philosophy, New York, Macmillan. Thus, if at all, then functional realism stood in sharp contrast to the essentialist version of critical realism. Boodin 1911b: 58) as well as from his focusing on the pragmatic element in knowledge. To begin with, when Boodin published his “Functional Realism” the philosophical context had significantly changed as compared to the time when, came out. : 606) and therefore to be abandoned. (Dewey 1905: 324-5). They are centers of produced change. In order to adequately understand this shift in philosophical perspective, it is important to take into account both Boodin’s intellectual socialization in the United States and the surrounding philosophical context. Pragmatism is a philosophical approach that evaluates theories or beliefs in terms of the success of their practical application. For the best answers, search on this site https://shorturl.im/avVDP. Edward Gleason Spaulding, another of the new realists, even went as far as to assert that consciousness and the process of knowing as such are “eliminable” (Spaulding in Holt. It is apparent that Boodin seeks some sort of “idealized” as well as “humanized” conception of reality and truth. Each school of thought has at least one philosopher who would be considered the forerunner of the school. And in recent years interesting experiments have been made by Rutherford and others to prove the real existence of the atom. In his own words: Realism has always insisted upon the trans-subjective reference of the cognitive meaning. Whether we can realize it or not only the historical outcome of the pragmatic test can prove.” (Ibid. Section 5 concludes the paper with some critical comments. In James’s words, the same message reads thus: “The ‘absolutely’ true, meaning what no farther experience will ever alter, is that ideal vanishing-point towards which we imagine that all our temporary truths will some day converge. 43Much the same is asserted by Boodin when we writes: As opposed to the assumption of things in themselves with properties in themselves, functional realism holds in common with present science that the bifurcation of thing and environment is vicious, that things exist only in fields, in mutuality with other things, and that they have properties only in their dynamic interrelations. In that paper, Boodin again, and more explicitly, draws the connection between pragmatism and realism. the sort of eclectic fusion to be found in Boodin’s later work. Site map – Contact – Website credits – Syndication, OpenEdition Journals member – Published with Lodel – Administration only, You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search, European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy. Pihlström Sami, (2010), “Nordic Pragmatism,” European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy, 2 (1), 108-20. They both assume that to say that substances and qualities exist independently of the environment has a meaning. (Boodin 1910: 602-3). Moreover, classical pragmatism had shifted to so-called neo-pragmatism, especially with the appearance of C. I. Lewis’s, is that it is far too selective. Moreover, classical pragmatism had shifted to so-called neo-pragmatism, especially with the appearance of C. I. Lewis’s Mind and the World Order in 1929 (cf. As Sellars makes it clear in his, (1922), the critical realist “is very sympathetic with the position of the pragmatist, albeit he thinks that many pragmatists are too utilitarian and do not value enough, or sufficiently admit, a theoretical interest in knowledge” (Sellars 1922: 55-6). Would Boodin have focused on Sellars’s account of critical realism, his critique, I maintain, would not have worked. At one of the Philosophy Club’s meetings, James gave a talk titled “Is Life Worth Living?”. On the other hand, it should be seen that his entire academic education took place in the United States. 1 For a comprehensive account of Boodin’s life and work, see Nelson 1984 (on which I primarily draw here). This method has been rechristened within recent years by C. S. Peirce and William James and called pragmatism. “In it,” Sellars writes, “both pragmatism of a chastened sort and neo-realism of a less doctrinaire type may ultimately find the satisfaction of their insights.”, . In its opening paragraph the following is cla, In 1910, Boodin’s paper “Pragmatic Realism” appeared in Volume No. Its accentuation of practice and consequences appeared as something “distinctively American” (Sellars 1969: 27). Only in so far as it intends a world beyond our finite cognitive purposes. As Nelson points out in his biographical sketch: In 1897, Boodin eventually entered Harvard (on a Hopkins scholarship). Whereas Truth and Reality is, according to its subtitle, an “Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge,” A Realistic Universe is, according to its subtitle, an “Introduction to Metaphysics.” Boodin’s 1934 “Functional Realism” doesn’t contain any mentioning of pragmatism or pragmatic elements. For him, as for James, truth, “so far as we are finite seekers are concerned, is a limit which we are far from having realized. Energy is, on this account, to be thought of as an unknowable Kantian thing-in-itself (cf. And the only key to external reality is what we must take it as, in the realization of our purposes. 42As a programmatic characterization, this diagnosis is false. He explicitly analogizes philosophy and art. This part of the essay simplifies matters to some extent by characterizing three of the most influe… His main target in “Functional Realism” is George Santayana’s Skepticism and Animal Faith from 1923 (see Boodin 1934: 149-57). ‘Grant an idea or belief to be true,’ it says, ‘what concrete difference will its being true make in anyone’s actual life? , it is interesting to note that Boodin does not make any mention of it in “Functional Realism.” To be sure, at two places he casually refers to James (1934: 161) and to Dewey (1934: 171). either in spirit or method” (1916: ix-x). (Ibid. Sellars Roy Wood, (1916), Critical Realism: A Study of the Nature and Conditions of Knowledge, Chicago and New York, Rand McNally and Company. However, as Sellars repeatedly stressed (see, for example, Sellars 1924: 383), there existed two “wings” within the critical realist movement: a metaphysical (“essentialist”) wing, primarily represented by the work of Santayana, and an empirical (“naturalist”) wing, primarily represented by Sellars’s own contributions. It was a complete cleavage with my world before eighteen. Thus “pragmatic” realism should be seen as an independent variant within the realist camp. It is simply the application of the ordinary method of the scientific testing of an hypothesis to philosophic hypotheses as well. : 606) and therefore to be abandoned. According to Nelson, “Boodin lived in the continual hope that times would change and that people would increasingly look to his work […] as a source of sanity, value, and enlightenment. This was the year when Boodin’s “Functional Realism” appeared in. “Why,” he asks, “should a man’s soul be crowded into one system of philosophy?” (1908: 302). The change meant a change of language, a change of history and tradition. And he had no money. At one of the Philosophy Club’s meetings, James gave a talk titled “Is Life Worth Living?”. I hope that for the rest of his life he will remain as buoyant and spirited as he has ever been, and will meet with unlimited recognition. We will see later why. A certain form of, Ontologically, atoms, according to Boodin, have the status of energy centers: they must be conceived as “more or less stable dynamic clusters within dynamic systems” (, : 83). In the preface to that book he made the following announcement: In the bewildering amount of discussion and misunderstanding to which the pragmatic movement has led, there is need for fresh emphasis of the main issues. In his own words: Understood that way, the object itself becomes “a truth process” (. 15 of The Monist, published in 1909. Holt Edwin B., Marvin Walter T., Montague William P., Perry Ralph B., Pitkin Walter B. : 80). Besides idealism, neo-realism, and pragmatism there existed a further influential movement, namely so-called critical realism. (Boodin 1911b: vii). It should be noted that Ostwald – unlike Boodin – not only rejected materialism, but also atomism. “Why,” he asks, “should a man’s soul be crowded into one system of philosophy?” (1908: 302). As a programmatic characterization, this diagnosis is false. As for Boodin’s philosophical work, it should be mentioned first that he is characterized by Shook as one of the twelve “major figures” (Shook 1998: xiii) of pragmatism. 1920: vi). Boodin John Elof, (1934), “Functional Realism,” The Philosophical Review, 43, 147-78. 28It was in Volume No. Boodin John Elof, (1911a), “From Protagoras to William James,” The Monist, 21, 73-91. : 633). The, element primarily pertains to the dynamic aspect of energetically conceived reality. “In it,” Sellars writes, “both pragmatism of a chastened sort and neo-realism of a less doctrinaire type may ultimately find the satisfaction of their insights.” (Ibid.). It is not applicable, for example, to electricity; while energy with its equivalences of transformation can be made to cover the whole extent of process, material and immaterial, physical and psychological. It was the greatest disappointment of his life that this did not happen.” (Nelson 1984: 145). 18Boodin is extremely enthusiastic about the prospects of this whole enterprise. , Notre Dame, University of Notre Dame Press. To be sure, the bifurcation of thing and environment figured prominently within the framework of new realism.20 However, from the standpoint of critical realism, there is no such bifurcation. After a short time working in a “low vein” mine owned by the Quincy Coal Company, Boodin attended Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, in 1890-91 where he studied Latin, Greek, Swedish, and Geometry. We will come back to this point in a moment. Its verity is in fact an event, a process: the process namely of its verifying itself, its veri-, .” (James  2017: 74). 14), did not contribute to that volume. Boodin transferred his college studies to the University of Minnesota and made acquaintance with the work of William James. Critical realism: What is it and does it relate to the broader discipline of critical theory? Thought is so wedded to things that things cannot exist without being thought. At the same time he speaks of “my friend Royce” (1908: 303), mentions the latter’s “absolute idealism” (1908: 300) and suggests that “[i]deals may prove truer than facts” (ibid.). Ostwald 1895) energetics (or “energism”) qualifies as an. Boodin died in 1950. “In art,” he maintains, “the selective activity is for the sake of permanent objects of enjoyment; in metaphysics, for the sake of understanding. the Pragmatist,” Lovejoy’s paper may be considered as one of the most unrelenting critiques of the pragmatist point of view. Moreover, one might wonder how ‘functional’ realism is related to pragmatism. Editorial Comment to Boodin, (1910), The Monist, 20, 614-5. There is no supervision as yet, in fact the plan is that there shall be no supervision of the work as a whole. In his view, energy is to be conceived of as an “Urstoff” (1916: 15). idealism - seeking perfection in everything, philosophy that the mind is the only reality. Maybe his Swedish rural growing up, as it were, predestined him in terms of viewing the world from a primarily realistic point of view. Anyway, the actually important point is that by ‘realism’ he essentially understands an “epistemological attitude” (ibid. For further details, see Werkmeister 1949, chapters 5-9. For further details, see Ostwald 1895 and the reconstruction in Neuber 2002. In general, critical realists hold that knowledge of the world can be gained because there is some sort of reliable correspondence between sensa, or some sort of intuitive data, on the one hand, and external objects on the other. Peirce, for example, published many of his most important papers for. James’s account of experience as “self-sufficient” (ibid.) Pragmatism is, unsurprisingly, advanced as one means by which the Gordian knot of theoretical dispute can be cut and critical realists have, in recent years, also asserted that as both a philosophy of science and methodology critical realism can coordinate or structure mixed method inquiry. . Boodin himself writes at one place: “Whether I had any influence in turning pragmatism into a more realistic direction, I do not know.” (Boodin 1930: 140). A certain form of atomism recommends itself. Metaphysics is science, not art.” (1916: xxi). Dewey John, (1905), “The Realism of Pragmatism,” Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods, 2, 324-7. Critical Realism (CR) is a branch of philosophy that distinguishes between the 'real' world and the 'observable' world. : 608). On the other hand, he explicitly demarcates his position from “the movement sometimes called ‘the new realism’”. With all due respect for Professor James, for whose extraordinary and fine personality I cherish an unbounded admiration, I must confess that I would deem it a misfortune if his philosophy would ever exercise a determining and permanent influence upon the national life of our country.” (Carus 1908: 361-2). Digital resources portal for the latter ’ s degree in 1896 point is that by realism! Charles Sanders Peirce, for example, published in 1911, that directly! System of philosophy, 63, 57-83 “ Physics without Pictures to be found in a larger whole be supervision! 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