American Philosophy

This is my favorite course to teach. I teach it in two different ways. At the introductory level, the focus is largely on the development of intellectual thought in the United States until 1917. First, the course begins with Englightenment ideas and intuitionism in Locke and Descartes. It then proceeds to examine the American Revolution, Puritanism, and the impact of evolutionary ideas on religious thought. Next, the course examines the epistemological and metaphysical thought of Charles S. Peirce and William James before turning to their versions of pragmatism. Finally, the course concludes with an examination of Josiah Royce's The Philosophy of Loyalty.

At the upper-level, the course goes into each of the above topics in more detail (e.g. it looks at Peirce's metaphysical views in "The Architecture of Theories", "The Doctrine of Necessity", and so forth) but involves a reading of Royce's The World and the Individual.