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20th Century Philosophy Movements

What are some of the major philosophical movements of the 20th century? How did each of them impact the historical and political viewpoints at work during the formative periods of the 20th century?

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Interesting questions! Let's take a closer look through discussion and the philosophical research.

RESPONSE:

1. What are some of the major philosophical movements of the 20th century?

In general, philosophical movements demonstrate a commitment to a somewhat different approach to philosophical problems that adherents view as significant progress over what was being done before. The idea of progress, rather than final answers or a utopia, is necessary for a philosophical movement. Movements tend to start and develop with an optimism regarding what they can accomplish; and they may depart somewhat from the perennial tasks of philosophy:

· Dealing with Long-Standing Central Problems of Philosophy - free will vs. determinism, mind-body, the physical and mental, the nature of knowledge, logic, God, ethics, justice, etc.
· Providing Philosophical Interpretation of New Advances in Human Knowledge and Actions
· Developing Methods of Philosophical Analysis - usually based on reasoning and accumulated over long periods of time
Eventually though, this optimism tends to be lost either because unforeseen problems arise or the initially promising channels of investigation reach points of diminishing returns. Interestingly, when movements lose momentum, there usually is a return to the perennial problems of philosophy-although these problems may well now be enriched through the movement's efforts (http://krypton.mnsu.edu/~yezzi/overview2.htm).

Some of the major Philosophical Movements of the twentieth century are:

(1) Pragmatism,
(2) Process Philosophy,
(3) Logical Positivism,
(4) Analytic Philosophy,
(5) Existentialism (Phenomenology),
(6) Postmodernism,
(7) Feminism, and
(8) Social Constructivism (http://krypton.mnsu.edu/~yezzi/overview2.htm).

2. How did each of them impact the historical and political viewpoints at work during the formative periods of the 20th century?

(1) Pragmatism

Pragmatism impacted the historical and political viewpoints through its proponents, beliefs about truth and propositions. It includes those who claim that an ideology or proposition is true if it works satisfactorily, that the meaning of a proposition is to be found in the practical consequences of accepting it, and that unpractical ideas are to be rejected. It has significantly influenced non-philosophers and the political sphere-notably in the fields of law, education, politics, sociology, psychology, and literary criticism-. For example, James and Peirce were examined the crucial links among belief, conduct, and disposition by saying that a belief is a proposition on which a person is prepared to act. The third major figure in the classical pragmatist pantheon is John Dewey (1859-1952), whose wide-ranging writings had considerable impact on American intellectual, educational and political life for a half-century. After Dewey, however, pragmatism lost much of its momentum (see full article available on-line at http://www.iep.utm.edu/p/pragmati.htm).

Pragmatism was the original functional psychology and cognitive science that (1) explains intelligence in terms of deliberate purposive conduct, and (2) explains knowledge as successful predictions about manipulating nature. Experience and mind are not limited to, or reducible to, brain events -- experience, mind, and the like are evolving natural systems of organism-environment transactions (http://www.pragmatism.org/).

Political reasoning was influenced by relative truths with the move away from supernatural "immutable" explanations of truth to natural "mutable" explanations of truth (relativism). (http://www.statsvet.su.se/hemsidor/reitberger_right.htm). This idea has two senses, one which is often attributed to William James and F.C.S. Schiller, and another that is more widely accepted by pragmatists: (1) that truth is mutable, and (2) truth is relative to a conceptual scheme (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pragmatism).

(2) Process Philosophy

In the early twentieth century, the most famous work of process philosophy - ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses nine of the major philosophical movements of the 20th century, including how each of them impact the historical and political viewpoints at work during the formative periods of the 20th century. Supplemented with articles on several of the movements.

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