The sage of Kingston : John Watson and the ambiguity of Hegelianism

Abstract

John Watson's thought has not been well understood. A question suggested by previous scholarship, namely, how successful was he at his task of re-founding the Christian religion on a philosophical base? is answered first in terms of consistency with the theological tradition. His revision of Christian theology is found to be inadequate by traditional standards; it is then examined as a philosophy of religion which, to his mind, overcame the difficulties of classical theism. It is argued that, despite some advantages, his philosophy of religion is deficient in two respects. First, its method is vitiated by a strained and sometimes mistaken interpretation of the philosophical tradition, indicative of arbitrariness. Second, "Speculative Idealism" as the result of that method reveals conceptual ambiguities corresponding to the ambiguities of classical theism. As the method is not self-evident and is used implicitly by Watson, and the results are philosophically ambiguous, the appropriation of this thought was theologically or philosophically shallow. Though Watson's thought, as far as it was understood, provided an underpinning for the "social gospel" movement in Canada, it is argued that this shallow appropriation explains, at least in part, the brevity of its appeal as philosophy of religion.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,389

External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

  • Only published works are available at libraries.

Similar books and articles

Philosophical Essays, Presented to John Watson.John Watson (ed.) - 1922 - Freeport, N.Y., Books for Libraries Press.
The Interpretation of Religious Experience.John Watson - 1912 - American Mathematical Society.
The Method of Kant.John Watson - 1880 - Mind 5 (20):528-548.
Kesarcodi-Watson on Digby on Kesarcodi-Watson.Ian Kesarcodi-Watson - 1981 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 42 (1):125-127.
Two Problems in Martial.P. Watson & L. Watson - 1996 - Classical Quarterly 46 (02):586-.
The Critical Philosophy and Idealism.John Watson - 1892 - Philosophical Review 1 (1):9-23.
Responses to Chappell and Watson.Paul Hoffman - 1995 - Philosophical Studies 77 (2-3):283 - 292.
Religious Ambiguity in Hick’s Religious Pluralism.Amir Dastmalchian - 2009 - International Journal of Hekmat 1:75-89.
The Idealism of Edward Caird. I.John Watson - 1909 - Philosophical Review 18 (2):147-163.

Analytics

Added to PP
2011-01-07

Downloads
2 (#1,392,759)

6 months
1 (#415,900)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

Abstract.[author unknown] - 2011 - Dialogue and Universalism 21 (4):9-9.
Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.David Hume - 1779/1998 - In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Philosophical Review. Blackwell. pp. 338-339.

View all 75 references / Add more references