Naturalism: Self-Conscious and Self-Critical

Review of Metaphysics 15 (3):480 - 493 (1962)
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This seems to me to be the proper attitude to take toward philosophical proposals about the way things are; they are "likely stories" or "likely accounts," although it is true some speculative philosophers, for example, Spinoza and Hegel, did not think of their systems in such a modest way. Now naturalism strives to be a systematic philosophy, an account of the way things are. Its expression as a philosophy is often loose, although frequent attempts are made to give it internal consistency. One of the loosest and untidiest presentations of a naturalistic philosophy is found in Hans Christian Sandbeck's book, Nature and Destiny. And in another work by William R. Dennes, Some Dilemmas of Naturalism, we see an effort to examine some of the internal difficulties of the system. I intend to examine both in detail; in addition, I will offer some brief comments on Francis Haber's book, The Age of the World, which gives part of the history of naturalism.



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