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By Clarence Irving Lewis

Thought-provoking paintings outlines concept of "conceptual pragmatism," considering glossy philosophic inspiration and implications of recent arithmetic. subject matters comprise philosophic approach, metaphysics, given aspect in event, nature of the a priori, adventure and order, a lot else. Stimulating highbrow adventure.

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THE LOGICAL CORRELATES OF THE A PRIORI AND THE A POSTERIORI 433 INDEX 441 MIND AND THE WORLD-ORDER CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION ABOUT PHILOSOPHY IN GENERAL AND METAPHYSICS IN PARTICULAR. THE PROPER METHOD OF PHILOSOPHY The general character of any philosophy is likely to be determined by its initial assumptions and its method. When Descartes proposed to sweep the boards clean by doubting everything which admitted of doubt and announced the initial criterion of certainty to be the inner light of human reason, the distinguishing characteristics of the philosophic movement which resulted were thereby fixed* In similar fashion, the development from Locke to Hume is, for the most part, the logical consequence of the doctrine that the mind is a blank tablet on which experience writes.

Or if speculate we must, at least such speculation is in no special sense the philosopher's affair. It is true that metaphysics has always been the dumping ground for problems which are only partly philosophic. Questions of the nature of life and mind, for example, are of this mixed sort. In part such issues wait upon further data from the sciences, from biology and physical-chemistry and psychology; THE METHOD OF PHILOSOPHY 5 in part they are truly philosophic, since they turn upon questions of the fundamental criteria of classification and principles of interpretation.

And perhaps the good and the right are relatively simple in their ultimate nature. But the adjective "real" is systematically ambiguous and can have a single meaning only in a special sense. The ascription of reality to the content of any particular experience is always eliptical: some qualification— material reality, psychic reality, mathematical reality—is always understood. And whatever is real in one such sense will be unreal in others. Conversely, every given content of experience is a reality of some sort or other; so that the problem of distinguishing real from unreal, the principles of which metaphysics seeks to formulate, is always a problem of right understanding, of referring the given experience to its proper category.

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