The Self and its world in Ralph Barton Perry, Edgar Sheffield Brightman, Jean-Paul Sartre and Søren Kierkegard
Soper, William Wayne
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The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate, by an examination of four philosophic points of view, the nature of selfhood. Although their thoughts diverge, the common assumption of Ralph Barton Perry, Edgar Sheffield Brightman, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Soren Kierkegaard appears to be that the self, rather than society, nature, or God, is the root of morality. Perry's philosophy, operating from the springboard of his polemic against idealism, is an expression of his doctrine of scientific method: that reality, including the reality of the self, is best discovered when the distorting effects of the observing self are minimized. These distortions include the several "fallacies of idealism" as well as the general idealistic error of assuming that being and being known are synonymous. Removal of the distortions reveals a self integrated with nature; a) epistemologically, in that consciousness means a structural unity of the objects of consciousness without residue; b) naturalistically, in that responses of the self to its environment are those of a natural, organic entity; c) morally, in that interest is the determiner of value, and the consummation of values--harmonious happiness--is derivable from that interest.[TRUNCATED]
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University.