The Study of Man: Future-mindedness
THE English philosopher R. G. Collingwood’s autobiographical account of his development provides a convincing demonstration of how good it would be if every professional thinker wrote his intellectual autobiography as a normal part of his life’s work: especially if he is English or American. And the stress must be at least as much on “autobiography” as on “intellectual.” For Collingwood above all makes one see that the way he came to hold his beliefs, ideas, alignments, and oppositions was an integral part of their structure.
One of the reasons why most English and American academic or professional philosophers ignore or would not take kindly to this proposal may be that they are committed to a kind of assimilation to science, and have, whether wittingly or not, been over-impressed by certain inseparable characteristics of scientific thinking-its objectivity and apparent certainty. Particularly in Anglo-Saxon philosophizing, anything subjective and personal seems to be something to be overcome. It is equated with the “emotive” or with “psychologism,” so that as a method, introspection is hardly respectable.
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