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ISBN 0-8126-9602-6

$49.95  paper

352 pages

(Fall 2006)

A Thoughtful Profession

The Early Years of the American Philosophical Association

James Campbell

A Thoughtful Profession offers a new, detailed, and surprising look at the golden age of American philosophy. It focuses on the activities of the two early philosophical associations that later merged with a third into the present American Philosophical Association in 1927, but it ranges far beyond the meetings and publications of these organizations.

While Campbell examines such enduring achievers as Peirce, James, Dewey, Royce, and Mead, he also describes a number of thinkers who were major influences at the time but have been subsequently neglected: Hartley Burr Alexander, Mary Whiton Calkins, Morris Raphael Cohen, James Edwin Creighton, Granville Stanley Hall, George Trumbull Ladd, Arthur Oncken Lovejoy, William Pepperell Montague, Hugo Münsterberg, Ralph Barton Perry, Frank Thilly, and James Hayden Tufts.

Presenting all these fascinating figures in their various interactions sheds a new light on American culture and intellectual life in the early twentieth century.

“Incomparably better than any previous scholarship has done, Campbell’s book explains how philosophy became a profession in the United States.”

—Peter H. Hare, author of A Woman’s Quest for Science (1985)

“Campbell traces the professionalization of philosophy with historical accuracy and conceptual sophistication. The current problems of the American Philosophical Association cannot be understood without the story of its development, illuminatingly related in this book.”

—John Lachs, author of In Love with Life (1998)

“Campbell’s account of the formation of the American Philosophical Association is a must read for anyone who would understand how philosophy in the United States became the academic philosophy of today. . . . A Thoughtful Profession does describe in rich detail and with uncommon insight a contextualized history of the organization of professional philosophy in the U.S.”

—Michael Eldridge, author of Transforming Experience: John Dewey’s Cultural Instrumentalism

“I cannot conceive of a more carefully, thoroughly researched and cogently presented limning of the early history of the American Philosophical Association. James Campbell is singularly judicious in his rendering of the events, interpersonal conflicts, and cultural contexts that are woven into the genesis of this fascinating maturation of philosophical thought as societally structured in America until 1926. Philosophically sophisticated, the work is an historical and interpretive tour de force.”

—John J. McDermott, General Editor, The Correspondence of William James

James Campbell is Distinguished University Professor at the University of Toledo. His writings include The Community Reconstructs: The Meaning of Pragmatic Social Thought (1992), Understanding John Dewey (1995), Recovering Benjamin Franklin (1999), and over fifty scholarly articles. He edited Selected Writings of James Hayden Tufts (1992).

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