As Nelson points out in his biographical sketch: Though Boodin was awed by James – the very man he had most wanted to meet – he proceeded during the discussion period to ridicule some of the points James had made. ‘Grant an idea or belief to be true,’ it says, ‘what concrete difference will its being true make in anyone’s actual life? Qualitative research is often associated with interpretivism, but alternatives do exist. Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement, A digital resources portal for the humanities and social sciences, 4. Peirce, for example, published many of his most important papers for. “The truth of an idea or plan,” he writes, “must be tested by the procedure to which it leads.”, . Suzuki 1962). 40Ontologically, atoms, according to Boodin, have the status of energy centers: they must be conceived as “more or less stable dynamic clusters within dynamic systems” (ibid. It was he who encouraged the younger men in the field to break with tradition, to explore new possibilities and new horizons.” (Werkmeister 1949: 371). 1, edited by George P. Adams & William Pepperell Montague, New York, Macmillan,135-66. I hope that for the rest of his life he will remain as buoyant and spirited as he has ever been, and will meet with unlimited recognition. Misak Cheryl, (2013), The American Pragmatists, Oxford, Oxford University Press. Boodin 1916: 33). Critical Realism and Pragmatism. The Social Mind: Foundations of Social Philosophy. However, James’s influence upon them was obviously the trend-setting factor. Accordingly, relativity is “a fundamental characteristic of energy systems” (ibid. Thus the weight of a body varies at different points of the surface of the earth; it is, in other words, a function of the attraction of the earth. In the preface to that book he made the following announcement: Just as in “Pragmatic Realism” (which was included as chapter XIV in, ), Boodin divorces himself from any metaphysical reading of the realist stance. Sellars (1922: 72-3) and the reconstruction in Slurink 1996. Whereas, is, Boodin writes, “a volume on metaphysics”, . For the best answers, search on this site https://shorturl.im/avVDP. 1920: vi). In some cases, even nowadays it is unclear, where exactly pragmatism and realism part their ways (see in this connection, for example, the writings of the late Hilary Putnam). See, in this connection, Kuklick (2001: 202-3). In that paper, Boodin again, and more explicitly, draws the connection between pragmatism and realism. critical realism; pragmatism. […] The reality we seek to know may ultimately be more experience – yes, we must be willing to have it turn out to be an absolute unity of thought, if the procedure of truth leads that way. This paper juxtaposes critical realism with the influential tradition of pragmatism in . Rather, idealism was a multifaceted movement. However, as Sellars repeatedly stressed (see, for example, Sellars 1924: 383), there existed two “wings” within the critical realist movement: a metaphysical (“essentialist”) wing, primarily represented by the work of Santayana, and an empirical (“naturalist”) wing, primarily represented by Sellars’s own contributions. More generally, “[p]roperties have no meaning for science, except as energy determinations, characteristics within energy systems” (ibid. 43Much the same is asserted by Boodin when we writes: As opposed to the assumption of things in themselves with properties in themselves, functional realism holds in common with present science that the bifurcation of thing and environment is vicious, that things exist only in fields, in mutuality with other things, and that they have properties only in their dynamic interrelations. However, as Sellars repeatedly stressed (see, for example, Sellars 1924: 383), there existed two “wings” within the critical realist movement: a metaphysical (“essentialist”) wing, primarily represented by the work of Santayana, and an empirical (“naturalist”) wing, primarily represented by Sellars’s own contributions. Boodin John Elof, (1930), “Nature and Reason,” in Contemporary American Philosophy: Personal Statements, vol. At one of the Philosophy Club’s meetings, James gave a talk titled “Is Life Worth Living?”. The knower and the known are related through certain energetic dependencies. 15 of, , published in 1909. , insisted upon the interrelatedness of physical objects, perceiving organisms and their environment. Besides idealism, neo-realism, and pragmatism there existed a further influential movement, namely so-called, realism. 31Just as in “Pragmatic Realism” (which was included as chapter XIV in Truth and Reality), Boodin divorces himself from any metaphysical reading of the realist stance. Sellars Roy Wood, (1969), Reflections on American Philosophy from Within, Notre Dame, University of Notre Dame Press. But the artists get practice and the temple is first of all a school for artists. Reflecting on his own philosophical development, especially on his time at Harvard,10 he provides the reader with the following picture: The temple where I spend most of my time is an unfinished Gothic sort of structure, where many artists are at work, each in his own way. The Ostwald-Boltzmann Controvery, and Mach’s (Unnoticed) Middle-Way,”. At any rate, the emigration to the United States fundamentally changed Boodin’s overall outlook. In James’s words, the same message reads thus: “The ‘absolutely’ true, meaning what no farther experience will ever alter, is that ideal vanishing-point towards which we imagine that all our temporary truths will some day converge. by the assertion that: To be means simply to express, to embody the complete internal meaning of a certain absolute system of ideas, – a system, moreover, which is genuinely implied in the true internal meaning of purpose of every finite idea, however fragmentary.” (Royce 1900, 36). 23All of this sounds pretty Jamesian.12 And the same holds true for the following passage (although it could likewise be read before the Peircean background): Is pragmatism realistic? Philosophy like poetry and art, when it is genuine, is only the expression of a mood of the soul, and it is not always for the artist to tell what mood is most significant. James’s conception of philosophy stands, according to Boodin, in that very tradition. A certain form of, Ontologically, atoms, according to Boodin, have the status of energy centers: they must be conceived as “more or less stable dynamic clusters within dynamic systems” (, : 83). As Sellars further points out, critical realism is a “mediate” (77) position. Learning takes place by doing, by discovering. Its verity is in fact an event, a process: the process namely of its verifying itself, its veri-, .” (James  2017: 74). This becomes particularly clear from Lovejoy’s contribution to the 1920 essay volume. Key Difference – Pragmatism vs Idealism Pragmatism and idealism are two opposing philosophical approaches. : 151). The education philosophy can be broken down into four main schools of thought: Idealism, Realism, Pragmatism and Existentialism. : 225). For further details, see Werkmeister 1949, chapters 5-9. But already two years earlier they had published “The Program and First Platform of Six Realists.” In this manifesto, they came along with a couple of – more or less general – realist theses. My principal thesis is that, in the last analysis, Boodin failed in establishing a stable systematic point of view. For further details, see Ostwald 1895 and the reconstruction in Neuber 2002. Idealism, on the other hand, would hold that there is strictly only one unity of consciousness and that existence is a function of being part of a significant system. Maybe his Swedish rural growing up, as it were, predestined him in terms of viewing the world from a primarily realistic point of view. 17James’s conception of philosophy stands, according to Boodin, in that very tradition. John E. Boodin will be remembered by the readers of The Monist for his article ‘Philosophic Tolerance’ (April, 1908) in which he supported the pragmatism of Professor James. And he had no money. , published in 1911, that Boodin directly replied to that comment. The critical realists – philosophers such as Durant Drake, George Santayana, Roy Wood Sellars and the already mentioned Arthur O. Lovejoy – shared the neo-realists’ rejection of idealism. In the preface to that book he made the following announcement: In the bewildering amount of discussion and misunderstanding to which the pragmatic movement has led, there is need for fresh emphasis of the main issues. in pragmatism. There, he primarily studied with the American idealist Josiah Royce and came in closer (friendship-like) contact with James. According to Nelson, “Boodin lived in the continual hope that times would change and that people would increasingly look to his work […] as a source of sanity, value, and enlightenment. At that time, Harvard no doubt was the stronghold of (the still quite young) American philosophy. (Boodin 1909: 627). Carus Paul, (1908), “Pragmatism,” The Monist, 18, 321-62. Would Boodin have focused on Sellars’s account of critical realism, his critique, I maintain, would not have worked. The founder of Pragmatism is Mr. Charles S. Peirce, and its standard bearer, Prof. William James of Harvard. Professor Boodin has not made use of the invitation, but prefers to offer to the readers of The Monist an exposition of his views without reference to the controversy in question.” (Editorial Comment to Boodin 1910: 614). They both assume that to say that substances and qualities exist independently of the environment has a meaning. Be that as it may, the particularly realistic element in Boodin’s approach to pragmatism had obviously to do with his European, Swedish, roots. In fact, the actual problem is to understand why Boodin thinks his own approach needs to be so sharply distinguished from critical realism. Among Boodin’s fellow graduate students were the later influential realist philosophers Arthur O. Lovejoy, William Pepperell Montague, Edwin B. Holt, and Ralph Barton Perry. “In art,” he maintains, “the selective activity is for the sake of permanent objects of enjoyment; in metaphysics, for the sake of understanding. Pragmatism is based on four things: possibility, probability, feasibility and immediate effectiveness. After a short time working in a “low vein” mine owned by the Quincy Coal Company, Boodin attended Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, in 1890-91 where he studied Latin, Greek, Swedish, and Geometry. For the latter, see the insightful reconstruction in Slater 2011. had evolved as an anti-idealistic movement. John Elof, (1908), “Philosophic Tolerance. James’s books and articles published during the first decade of the twentieth century contain many realistic tendencies, and not less than seven of the leading realists – Drake, Montague, Perry, Pratt, Santayana, Sellars, and Strong – have repeatedly stated that their philosophical position was determined by James.” (Werkmeister 1949: 371). See, in this connection, his extended critique of James’s variant of pragmatism in Carus 1908. 1 For a comprehensive account of Boodin’s life and work, see Nelson 1984 (on which I primarily draw here). (Drake et al. Finally, concluding remarks ensue. Boodin therefore declares: “We must hold to the pragmatic postulate that energy is what it does.”, . I have met him repeatedly and have felt the sympathetic charm of his personality. The molecule, which, thanks to Perrin, has now been definitely identified and measured, seems like a distinct stopping place, if we would preserve the character of the compound. Thus, in section 2 of this paper, I shall provide some information concerning Boodin’s life and work, and, in section 3, I shall reflect on the philosophical situation in the United States during the first two decades of the twentieth century. For further details, see Ostwald 1895 and the reconstruction in Neuber 2002. , as it was primarily established in the German-speaking area by thinkers such as Wilhelm Ostwald and Georg Helm. : 83). Online: [journals.openedition.org/ejpap/945]. He argued: An hypothesis, whether of atoms or morals, God or devil, is true because it works. In a small way, this book tries to serve both purposes. Boodin John Elof, (1934), “Functional Realism,” The Philosophical Review, 43, 147-78. 9Before discussing the details and the development of Boodin’s philosophical position, it is instructive to take a brief look at the surrounding philosophical context. It is all but astonishing that Boodin continues thus: ’s editors (most probably Carus) laconically commented upon this claim by raising the following question: “If pragmatism avowedly accepts the scientific method, would it not be better to call it the ‘Philosophy of Science’?” (Editorial Comment to Boodin 1910: 614). […] It is nonsense to speak of an hypothesis, which is our meaning or attitude, as true previous to verification; but previous to verification there exist certain conditions, which make some hypotheses come true.” (Boodin 1911b: 228). (Ibid.). The concluding remarks of this paper are sufficiently explicit: “Personally, I have a decided liking for Professor James, and I am sure that in expressing it I voice the opinion of many. The principle aim of this paper was to establish “functional” realism as a “third way” within the realist movement. For him, as for James, truth, “so far as we are finite seekers are concerned, is a limit which we are far from having realized. Consequently, the Jamesian reduction of truth to verification turns out to be insufficient. Summing up thus far, it can be stated that Boodin, when he entered the American philosophical scene, encountered a confusing, if not chaotic, diversity of programs, movements and related -isms. Thus in 1920 they published their Essays in Critical Realism, which was subtitled “A Cooperative Study of the Problem of Knowledge.”7 In the preface to that volume, the authors pointed out: The doctrine here defended, while definitely realistic, is distinctly different from the “new” realism of the American group, whose volume, published in 1912, was a signal example of the value of co-operative effort in crystallizing and advertising a point of view in philosophy. This becomes obvious from his rejection of Kantian “things-in-themselves” (cf. 1, edited by George P. Adams & William Pepperell Montague, New York, Macmillan,135-66. At any rate, Boodin’s contributions to the complex discussion of realism, pragmatism, and their mutual relationship are worth reconsidering. Consequently, the Jamesian reduction of truth to verification turns out to be insufficient.17. Whereas Truth and Reality is, according to its subtitle, an “Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge,” A Realistic Universe is, according to its subtitle, an “Introduction to Metaphysics.” Boodin’s 1934 “Functional Realism” doesn’t contain any mentioning of pragmatism or pragmatic elements. It is only when pursued in this spirit that metaphysics can take rank as a science, and, at least in its ideal, as the science of sciences. After his stay at Harvard, Boodin had a couple of academic positions in the United States, culminating with his becoming Faculty Research Lecturer at U.C.L.A. Even during his lifetime, Boodin had the impression that his philosophical contributions were not sufficiently appreciated. 42As a programmatic characterization, this diagnosis is false. 10). As a programmatic characterization, this diagnosis is false. […] It is nonsense to speak of an hypothesis, which is our meaning or attitude, as true previous to verification; but previous to verification there exist certain conditions, which make some hypotheses come true.” (Boodin 1911b: 228). Boodin died in 1950. In the same year, he was elected to membership in the permanent council of the World Congress of Philosophy. And it is more than obvious that his principal inspirations were promoted by his tight academic contacts with James and Royce at Harvard. Pragmatism is a philosophical approach that evaluates theories or beliefs in terms of the success of their practical application. Ostwald 1895) energetics (or “energism”) qualifies as an. As, again, Werkmeister points out: “It is evident […] that James, who never regarded himself as a realist, was the intellectual godfather of the realistic movement in America. We must confess that we do not share the enthusiasm of the pragmatism movement, and not join its ranks. There were many kinds of idealism (and many pre-eminent idealists) in the United States around the 1890s, such as the Hegelian-inspired St. Louis Group around Henry C. Brokmeyer and William Harris, the “personalisms” of Borden Parker Bowne and George H. Howison and several explicitly religious versions of idealism. Accordingly, metaphysics “implies, and furnishes the inspirations of, the special sciences”, . This plan didn’t work out, but Boodin received a funded scholarship at nearby Brown University. As Nelson points out in his biographical sketch: In 1897, Boodin eventually entered Harvard (on a Hopkins scholarship). Going in the very same direction, Montague stated that “the existence of a thing is not correlated with or dependent upon the fact that anybody experiences it, perceives it, conceives it, or is in any way aware of it” (Montague in Holt et al. In 1932-33 he had already served as president of the American Philosophical Association, Western Division. In its opening paragraph the following is clarified: “Prof. 34In the preface to his 1916 Realistic Universe, Boodin delivered a couple of programmatic clarifications. His own approach, Boodin maintains, “has little in common with it [i.e., new realism; M.N.] Just as in the case of Ostwald (cf. Boodin attended the talk. 4 See Randall 1966. It makes definite and articulate what was only implied before. 47Regarding pragmatism, it is interesting to note that Boodin does not make any mention of it in “Functional Realism.” To be sure, at two places he casually refers to James (1934: 161) and to Dewey (1934: 171). Boodin, although invited to do so (see below, fn. The present paper is devoted to a systematic reconstruction of the philosophical approach of the Swedish-born thinker John Elof Boodin (1869-1950). And he continues: The ultimate realities with which metaphysics deals are no less plastic in the hands of the potter than the realities of art. It is these questions that I finally want to briefly address. However, one of his brothers had settled in Colchester some time before. In some cases, even nowadays it is unclear, where exactly pragmatism and realism part their ways (see in this connection, for example, the writings of the late Hilary Putnam). In fact, the actual problem is to understand why Boodin thinks his own approach needs to be so sharply distinguished from critical realism. At one of the Philosophy Club’s meetings, James gave a talk titled “Is Life Worth Living?”. Its verity is in fact an event, a process: the process namely of its verifying itself, its veri-fication.” (James  2017: 74). (Boodin 1934: 148). Boodin John Elof, (1908), “Philosophic Tolerance. In Boodin’s words: The conception of energy has gradually supplanted the conception of matter as a universal ideal of description. Its accentuation of practice and consequences appeared as something “distinctively American” (Sellars 1969: 27). The energy concept simply proves to be more general than the concept of matter. The following passages from James’s 1907 lecture series might corroborate this diagnosis: “Pragmatism […] asks its usual question. It is simply the application of the ordinary method of the scientific testing of an hypothesis to philosophic hypotheses as well. , Boodin delivered a couple of programmatic clarifications. 3 The role of a pragmatist paradigm when adopting mixed methods in behavioural accounting research 1 Introduction In recent years, there has been an increase in what has become known as mixed methods research. And indeed, it were (among others) some of Royce’s best students who stood at the forefront of a new movement in early twentieth-century American philosophy. true by events. (Boodin 1911b: 216). It is apparent that Boodin seeks some sort of “idealized” as well as “humanized” conception of reality and truth. There he studied philosophy and received his master’s degree in 1896. Misak 2013). Editorial Comment to Boodin, (1908), The Monist, 18, 306. 9 See, in this connection, already Lovejoy 1908; further, for an evaluation, Kuklick 2017. A Winter Revery.” It appeared in The Monist in 1908. Boodin transferred his college studies to the University of Minnesota and made acquaintance with the work of William James. Strong (eds), (1920), Essays in Critical Realism: A Co-Operative Study in the Problem of Knowledge, London, Macmillan. Remember that American realism had emerged in two forms, “new” and “critical” realism. However, James’s theory of. James’s books and articles published during the first decade of the twentieth century contain many realistic tendencies, and not less than seven of the leading realists – Drake, Montague, Perry, Pratt, Santayana, Sellars, and Strong – have repeatedly stated that their philosophical position was determined by James.” (Werkmeister 1949: 371). Accordingly, a fusion of pragmatism and realism seemed to be, among the younger Harvard generation. experience, at any rate, seems to depend in many ways upon an extra-experiential constitution” (1916: 16). See, in this connection, Kuklick (, It can hardly surprise that statements like these provoked a. . He presented the new version at a subsequent meeting of the Brown Philosophy Club that year. Whereas, is, according to its subtitle, an “Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge,”. We will see later why. Ostwald 1895) energetics (or “energism”) qualifies as an alternative to the materialistic point of view. to the materialistic point of view. But already two years earlier they had published “The Program and First Platform of Six Realists.” In this manifesto, they came along with a couple of – more or less general – realist theses. In, he changes this sort of attitude in favor of what might be called a. of metaphysics. His main target in “Functional Realism” is George Santayana’s Skepticism and Animal Faith from 1923 (see Boodin 1934: 149-57). For the time being, it is important to note that, according to Boodin, any talk of truth requires some basis in the extra-mental realm. He points out: While such a theory, with abundant illustrations from natural science, accounts for how knowledge can control the world of processes, it leaves us in the dark as to the real question – the relevancy of knowledge to its object. At that time the editor asked him to make a reply to comments on his views in the editorial article which appeared in the following issue [cf. 16Boodin’s chronologically first publication to be considered here is a paper titled “Philosophic Tolerance. In 1899, Boodin finished his dissertation on “The Concept of Time.”. The Ostwald-Boltzmann Controvery, and Mach’s (Unnoticed) Middle-Way,” in Michael Heidelberger & Friedrich Stadler (eds), History of Philosophy of Science: New Trends and Perspectives, Dordrecht, Kluwer, 185-98. All good social research has ontological foundations, which means a theory of what there is to study, even if these are not explicitly stated. Would Boodin have focused on Sellars’s account of critical realism, his critique, I maintain, would not have worked. But for all that I can not agree with or accept the philosophy of the great Harvard Professor, and I go so far as to look upon its wide acceptance as a symptom of the immaturity and naivite that obtains sometimes even in the professional circles of our universities. Being fascinated by the latter’s academic contributions Boodin became eager to study under James at Harvard. In Royce’s opinion, there is no way out of our “absolute system of ideas.” Reality itself is an idea, and it is for this reason that Royce, quite frankly, states: “[W]e propose to answer the question: What is to be? (Peirce’s paper had the title “What Pragmatism Is”). 17 In his Pragmatism, James explicitly states that „[t]ruth happens to an idea. Thus one can read in his book, Werkmeister writes in this connection: “James was instrumental in preparing the way for realism. 15 of The Monist, published in 1909. It was the greatest disappointment of his life that this did not happen.” (Nelson 1984: 145). Yet, the philosophical scenario in the 1910s and 1920s was quite complex. Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition that began in the United States around 1870. However, James’s theory of truth is, according to Boodin, only a halfway house. “Truth in science is what gives us the maximum possible sum of satisfaction, taste included, but consistency both with previous truth and with novel fact is always the most imperious claimant.” (Ibid. We must interpolate, somehow, realities which are not immediate experience.” (1916: 20). Pragmatism and Critical Realism - Transcending Descartes’ Either/Or? “In it,” Sellars writes, “both pragmatism of a chastened sort and neo-realism of a less doctrinaire type may ultimately find the satisfaction of their insights.”, . DeForge, R., Shaw, J.: Back-and fore-grounding ontology: exploring the linkages between critical realism, pragmatism, and methodologies in health & rehabilitation sciences. Thus in 1920 they published their, , which was subtitled “A Cooperative Study of the Problem of Knowledge.”. It is for this reason that Boodin assumes that things cannot be infinitely divisible. Moreover, the little town housed around one hundred Swedish immigrants, which in turn helped Boodin to work for the Episcopal Church during the first few years. It therefore functions at a level similar to that occupied by such philosophies as Positivism and Interpretivism. Philosopher-Poet,”, Matthias, (2002), “Physics Without Pictures? Critical Realism (CR) is a philosophy of science that is based around a number of ontological principles. For one thing, he stressed that, and the present volume “furnish a survey of the field of general philosophy from the point of view of pragmatic realism” (Boodin 1916: vii). 14), did not contribute to that volume. In his opinion, “the doctrine commonly put forward as ‘pragmatism’ may be said to be a changeling, substituted almost in the cradle” (Lovejoy 1920: 80). Boodin John Elof, (1911a), “From Protagoras to William James,” The Monist, 21, 73-91. On the other hand, it should be seen that his entire academic education took place in the United States. At any rate, Boodin starts his article with the following characterization: As Boodin further makes it clear, the pragmatist holds that the truth of a hypothesis stands in close connection to human habit and conduct. critical realism. ch. III). John E. Boodin will be remembered by the readers of, for his article ‘Philosophic Tolerance’ (April, 1908) in which he supported the pragmatism of Professor James. Royce Josiah, (1900), The World and the Individual, First Series, New York, Macmillan. As for Boodin’s philosophical work, it should be mentioned first that he is characterized by Shook as one of the twelve “major figures” (Shook 1998: xiii) of pragmatism. “The truth of an idea or plan,” he writes, “must be tested by the procedure to which it leads.” (Ibid.). URL: http://journals.openedition.org/ejpap/1547; DOI: https://doi.org/10.4000/ejpap.1547, Universität Tübingenmatthias.neuber[at]uni-tuebingen.de. As a matter of fact, it was in this context that he personally encountered James for the first time. “Why,” he asks, “should a man’s soul be crowded into one system of philosophy?” (1908: 302). Boodin John Elof, (1916), A Realistic Universe: An Introduction to Metaphysics, New York, Macmillan. For a comprehensive account of Boodin’s life and work, see Nelson 1984 (on which I primarily draw here). Matter is applicable only within a limited field.