Science and Sentiment in America

Philosophical Thought from Jonathan Edwards to John Dewey

Science and Sentiment in America: Philosophical Thought from Jonathan Edwards to John Dewey (Oxford University Press, 1972), by Morton White, Professor Emeritus in the School of Historical Studies, is a study of American philosophy from Jonathan Edwards in the eighteenth century to John Dewey in the twentieth, which explores the development of national thought and society. White examines several different views of science espoused by major American thinkers and shows how these views affected their attitudes toward the central institutions of civilization. He emphasizes that their response to the challenge of science and modern scientific method was part of a broader tendency of the period from Edwards to Dewey: the tendency to think that philosophy is obliged to deal with the more general problems of civilized life and not merely with technical questions of interest to philosophers alone. In this volume, White explores the ways in which several American philosophers tried to limit the sway of reason and experience by appealing to sentiment or feeling in confronting these problems.