Volume 43, Issue 4, December 2003
H. P. McDonald
First Philosophy in the Pragmatic Humanism of F.C.S. Schiller
During his lifetime, F.C.S. Schiller was viewed as a major figure in the pragmatist movement, but his reputation has faded. This article will challenge the view that he was an unoriginal or less important figure. In particular, I will attempt a reconstruction of Schiller’s position on first philosophy, which will examine the differences between Schiller and the other major figures in the pragmatist movement. By using texts from Schiller’s writings, I attempt to create an undistorted reconstruction of what he wrote in order to support this interpretation. I outline the implicit system contained in Schiller’s scattered writings and briefly examine the relation between Schiller’s humanism and other forms of pragmatism. The task seems both justified and worthwhile, since his work has been neglected, despite his prominence in the debates over pragmatism that took place when it emerged at the beginning of the twentieth century.