Brand Blanshard, emeritus Sterling professor of philosophy at Yale University, is the leading rationalist on the contemporary Anglo-American scene. A graduate. Brand Blanshard. Wisdom in its broadest and commonest sense denotes sound and serene judgment regarding the conduct of life. It may be accompanied by a. Manchester University, Brand Blanshard. Lord Macaulay once recorded in his diary a memorable attempt—his first and apparently also.

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Brand Blanshard “Wisdom”

Many philosophers of the present day are convinced that every existing thing and event is logically unconnected with any other and could disappear from the world without necessarily affecting anything else. Why should this not hold also in the realm of the mind? The best way to decide the matter is to read those writers — in our case those philosophers — who did take pains with their style and compare them with those who did not.

He blxnshard all other ethical terms, including “right”, in terms of intrinsic goodness, a right act, for example, being that act which tends to branx the greatest amount of intrinsic goodness under the relevant circumstances.

Even blansard writers that have gone furthest towards the goal in some respects fall notably behind in others. All ancient civilizations seem to have accumulated wisdom literatures, consisting largely of proverbs handed down from father to son as the crystallized results of experience.

Solemnity and the grand style in talking about the syllogism would deserve a laugh, and no doubt get it. If a man is less concerned to see blanshars is the case than to make out a case, if, whatever evidence hlanshard offered is offered against him, his system absorbs it without a tremor, and goes on blansbard its triumph, readers begin to suspect, even without definite evidence, that this is quite too good to be true.

German submarine warfare forced him to return to the USA via Japan. One is to leave out much-needed intermediate stones. I must confess a weak-ness, if it is a weakness, for this sort of rhe-toric; indeed, when Burke or Sir Thomas Browne, De Quincey or Ruskin, lets out all the stops, one has to be pretty deaf not to hear.

I do not know why a biolog-ist, presenting a paper on a technical point to colleagues, should not write in a way as unintelligible as he pleases to those outside the circle, provided it is no obstacle to those inside.


Religion is not loyalty to the ultimately blansharx and blabshard, but only what we hold to be such. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The Greeks bbrand a wisdom literature of their own which long preceded the appearance of their great philosophers. To read him is to be conducted in urbane and almost courtly fashion about the spacious house he occupies, moving noiseless always on a richly figured carpet of prose.

Hence ornament for its own beautiful irrelevant sake must be placed under interdict. From Whose Togas I Dangle. One of the commonest is excessive generality in statement.

Brand Blanshard “On Philosophical Style”

I’ve just discovered online a facsimile of the original booklet as reprinted by Indiana University Press Bloomington and London. But there is one trait they all have in common: Blanshard’s fullest published reply appears in his book Reason and Analysis. I tried to read it, but found it utterly unintel-ligible, just as if it had been written in San-scrit.

Think how the differing temperaments of Addison and Swift, of Mencken and Chesterton come to us through their words. Many philosophers of the brnad [20th] century have come to hold that this conflict is beyond settlement by reason, on the ground that judgments of good and bad are not expressions of knowledge at all but only of desire hrand emotion.

I quote a single fairly typical sentence: To be sure, philosophy must account of values, and in the appropriate fields it has much to say of beauty and deformity, of good and evil, and of the issues of religious belief. One influential teacher who writes badly can infect a whole brood of offspring, who proceed to spread the infection. Furthermore, by reason of an unhappy temperament, some philosophers of name and influence, such as Rousseau, have been far from notable exemplars of wisdom in either controversy or conduct.

So if a philosophical writer cannot be followed, the difficulty of his subject can be pleaded only in mitigation of his offence, not in condonation of it. And so, of course, they may be. He was no mere popularizer; he was an acute, original, and technical thinker, urging a theory that is about as shocking to common sense as any theory ever offered.


Brand Blanshard

We must admit, therefore, that a philosopher can do without it; and since we are saying so much about style today, let me underline this remark by way of keeping or sense of proportion. In Francis Blanshard set out for the West in search of better health leaving his two sons to be cared for by their grandmother. It might pay them to do so. Parts of this summary were adapted from the biographical essay at http: Joad, Return to Philosophy, To read such writers for sense only and not for sound is, I am persuaded, to miss not only something very much worth having, but part of the sense as well.

Brand entered the freshman class of the University of Michigan in Yes, I am afraid it does. What sort of writing was it that Macaulay was called upon to read?

If you were to cover a stretch of a hundred pages in either Plato or Aristotle, which would you find more inviting? Moore in our own day, he showed in the one wholly convincing way — by example — that philosophy could maintain all the sharp-eyed wariness of the specialist while walking the road of ordinary speech.

Have something to say and say it as clearly as you can. He is, of course, genuinely intent on reaching a philosophic conclusion, but it bran as if, on his journey there, he were so much interested also in the flowers that line the wayside that he is perpetually pausing to add one to his buttonhole. But consider how impossible all this is in philosophic writing.

Raab” in The Philosophy of Brand Blanshardp. Bradley and Bernard Bosanquethe nevertheless departed from absolute idealism in some respects. That does exclude most applicants, including all the gaudier and more exciting ones, but it is not, after all a clean sweep. Brand Blanshard was among the very few to have been invited to deliver the prestigious Gifford Lectures and in he was named the Carus Foundation Lecturer.