Wilmon H. Sheldon’s Philosophy of Philosophy

  • Andrew J. Reck
Part of the Tulane Studies in Philosophy book series (TUSP, volume 7)


Philosophy is doubtless the noblest and, at the same time, if we judge by overt results, the most futile of human enter-prises.” 1 Although on the contemporary scene allegations of the futility of philosophy outnumber and overwhelm avowals of its nobility, to him who is actively engaged in philosophy its nobility should need no recommendation. Whether his task be the analysis and criticism of received social, scientific and religious statements, or the reconstruction of principles and categories indispensable to correct theories or sound policies of action, or, highest of all, the creative preoccupation with the expression of a new vision of reality in a comprehensive philosophical system, the philosopher need not doubt the intrinsic value of his work. All the commonplaces concede that putatively insight, wisdom, truth are the veritable rewards of philosophy. On the other hand, some thinkers, born in this age of anxiety, have amended the commonplaces to imply that even if the insight were a vacuous gaze into sheer nothing or, worse still, the penetration into unutterable evil and ugliness, even if the truth prove to be an ineffectual wail in the face of cosmic meaninglessness, then the philosopher would at least have the value of his gaze and the significance of his truth. W. M. Urban pointed out several decades ago that, should the worst be true, the philosopher in discovering it so would have added the values of truth and meaning to the world.


Total Truth Philosophic System Productive Duality Polar Category Favored Category 
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  1. 1.
    Wilmon H. Sheldon, God and Polarity: A Synthesis of Philosophies (New Haven, 1954), P. 3.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Wilmon H. Sheldon, Strife of Systems and Productive Duality (Cambridge, 1918 ), p. 18.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Wilmon H. Sheldon, Process and Polarity (New York, 1944), p. 10.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Department of Philosophy, Tulane University 1958

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  • Andrew J. Reck

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