The area now covered by Texas was occupied by three major indigenous cultures, which had reached their developmental peak before the arrival of European explorers and are known from archaeology.
References and Further Reading 1. From the "Mayflower Compact," penned in as the early English settlers arrived in the New World, basic socio-political positions were made explicit and fundamental to newly established communities.
Speaking of forming a covenant to "combine ourselves into a civil Body Politic," those arriving on the Mayflower immediately identified a close and ineliminable connection between individuals and their community. This sentiment was echoed in founding documents of other colonies, such as the Fundamental European colonization during the nineteenth century essay of Connecticut and the Massachusetts Body of Liberties Likewise, the writings of prominent early colonial leaders, such as John Winthrop emphasized "the care of the public must oversway all private respects…for it is a true rule that particular estates cannot subsist in the ruin of the public.
From the earliest concerns, then, even prior to the establishment of the United States, the social and political issues of the relation of individuals to their communities as well as the nature of the communities themselves that is, as secular or religious were paramount.
Far and away the most significant thinker of the first half of the 18th century for American Philosophy was Jonathan Edwards Frequently characterized as trying to synthesize a Christian Platonism, with an emphasis on the reality of a spiritual world, with an empiricist epistemology, an emphasis on Lockean sensation and Newtonian corpuscular physics, Edwards drew directly from the thought of Bishop George Berkeley, who stressed the necessity of mind or non-material reality to make sense of human experience.
This non-material mind, for Edwards, consists of understanding and will, both of which are passive at root. It is understanding that, along lines of the successes of Newtonian physics, leads to the fundamental metaphysical category of Resistance, which Edwards characterizes as "the primary quality of objects.
Understanding, though, is different than will. Edwards is perhaps best known for his rejection of free will. As he remarked, "we can do as we please, but we cannot please as we please. Every act of will is connected to understanding, and thus determined.
Echoing the views of John Calvin, Edwards saw not good works, but the grace of God as the determiner of human fortune. While couched primarily in a religious context for Edwards but less so for others, the acceptance and adaptation of a Newtonian worldview was something shared by most American philosophers in the latter half of the 18th century.
These later thinkers, however, abandoned to a great extent the religious context and focused rather on social-political issues. Sharing many commitments of European philosophers of the Age of Enlightenment such as a reliance on reason and science, a broad faith in scientific and social progress along with a belief in the perfectibility of humans, a strong advocacy of political democracy and laissez-faire economicsmany of the famous names of American history identified themselves with this enlightenment thought.
While they attended very little to basic issues of metaphysics or epistemology, the Founding Fathers, such as Thomas JeffersonBenjamin Franklinand James Madisonwrote voluminously on social and political philosophy.
The American Declaration of Independence as well as the United States Constitution, with its initial amendments, better known as the Bill of Rights, was drafted at this time, with their emphasis on religious toleration. Though including explicit references to God, these thinkers tended to commit themselves in their writings less to Christianity per se and more to deism, the view of God as creator of a world governed by natural laws which they believed were explicated for the most part by Newton but not directly involved with human action.
For example, as early as and as late as Franklin spoke of God as world-creator and Jesus as providing a system of morality but with no direct commitment to the divinity of Jesus or to any organized church. Instead, a major focus of concern was the appropriate nature of the State and its relation to individuals.
While the thought of Thomas Jefferson, exemplified in the language of the Declaration of Independence, emphasized natural, inalienable rights of individuals against the tyranny of the State - with the legitimacy of the State only in securing the rights of individuals - federalists such as James Madison highlighted dangers of factional democracy, with his view of protecting both individual rights and the public good.
A Hegelian movement, centered in St. Louis and identified largely with its chief proponent, George Holmes Howisonoccurred in the second half of the nineteenth century, but was overshadowed by the rise of Pragmatism. Even the journal founded in by the St. Louis Hegelians, The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, became best known later on because of its publication of essays by the pragmatist Charles Peirce Where the thinkers of the American enlightenment stressed social and political concerns, based on a Newtonian mechanistic view of the world, the thinkers of American Transcendentalism took the emphasis on individuals and their relation to the community in a different direction.
This direction was based not on a mechanistic view of the world, but on an organic metaphor that stressed the subjective nature of human experience and existence. Highlighting personal experience and often even a fairly mystical holism, writers such as Ralph Waldo EmersonHenry David Thoreauand Walt Whitman argued for the priority of personal non-cognitive, emotional connections to nature and to the world as a whole.Disclaimer: This essay has been submitted by a student.
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The term “American Philosophy,” perhaps surprisingly, has been somewhat vague.
While it has tended to primarily include philosophical work done by Americans within the geographical confines of the United States, this has not been exclusively the case. Colonialism and Racism in the 19th Century. Throughout much of the 19th century, European powers used their financial wealth and technological advancements to colonize much of Asia and almost the entire continent of Africa.
The recorded history of Texas begins with the arrival of the first Spanish conquistadors in the region of North America now known as Texas in , who found the region populated by numerous Native American / Indian tribes. The Native Americans' ancestors had been there for more than 10, years as evidenced by the discovery of the remains of .
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