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T. S. Eliot and American Philosophy: The Harvard Years

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Overview

Manju Jain's innovative study of T. S. Eliot's Harvard years traces the genesis of his major literary, religious, and intellectual preoccupations in his early work as a student of philosophy, and explores its influence on his poetic and critical practice. His concerns were located within the mainstream of Harvard philosophical debates, especially in relation to the controversy of science versus religion. These questions (and Eliot's work as he grappled with them) point forward to important debates in later philosophy and hermeneutics, especially on such issues as the implications of a relativist historiography, the objectivism of the social sciences, the role and status of interpretation, the critique of foundational knowledge, and the revival of pragmatism. Drawing extensively on unpublished sources, Manju Jain offers answers to the question of why Eliot failed to find satisfaction in an academic career devoted to philosophy (in spite of its close relationship to his literary concerns), and why he abandoned the speculations of metaphysics for the dogmas of theology. Her conclusions offer major new insights into Eliot's early years as an important philosophical source for his poetry and critical thought.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Manju Jain does a remarkable job showing how serious Eliot really was about philosophy, and how much talent he had in this area. Jain provides a strikingly comprehensive bibliography, as well as an appendix listing the courses Eliot took while at Harvard. This is an excellent starting point for study of his writings, and from Jain's portrayal there seems to be a great deal of interesting material waiting to be discovered. Besides cultivating an interest in looking at Eliot's work as a philosopher, her book also shows the depth of the turn of the century philosophical milieu at Harvard....Manju Jain has opened the door to an exciting new range of possibilities." Matthew Stephens, Canadian Philosophical Reviews
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521417662
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1993
  • Pages: 364
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 Eliot and Unitarianism 13
2 Eliot and Harvard: 'An attenuated Santayana'? 25
3 Eliot, Babbitt, and Paris 40
4 The 'Golden Age' of American philosophy: Eliot's early philosophical studies 60
5 Josiah Royce's seminar 112
6 The 'varieties' of psychological and mystical experience 159
7 Eliot, Bradley and Knowledge and Experience: 'that magnificent vision, into the apparent chaos' 205
Conclusion 244
Appendix: list of courses taken by Eliot while at Harvard 252
Notes 257
Select bibliography 313
Index 332
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