Ralph Barton Perry

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Perry, Ralph Barton

 

Born July 3, 1876, in Poultney, Vt., died Jan. 22, 1957, in Cambridge, Mass. American idealist philosopher and representative of new realism.

Perry was a professor at Harvard University from 1913 to 1946. He studied under W. James and later became his biographer. After beginning his philosophical career with a critique of the idealism of J. Royce (1901-02), Perry published Present Philosophical Tendencies (1912), in which he formulated the basic tenets of the new realist theory of knowledge. He was one of the authors of the new realist manifesto (1910) and the anthology The New Realism (1912). In the mid-1920’s he began concentrating on ethical and political problems, viewing values as “functions of interest” (General Theory of Value, 1926, and other works). In his sociopolitical views, Perry was a proponent of bourgeois democracy.

WORKS

The Thought and Character of William James, vols. 1-2. Boston, 1935.
Puritanism and Democracy. New York, 1944.
Realms of Value: A Critique of Human Civilization. Cambridge, Mass., 1968.

REFERENCES

Hill, T. E. Sovremennye teorii poznaniia. Moscow, 1965. (Translated from English.)
Bogomolov, A. S. Burzhuaznaia filosofiia SShA 20 v. Moscow, 1974.