On Tuesday, August 14th at noon, Dr. Richard P. Mullin, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Wheeling Jesuit University, will discuss his new book: The Soul of Classical American Philosophy: The Ethical and Spiritual Insights of William James, Josiah Royce, and Charles Sanders Peirce.
Genuine philosophy signifies a way of life. William James pointed out that philosophy throws far-flashing beams of light without which we could not get along. James, Royce, and Peirce emphasized the primacy of ethics and the integration of rigorous scientific thinking with openness to religious faith.
The defining character of American philosophy is pragmatism. Erroneous notions of pragmatism abound, but its true meaning is this: the things that we really believe are those that we put into practice. In our present culture, many intellectual currents deny free will, dismiss the idea of community as nothing but a network of economic relations, and reduce the meaning of human existence to acquisitive materialism. The classical pragmatists, by contrast, offer a worldview that is scientific without being materialistic and which shows reverence for the communal and spiritual aspects of human existence.
The Soul of Classical American Philosophy serves to introduce the thought of James, Royce, and Peirce to non-specialists while offering a fresh interpretation to hold the interest of readers familiar with this area. Philosophy, and American life in general, can be rejuvenated by a drink from the spring of Classical American Philosophy.
Richard Mullin earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in philosophy from Duquesne University. After teaching philosophy for seven years at St. Bernard College in Alabama, Mullin joined the faculty at Wheeling Jesuit University where he taught for thirty years. He has lectured on American Philosophy in Slovenia and Slovakia, and has presented numerous papers to the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy throughout the United States and once in Poland.
Since retiring from full-time teaching his main occupation is writing. He and his wife, Marian, reside in Wheeling. The couple has three sons. Matthew, his wife, Dana, and their two daughters, reside in Fishers, Indiana; Marcus and his wife, Lisa, live in Wheeling; and Richard is a resident of Morgantown, West Virginia.