The St. Louis Philosophical Movement

The Saint Louis Philosophical Movement Edited by Britt-Marie Schiller


St. Louis Philosophical Movement book cover


About the Book

William Torrey Harris and Henry Brokmeyer met at the St. Louis Mercantile Library in 1858. Together, they set in motion the St. Louis Philosophical Movement, which gave rise to the St. Louis Philosophical Society and its Journal of Speculative Philosophy, the first English-language philosophical journal in the world. The movement especially focused on German idealism and New England transcendentalism, with an emphasis on converting thought into action.


In April 2008, the Philosophy Department at Webster University celebrated the sesquicentennial of the birth of this movement with a conference. The Saint Louis Philosophical Movement grew out of this conference. Edited by Webster University's Britt-Marie Schiller, this volume brings together five essays that explore the movement, its members, and its legacy.


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Early Review


Dr. Richard W. Field, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Northwest Missouri State University, had this to say about the book:


"This volume of five essays offers a valuable guide to the varied interests and the sweeping aims of the St. Louis Philosophical Movement, which played a critical role in fostering the development of original philosophical study in the United States in the late nineteenth century. This is a valuable resource for those seeking an introduction to the movement and to knowledgeable scholars alike."


About the Contributors

Britt-Marie Schiller is Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Webster University in St. Louis. Her research and publications are mainly in the areas of gender and psychoanalytic theories.


Doug Anderson teaches in the Philosophy Department at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He focuses on American philosophy and the history of philosophy, and is author of two books and numerous essays dealing with issues in American philosophy and culture. A number of these essays deal with the philosophy of sport and the theory of physical education. His most recent book is Philosophy Americana from Fordham University Press.


Matt Erlin is Associate Professor of German and Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis. He is the author of Berlin's Forgotten Future: City, History, and Enlightenment In Eighteenth-Century Germany (2004). His is also the co-editor, together with Lynne Tatlock, of German Culture in Nineteenth-Century America: Reception, Adaptation, Transformation (2005), and he has published articles on a variety of topics related to late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century German culture. His current research investigates the discourse of luxury in the German Enlightenment and its relevance for the emergence of new conceptions of literature and aesthetic experience in the period.


James Good is a professor of history and chair of the Department of Social Sciences at Lone Star College-North Harris in Houston, Texas. His research focuses on the American reception of German idealism. He is the author of numerous articles on American intellectuals, such as the St. Louis Hegelians, the Ohio Hegelians, and John Dewey, and has edited republications of the writings of many more American intellectuals. He is also the author of A Search for Unity in Diversity: The "Permanent Hegelian Deposit" in the Philosophy of John Dewey (2006).


Dorothy Rogers is the author of America's First Women Philosophers: Transplanting Hegel, and has edited or co-edited several collections of the works of women philosophers, including Catharine Beecher, the women of the St. Louis Philosophical Movement, and early women philosophers in the American academy (1880-1900). She served as the coordinating editor for entries on women for the Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers and is currently serving the same role for the upcoming Dictionary of Early American Philosophers, both published by Thoemmes Press. She teaches philosophy and women's studies at Montclair State University in New Jersey, where she is an associate professor and chair of the department of Philosophy and Religion. She is currently exploring the connections between feminism, altruism, and pacifism in political life.


Jerome P. Schiller is an emeritus professor of philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He taught at Washington from 1963 to 1999, specializing in Ancient Philosophy. His research has been in Aesthetics and Ancient Philosophy and includes a book in the former field, I. A. Richards' Theory of Literature (Yale U. P., 1960), and several articles in the latter field in such journals as Phronesis, Journal of the History of Philosophy, and Apeiron.