Essays by Me
Essays by Others
[Links to Halcyon, Swarth-more's yearbook. Hat tip to
From Whose Togas I Dangle
August 27, 1892-November 18, 1987
Photo [left column, top] is by Richard P. Lewis, July 1976 as
published, Man of Reason: In Memoriam Brand Blanshard.
Roland A. Hoover, University Printer, Yale University Printing
Service, New Haven, Connecticut: 1988, 32 pp. "A memorial service
in honor of Brand Blanshard was held December 16, 1987, in Dwight
Memorial Chapel of Yale University. The memories and appreciations
spoken that day and some from letters are printed in this booklet,"
Roberta Yerkes Blanshard, Blanshard's widow, mailed me on May 5, 1992.
Other pictures of Blanshard shown in the
left column are from his days at Swarthmore College (1925-1944) and
first appeared in that college's yearbook, Halcyon. These
pictorial gems were brought to my attention by
David Marans, Professor of Philosophy
at Saint Thomas University (Miami).
To hear Blanshard answer the questions of
a student in conversation, visit
this page on Scott Palmer's website. On
this page are links of .mp3 files for (so far) three segments of the
conversation, for which a complete transcript is also provided.
Updated September 3, 2011
E. McTaggart, The Nature of Existence, Volume I
M. E. McTaggart, The Nature of Existence, Volume II
J. E. Turner,
A Theory of Direct Realism
M. E. McTaggart, Studies in the Hegelian Dialectic
F. R. Tennant,
Philosophy of the Sciences
Cassirer, An Essay on Man
to Reason: Essays in Realistic Philosophy 
Wollheim, F. H. Bradley
Mortimer J. Adler, The
Conditions of Philosophy 
We must regard mind as a
process in which the potential realizes or actualizes itself.
It is the sort of
process in which that which is to be determines, in part, the course of
its coming to be. Mind acts as it does because pressing in and through the
pre-sent is a world that clamors to be born. . . . [P]resent in the thing
that now is, making it what it is, controlling the course of its change,
is a special impulsion or drive that cannot be conceived except as a drive
toward a special end. This is suggested in our speech; we say, that is an
elm tree shoot, identifying what it is through what it is be-coming, and
suggesting that if we are to understand its present nature, we must grasp
that nature as the imperfectly realized form of some-thing else. This is
true always of what develops, and true only of this. . . . What develops
cannot be conceived except as the partial realization of that which as
fully actual, is yet to be.
Nature of Mind"
Religion is an attempt to
adjust one's nature as a whole to ultimate reality. In a sense all human
life is that. But whereas the larger part of such life consists of an
adjustment to what is immediately around us, religion seeks to go behind
the appear-ance of things to what is self-subsistent, to some-thing which,
intellectually and causally, will ex-plain everything else. And it must
be conceived as a response of man's nature as a whole.
Reason and Belief,
Religion is man's attempt
to live in the light of what he holds to be ultimately true and good. . .
. Religion is not loyalty to the ultimately true and good, but only what
we hold to be such. It has always been this, however much more it
may have claimed to be.
Reason and Belief,
treatment of evil by theology seems to me an intellectual disgrace. The
question at issue is a straightforward one: how are the actual amount and
distribution of evil to be reconciled with the government of the world by
a God which is in our sense good? So straightforward a question deserves
a straightforward answer, and it seems to me that only one such answer
makes sense, namely that the two sides can not be reconciled. . . .
Some theologians, aware
of this conflict, have at certain points resorted to open revolt against
reason and its morality. We have studied this revolt in the theological
line that runs from Luther through Kierkegaard to Brunner and Barth, and
seen that it is self-destructive. For my own part, I am ready to stand
correction for the ignobility of my naturalistic ethics, but not from
theologians of this stripe. If their ideal of goodness is the will of a
Deity who could inflict or permit the evil we know in the world, they have
no consistent standard at all. How can anyone of clean conscience call
good in the Deity what he would regard as intensely evil in man? To tie
ethics to the will of such a being is not to exalt one's ethics but to
reduce it to incoherence.
Reason and Belief, 546-47