- Horace Kallen
Horace Meyer Kallen (
August 11, 1882- February 16 1974) was a Jewish-American philosopher.
Born in the then German Bernstadt,
Silesia(now Bierutów) to Jacob David Kallen and Esther Rebecca (Glazier), an Orthodox rabbi and his wife, Kallen came to the United States as a child in 1887. He studied philosophy at Harvard University where he was a student of George Santayana, earning his B.A. (magna cum laude) in 1903. After two years of study at Princeton University, he returned to Harvard for graduate study and worked as Santayana's assistant. [Lamont, C., ed. "Dialogue on George Santayana". New York: Horizon Press (1959) 13-17.] Kallen received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1908 and was awarded a Sheldon Travelling Fellowship. He was also a lifetime friend of Alain Locke, whom he met at Harvard and who was the first African American Rhodes Scholar -- and the only one until the 1960s.
He lectured in
philosophyat Harvard from his graduation until 1911, occasionally working as a logicinstructor at Clark Collegein Worcester, Massachusetts. In 1911, he moved to instruct philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madisonuntil 1918, when he was named a professor at the New School for Social Researchin New York Cityas a founding member where he remained for the rest of his career. [Gilbert, James (1997). "Redeeming Culture: American Religion in an Age of Science", University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-29320-3. Chap. 8, Two Men of Science, p. 175, namely Harlow Shapleyand Kallen.]
A Pluralist, Kallen opposed any over-simplification of philosophical and vital problems. According to Kallen, denying complications and difficulties is to multiply them, as much as to deny reality to evil would aggravate evil.
He and others argued that cultural diversity and national pride were compatible with each other, and that ethnic diversity and a respect for ethnic and racial differences strengthened America. Kallen is credited with coining the term
He was acquainted with
William James, whose last unfinished book he edited. He married Rachel Oatman van Arsdale in 1926. In 1939 he became acquainted with Immanuel Velikovskyand became a life-long friend, informal literary advisor, mentor, and advocate. [Gilbert, James (1997). "Redeeming Culture: American Religion in an Age of Science", University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-29320-3. Chap. 8, Two Men of Science, pp. 177-181, namely Harlow Shapleyand Kallen.] He was a member of the American Philosophical Society, the Western Philosophical Society, the Society for Psychical Research, the Zionist Organization of America, the Palestine Development Council, and the National Council of the League of Nations Association. He served on congressional committees on international peace and was a part of many think tanks and study groups on questions ranging from philosophy and law to labor relations.
Some of his works:
*"Democracy Versus the Melting-Pot" (1915)
*"Indecency and the Seven Arts:And Other Adventures of a Pragmatist in Aesthetics" (1930)
*"Decline and Rise of the Consumer" (1936)
*"Art and Freedom" (1942)
*"Modernity and Liberty" (1947)
*"The Liberal Spirit" (1948)
*"Ideals and Experience" (1948)
*"The Education of Free Men" (1950)
*"Patterns of Progress" (1950)
*"Cultural Pluralism and the American Idea" (1956)
*"Utopians at Bay" (1958)
*"Liberty, Laughter, and Tears" (1968)
*"Creativity, Imagination, Logic: Meditations for the Eleventh Hour" (1973)
Bibliography:see also a special Symposium on Horace M. Kallen in "Modern Judaism", Vol. 4, No. 2. (May, 1984)
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