Ferdinand Canning Scott Schiller


Ferdinand Canning Scott Schiller was an English philosopher, who was a leading English pragmatist.

Schiller was born in Ottensen, near Hamburg, Germany on August 16 1864. Educated in England at Rugby and Oxford University's Balliol College, he was instructor in philosophy at Cornell University from 1893 to 1897. He returned to Oxford, where from 1897 to 1926 he was tutor in philosophy and fellow of Corpus Christi College. From 1929 to 1936 he taught at the University of Southern California. Schiller died in Los Angeles, Calif., on August 6, 1937.

Schiller was much influenced by the American philosopher William James, whom he met at Cornell. He became England's leading exponent of pragmatism, in a version he variously called humanism, voluntarism, and personalism. Rejecting both absolutism and naturalism, he insisted that man, as the starting point and the goal of all experience, must be the only measure of any system of ideas: An enthusiastic and stimulating man, he wrote a number of books, notably Riddles of the Sphinx (1891), Studies in Humanism (1907), Logic for Use (1929) and Our Human Truths, a collection of his last writings published posthumously (1939).

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