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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21). rn VOLUME XVII. Later National Literature, Part II.

XVII. Later Philosophy

§ 12. William T. Harris

To the modern reader the writings of William T. Harris—even his last and most finished book, Psychologic Foundations of Education (1898)—sound rather obsolete and somewhat mechanical. But the position of the author, who from 1867 to 1910 was regarded as the intellectual leader of the educational profession in the United States, who for over twenty-five years edited The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, and who was the chief organizer of the Concord School of Philosophy, gave his writings an amount of influence far beyond what the reader might expect. Sweetly generous, devout, and enterprising, Harris was an ideal apostle of philosophy to the American people, calling upon them to enter the world’s great intellectual heritage and assuring them that the truths of religion—God, freedom, and immortality—have always been best protected by true philosophy and are in no need of the ill-advised guardians who, by discouraging free inquiry, transform religion into fetishism.