Home  »  Volume XVII: American LATER NATIONAL LITERATURE: PART II  »  § 30. J. Mark Baldwin; Pancalism

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

XVII. Later Philosophy

§ 30. J. Mark Baldwin; Pancalism

Similar to the view of James and Dewey in accepting the evolutionary philosophy as basic, and keeping even closer to Darwinian ideas, is the philosophy of J. Mark Baldwin. Baldwin began as a psychologist of the orthodox type; but availing himself of the views on social consciousness propounded by Royce in the early nineties, he produced a system of evolutionary social psychology with a very elaborate technical terminology and analytic scaffolding. This emphasis on technical apparatus makes his great three-volumed treatise on Thoughts and Things (1906–11) one of the most obscure books written in America, but for all that it seems to have met with appreciation in France and Germany, where it has been translated. An intelligible summary of his later views is to be found in his Genetic Theory of Reality (1915), in which he develops this theory of pancalism, viz., that the æsthetic consciousness is primary. In this respect, as well as in his emphasis on the importance of the play impulse, Baldwin is unique among American philosophers.