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By M. Gail Hamner

Hamner seeks to find what makes pragmatism uniquely American. She argues that the inextricably American personality of pragmatism of such figures as C.S. Peirce and William James lies in its frequently understated confirmation of the USA as a uniquely non secular nation with a God-given challenge and populated by means of God-fearing citizens.

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Both philosophers embrace the basic tenet of British empiricism—that truth relies on induction from experience—without, however, accepting its atomism and consequent mechanism. Quite the contrary, they presume the continuity and relatedness of experience and seek to explain it in terms of nature and not, as Kant did, in terms of the mind's ability to synthesize nature. Specifically, Helmholtz explains the continuity of experience through the overarching law of causality and the way that law expounds the truth behind the heuristic empirical results of the practical sciences.

Something the German physicist does not discuss, however, is that habits and willed actions also have reasons or ends. By stressing habit or will, the pragmatists effectively shift the plane of inquiry from Helmholtz's focus on single objects or events (wherein a cause yields an effect) to networks of events. The reason or purpose of a habit or act of will can only be explicated in terms of other habits or acts of will. Herein lies the Americans' mutation of Helmholtz's causality and hence of his questions about science, nature, law, and event.

35 Helmholtz's focused examination of the law of causality signals his culture's growing reliance on the effi-cient causation of industrial machines. His insistence that apperception of efficient causation is humanity's evolutionary stepladder to global dominance indicates both the increasing mechanization of Naturwissenschaft and its reflexive inclusion of the human subject. In short, then, the figure of Helmholtz and his philosophical and scientific promotion of the law of causality encapsulate his culture's desire for and 32 EVOLUTION OF GERMAN PSYCHOLOGY excitement about technological progress.

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