Paper in History of the Human Sciences
- Hibberd, F. J. (2009). John Anderson's development of (situational) realism and its bearing on psychology today. History of the Human Sciences, 22; 63 - 92.
In 1927, the Scottish philosopher John Anderson arrived in Australia to take up the chair of Philosophy at the University of Sydney. By the late 1930s, the 'macrostructure' of his realist system was in place. It includes a theory of process and a substantial metaphysics, one that opposes positivism, linguistic philosophy and all forms of idealism. However, beyond Australia it remains largely unknown, despite its bearing on a number of current issues in psychology and the social sciences generally. This article outlines Anderson's transition from Hegelian idealism to realism, describes aspects of his ontology and epistemology, compares some of Anderson's ideas with Dewey's pragmatism and explains their relevance to present-day psychology.