Woodrow Wilson's philosophy: some suggestions towards a coherent interpretation of Woodrow Wilson's philosophy as presented in his published works
The aim of this thesis is to give such an exposition of Woodrow Wilson's philosophy as to make clear its place in modern thought, its relationship to contemporary philosophies. Since it soon becomes clear that Woodrow Wilson was an idealist, the scope of the thesis is narrowed to the determination of the type of idealism which he represented. There are two kinds of idealism in philosophy; abstract or absolute idealism; and concrete or personalistic idealism. These are commonly known as rationalism and personalism. The thesis is that Woodrow Wilson's philosophy can be interpreted coherently from the standpoint of personalism. Woodrow Wilson's philosophy determined the course of world history. This probably accounts for the contemporary interest in the subject. It is important to have an intelligent attitude toward the philosophy which guided our national destinies during so critical a period, and has issued in the current of events in which we struggle today. One's attitude toward Wilson's philosophy will largely determine one's attitude toward the war, toward peace, and toward the future. If the public could be happily relieved of its untoward confusion concerning Wilson's ideals, it would facilitate the course of public action. For, "the object of scholarship," as Wilson himself said, is "to release the human spirit from every kind of thralldom, particularly from the thralldom of not knowing the path and not being able to see the way as it treads it."