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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.
|Size||26.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 15000 items)|
|Abstract||Correspondence, writings, interviews, and other material of white philosophy professor, E. Maynard Adams (1919-2003), chiefly documenting his professional life as a philosopher and faculty member at the University of North Carolina, but also including letters from Adams to his parents, 1937-1983. The collection contains Adams's professional correspondence and drafts of his writings as well as interviews with Adams by professors and students, films, and photographs of Adams. The interviews are primarily about Adams's ideas about important philosophical issues. Included are discussions of humanism, naturalism, metaphysics, logic, language, religion, morality, ethics, and Adams's criticisms of the economic system and ideas about structuring a humanistic economic system. Some interviews also discuss his life and the history of the University of North Carolina and its Department of Philosophy. Also included are audiocassettes of philosophy classes taught by Adams.|
|Creator||Adams, E. M. (Elie Maynard), 1919-|
|Curatorial Unit||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.|
The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.
Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.
Elie Maynard Adams (1919-2003), philosopher; assistant professor-Kenan Professor of Philosophy, 1948-1979; and chair of the faculty, 1976-1979, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Born 29 December 1919, Clarkton, Va.
Parents: Wade Hampton and Bessie Calloway Adams.
Married Phyllis Margaret Stevenson, 22 December 1942.
B.A., 1941, M.A., 1944, University of Richmond, Richmond, Va.
B.D., 1944, Colgate-Rochester Divinity School, Rochester, N.Y.
M.A., 1947, Ph.D., 1948, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
Ohio University 1947-1948 Assistant professor of philosophy
University of North Carolina
1948-1953 Assistant professor of philosophy
1951-1952 Director, Free World Institute
1953-1958 Associate professor of philosophy
1958-1971 Professor of philosophy
1966 (summer) Visiting professor of philosophy, University of Southern California
1960-1965 Chair, Dept. of Philosophy
1970-1972 Director, Curriculum in Peace, War, and Defense
1971 (summer) Visiting professor of philosophy, State University of New York at Albany
1971-1990 Kenan professor of philosophy
1976-1979 Chair of the Faculty
1977 (summer) Visiting professor of philosophy, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada
1990- Kenan professor of philosophy emeritus
1994-1995 Nelson Ferebee Taylor professor of philosophy
Fundamentals of General Logic, 1954
Logic Problems, 1954
Language of Value (with others), 1957
Ethical Naturalism and the Modern World View, 1960
Categorical Analysis: Selected Essays of Everett W. Hall, ed.
Common Sense Realism: Critical Essays on the Philosophy of Everett W. Hall, ed., Southern Journal of Philosophy, vol. 4 (fall), 1966
Philosophy and the Modern Mind, 1975
The Idea of America (with others), 1977
The Metaphysics of Self and World: Toward a Humanistic Philosophy, 1991
Religion and Cultural Freedom, 1993
A Society Fit for Human Beings, 1997Back to Top
Correspondence, writings, interviews, and other material of E. Maynard Adams, chiefly documenting his professional life as a philosopher and faculty member at the University of North Carolina, but also including letters from Adams to his parents, 1937-1983. The collection contains Adams's professional correspondence and drafts of his writings as well as interviews with Adams by professors and students, films, and photographs of Adams. The interviews are primarily about Adams's ideas about important philosophical issues. Included are discussions of humanism, naturalism, metaphysics, logic, language, religion, morality, ethics, and Adams's criticisms of the economic system and ideas about structuring a humanistic economic system. Some interviews also discuss his life and the history of the University of North Carolina and its Department of Philosophy. The additions of 1997 and 1998 contain audiotapes of some of Adams's class lectures on value theory and metaphysics in 1983-1989.
Personal letters of Adams to family and friends recounting daily life and social relations. This also includes letters discussing public lectures, letters to politicians discussing the role of the University of North Carolina, and letters and articles about the proposed philosophy center to be headed by Adams. In addition, there is a report of the faculty committee on the future of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill given to the faculty council in November 1969. Adams wrote the central committee report and resolutions for this report.
Audio tapes of Adams's lectures.
Synopses of interviews conducted by Glenn Blackburn of E. Maynard Adams, as well as of various former students including Jude Dougherty, James von Frank, William Friday and Seth Holtzman. In addition, the collection contains articles and speeches composed by Glenn Blackburn discussion various aspects of the life and work of E. Maynard Adams. Finally, the collection contains photocopies of several letters written by Adams to Glenn Backburn for the purpose of clarifying aspects of Adams's philosophy.Back to Top
Correspondence and other material documenting Adams's activities as philosopher and professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Papers have been placed in new folders, but the original order and folder titles have been retained. Similar materials are found in each of the three subseries. For some subjects, researchers will need to consult more than one subseries. For example, correspondence about the Executive Seminars in the Humanities are filed under "E" in Subseries 1.1 and under "Executive Seminars in the Humanities" in Subseries 1.2.
Professional correspondence includes letters about publication of books and papers, attendance and presentations at conferences, classes taught, requests for recommendations for students and former students, and other correspondence with colleagues and friends.
Typescripts, some with marginal comments, of Adams's books. Also included are correspondence with publishers about some books and reviews of some books.
Short writings by E. M. Adams, including drafts of and correspondence about scholarly papers, op. ed. pieces, reports on departments and programs in UNC and other institutions, speeches, and other items.
Copies of Adams's scholarly papers, which were bound together in eight volumes.
Nineteen interviews with E. M. Adams by philosophers and students, most of whom were employed by or studying at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Most of the interviews are about Adams's ideas about philosophy. Some also discuss his life and the history of the University of North Carolina and the Department of Philosophy.
Graduate student, Dept. of Philosophy, UNC-CH. Adams's metaphilosophy; linguistic analysis; value realism and its ontological implications; the relevance of philosophy, especially value realism, for the culture, society, and the individual; religion and criticism of fundamentalism; the role of emotion in the perception of moral truth; self-development; the failure of capitalism and how a new humanistic economic order might be structured.
Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Saskatchewan at Saskatoon. Philosophical education; the destructive effects of naturalism in the culture; criticisms of the economic system; humanistic reconception of the economic system; religion as a humanistic institution; religion as empirical, open to criticism, and webbed into culture.
Graduate student, Dept. of Philosophy, UNC-CH. How philosophy arises; philosophical history; philosophy different from science; early medieval philosophy and science; philosophy as a categorical discipline; humanism and science.
Religion; the philosophical grounding of religion; meaning and truth in religious claims and stories; conflict between the individual and the community with regard to religious understanding; Judaism, Christianity, and universality in religion.
Professor of Mathematics Emeritus, UNC-CH. Tension between being a Southerner and an intellectual; history of Adams's ancestors in Virginia; early felt problems in Southern culture: tobacco and racism/religion; later felt problem: science and liberalism of thought versus religion and authoritarianism of thought; interest in improving the South; University life in the late 1940s and the 1950s; cultural criticism and yet optimism; our self-corrective powers; the modern rejection of values and freedom from norms; the normative constitution of selfhood as the ground of ethical norms; objective truth, values, and freedom; students, curricula, and ethics; value knowledge.
Logic and ethics as twins; reason and feeling in logic; logical and metaphysical necessity; the nature of possibility; logic and naturalism; logic education; reason and feeling in ethics.
Nature of grammar; the ground of grammar; nature of language; logical grammar; languages can be better or worse; purpose of language; nature of linguistic expression: talking and writing as thinking; the structure of language and the structure of the world; language acquisition; teaching language; naturalism and nominalism; conceptualization and the world; consciousness and intentional content; naturalistic approach to mind and language.
Epistemology of meaning: analogies and disanalogies to sensory perception and value experience; comparison with causality; rational insight; perceptual activity; perception and conceptualization; our semantic environment; activity in value experience; interpretation in perception; logical form and meaning; ethics and the self; character formation and good habits; ethical standards; moral education; our normative self-concept; criticism of this self-concept and comparison to scientific understanding and criticism; moral character, judgement, and action; marks of knowledge of the morally good person; successful living; our governing human imperative; rights and responsibilities; personhood; morality grounded in our inner constitution; moral philosophy and the ethical enterprise.
Value realism, moral realism, and natural law ethics; moral laws; capitalism and morality; humanistic thought and humanistic values; the rise of materialistic values and a naturalistic civilization; the clash of knowledge and wisdom; living a life and gaining wisdom; knowledge and wisdom as one in pre-modern thought; Adams's approach to the philosophical problems of modern thought; the need to preserve what's good in modern thought.
Conceptual analysis as philosophical method; C. I. Lewis's view of conceptual analysis; pragmatic vs. realistic accounts of the a priori; metaphysics as informative of the world; the philosophical enterprise; philosophy and culture; philosophy as cultural criticism; Adams vs. Kant on getting an integrated culture and a coherent world view; the possibility of realistic metaphysics; conceptual analysis and realism; categorical analysis of sensory experience; philosophical errors generate skepticism; categorical analysis in general; categorical implications of lived experience; our conception of pain and its implications for value; the conception of happiness; philosophy as practical and vitally important.
Meaning, interpretation, and truth; the authority of self-knowledge; art and multiple correct interpretations; the context for determining meaning; integration as a criterion in interpretation; art and the artist; meaning and cultural understanding; assessing interpretations; judicial and theological interpretation; coherence and objectivity; the context of assumptions and presuppositions; decision using judgment not rules; juries and decisions; escape from systems; moral degeneracy in the larger culture; the rise of materialistic values; capitalism and the private sector; reconception of economic services and institutions; reconception of a legislator; civic humanism; historical interpretation; the civilizational context; modern Western civilization.
Professor of philosophy, California State University at Northridge. Adams's early philosophical development in UNC's philosophy department; Martin Lean and Bill Poteat; cross-disciplinary faculty discussion groups; Adams's proposal about democracy; Everett Hall; joint projects between UNC and Duke philosophy departments; C. I. Lewis; value metaphysics; value epistemology.
Gillian T. Cell Professor of Philosophy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Connection between doing philosophy and leading a meaningful life; self-concept and culture; need to master oneself; liberal education and philosophy; self-criticism; need to place our lives in the world as we understand it; philosophy needed to define a world and a self; need for reflection in our lives; felt problems spur reflection; need for disciplined ways of reflection to resolve problems.
William Rand Kenan, Jr., Professor of Philosophy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Lycan's naturalistic philosophy of mind; Lycan versus Adams on the nature of intentional; reducibility or non-reducibility of the semantic; the semantic as categorically unique and not a property; semantic states and acts are not properties; to treat them as properties betrays prior metaphysical commitments; nor are the emergent properties; mental causality; causality and metaphysics; naturalistic metaphysical commitments in philosophy; modern naturalism versus humanism arising from different human needs; metaphysical and epistemological implications of the humanistic perspective; is there a need for naturalistic reduction of humanistic phenomena?; the power of science to produce consensus; scientific explanation presupposes a world view that is dominant; we need a humanistic conception of ourselves; the nature of metaphysics; conflicting metaphysical accounts of ourselves; metaphysical compatibilism.
Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and Director of the Program in the Humanities and Human Values, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Oral history from 1947-1950s: Adams's desire to teach at a Southern university; one-year job at Ohio University; hired at UNC; involvement in the life of the university; Frank Porter Graham; race at UNC; communism at UNC; the Free World Institute; other issues at the university; UNC administrators; Paul Green.
Oral history from 1950s to 1960s: the department in 1948 and through the 1950s; Everett Hall; Louis Katsoff; Adams as Chairman of the department; Richard Smyth; hiring new members; Adams's vision of the department; Adams's conception of philosophical education; race in the 1960s; anti-war activism; the counter-culture and its philosophy; the Vietnam War; the curriculum in Peace, War, and Defense.
Undergraduate, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. What led Adams into teaching; discovery that problems he felt were cultural; his attempts to resolve those problems; the task of humanistic research centers; basic presuppositions of modern Western civilization.
Undergraduate, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Adams's early concern to make sense of value knowledge; contra emotivism and existentialism; value objectivity needed for freedom and democracy; rejection of naturalistic attempts; value experience as epistemic and intentionalistic; correcting our naturalistic culture; the role of philosophy in cultural correction--e.g., religion, morality, and knowledge; need to reconstruct the epistemological and metaphysical assumptions in the culture; our modern world view leads to ecological disaster; culture and society directed toward human growth; how individuals can help shift the culture; Adams's felt obligation to teach; other centers of humanistic studies; Adams's conception of a center for humanistic study; Adams's personal meditation.
Epistemology; areas of agreement; empiricism too restricted if limited to factual data, and semantic nature of objects of knowledge; Adams's theory of knowledge; inferential knowledge and probability; methodology in epistemology; coherence; foundations: categorical commitments and epistemic encounters; the occurrence of thoughts and their etiology; inference and creativity; holism in mental causality; responses to skepticism: basic presuppositions; skepticism rests on philosophical mistakes: skepticism about external physical objects and about values; broader conception of causality; modern scientific framework of thought and its limits; need for a humanistic framework of thought; reconstruction of modern thought; knowledge of other minds; philosophy of mind; perceptual understanding.
Letters from Adams to his mother, 1937-1941; to mother and dad, 1942-1963; to mother, 1963-1982; and to and from his daughter, 1983-1993.
Acquisitions Information: Accession 97095.
Acquisitions Information: Accessions 97106 and 98001.
Acquisitions Information: Accession 98819
Acquisitions Information: Accessions 99002, 99129, 99223, 99255, 99362, 99817, 99856, 100065, and 100425.
Transcripts, 1997-2001 #04814, Series: "11. Papers, 1997-2000s (Additions of July 2001-2006)." Box 52
Acquisitions Information: Accession 99002 (Addition of July 2001).
Interviews, 1999-2001 #04814, Series: "11. Papers, 1997-2000s (Additions of July 2001-2006)." Box 52
Acquisitions Information: Accession 99129 (Addition of October 2001).
Collected papers, Volume VIII, circa 1997-2002 #04814, Series: "11. Papers, 1997-2000s (Additions of July 2001-2006)." Box 52
Acquisitions Information: Accession 99223 (Addition of April 2002).
Personal matters, philosophical papers, and newspaper letters and columns.
Transcripts, 1999-2002 #04814, Series: "11. Papers, 1997-2000s (Additions of July 2001-2006)." Box 52
Acquisitions Information: Accession 99255 (Addition of May 2002).
Acquisitions Information: Accession 99362 (Addition of June 2002).
Acquisitions Information: Accession 99817 (Addition of June 2004).
Acquisitions Information: Accession 99856 (Addition of July 2004).
Includes materials related to John Shelby Spong, bishop in the Episcopal Church and a theologian.
Interview agreements, circa 2000s #04814, Series: "11. Papers, 1997-2000s (Additions of July 2001-2006)." Box 52
Acquisitions Information: Accession 100065 (Addition of May 2005).
Transcript of "Tape 1" #04814, Series: "11. Papers, 1997-2000s (Additions of July 2001-2006)." Box 52
Acquisitions Information: Accession 100425 (Addition of April 2006).
Processing Information: "Tape 1" may refer to an audio cassette in an unprocessed accession (Acc. 100354).
Processed by: Linda Sellars with the assistance of Dana Lanier and Alicia Reeves May 1997 with subsequent additions
Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008
Updated: April 2019; Nancy Kaiser, January 2021Back to Top