John Herman Randall Jr.
A maker of the modern mind
A son remembers:
“John Herman and Minerva Randall’s elder son, my father, was born on February 14th, 1899, a Valentine’s baby, in Grand Rapids, Mich., and was named John Herman Randall, Jr. (“Jack” in the family, and “Favoo,” baby-talk for Father, to his children). I believe his father idolized him and his mother dealt with the soberer sides of his upbringing. His first words were (proleptically?) said to have been, “the idea!”
For seven years he lived in Grand Rapids, but the only anecdote he ever repeated was one in which he was banished to the garden while visitors were talking to his parents, so he ate garden soil – to much horror when he was discovered, but no great ill effect.
In 1906 the family moved to New York, the Mount Morris Baptist Church and the brownstone house at 28 West 127th Street. Jack was thus brought up in New York when it had secured its position as America’s largest city, financial capital, and intellectual–cultural capital, in the nation’s prosperous, expansive, increasingly liberal and civilized Progressive Era. His home life was uneventful, or at any rate without crises or funny stories that were talked about later. To his mother’s amusement, his father discussed religious, intellectual, ethical and literary issues with him “more or less from the cradle.” He was also taught to love northern forests and lakes, and hiking and boating in them – and travel to Europe.
He was an excellent student in school and in Morris High School in the Bronx, a public high school then deemed so good that there was no reason to send Jack away (an idea his father hated) to a prep school. He won the high school’s Latin prize and medal, with a stipend of $200 (almost a year’s tuition at Columbia, then) if he would take a year of Latin in college. This he was delighted to do, he said, for in college they would teach him what no high school would, Catullus and the other Latin “amorous” (sexy) poets. Neither he nor his father thought of any college save Columbia. It was the best, wasn’t it? And in the best city. And he could live at home.
The last didn’t mean he wouldn’t fully engage in the college community. He threw himself into it, reading, classes, professors and classmates. He was caught up in the academic life for all his days. A “brilliant” student from the first, it seemed that he would major in mathematics and become a mathematician. This was approved of by Dean Herbert Hawkes, a mathematician himself. On a visit to the dean’s office, Jack admired the complicated geometrical models that were hanging from the ceiling. “Oh, yes,” said the dean, “they were made by So-&-So, such a brilliant student! – A terrible tragedy. – He died of brain fever.” Father claimed he decided to switch to philosophy that night.
Columbia had quite a constellation of philosophers in that age. The most famous was John Dewey, the “pragmatist.” Dewey was a poor communicator, but Jack, who could catch his drifts, found his courses most worthwhile. But he was even more influenced by Frederick J. E. Woodbridge, the “naturalist,” a New York and New England man. And by his naturalist colleagues, John J. Coss, a Louisiana man who was a colonel in World War I, and Wendell T. Bush of Brooklyn, who taught aesthetics and in effect art history, from under splendid white hair and mustaches that won him the nickname, “Zeus.” They were the first generation of the “Columbia naturalist school,” one of the dominant movements in American thought in the first half of the 20th Century. Under their influence, and those of the readings they assigned or suggested, Jack Randall evolved in his college years from his father’s by then very liberal Christianity to its perhaps natural conclusion, non-Christianity. But never to an adversarial stance against Christianity or religion in general.
All this he discussed, virtually every day, with his father. There was intense interest in every book read, every tenet argued, but no emotional conflict, to the best testimony of my father and his mother, and of my own mother, who arrived later but heard things at a much earlier period than I did. John Herman Randall, Sr. continued to idolize his “brilliant” son, and joyed in his rising academic career. Over a decade later, they wrote a book together, “Religion and the Modern World.”
Jack was also much influenced by (and influenced) a small but close circle of friends, most of whom became fellow teachers of philosophy at Columbia, much of the second generation of the Columbia naturalist school: James Gutmann who was to pursue a special interest in German philosophy and psychology; Horace Friess who was to pursue the philosophy of religion; Herbert Schneider, who was to pursue the philosophy of religion and American philosophy; Irwin Edman who was to pursue aesthetics; also Albert Redpath who would become a stockbroker; and Frank Tannenbaum, an older young man, who had been an anarchist leader, who had served a term in prison from which John Dewey and others brought him as a student to Columbia College, and who would be an historian of Latin America and a friend of the Mexican Revolution. They argued over lunch most days in their overlapping college and graduate careers at Columbia, and for as many Fridays as possible for the rest of their lives. World War I led colleges and students to telescope their college careers.
Jack Randall was graduated from Columbia, with the highest honors, after only three years, at the age of nineteen, in 1918. He went directly into the graduate philosophy program at Columbia, earning an M.A. in 1919 and a Ph.D. in 1922. Woodbridge, now the dean of Columbia’s graduate school, made him a teaching assistant from the start, a lecturer in philosophy at the age of twenty one in 1920. And so he rose through the academic ranks during his lifetime career at Columbia. His academic career and all its honors, and analyses of the leading aspects of his philosophical positions – the elements of what Columbia naturalism was – his teachings and achievements, and a bibliography of his works may be found in John P. Anton, ed. “Naturalism and Historical Understanding: Essays on the Philosophy of John Herman Randall, Jr.” 1967.”
“Most of Randall’s teaching and writings were on the history of philosophy. But the distinction between being an historian of philosophy and “developing an original philosophy” breaks down in his case, since he formulated his own points and those of the naturalist philosophers of his time primarily, not exclusively, in the course of interpreting the texts of earlier philosophers. Randall usually called himself a naturalist (and a functionalist), as Woodbridge did, rather than a pragmatist as Dewey did. He said that “naturalist” implied a stronger belief in the world we are part of, and its intelligibility, and a stronger link to like-minded philosophers of the past, back to Aristotle.
In Randall’s earlier decades, “naturalist” meant, to the public, non-religious. He learned from his minister-father, who did not believe in a personal God or in any narrow creed, and from the historian of Christian theology, Arthur Cushman McGiffert, that the Christianity of the early Greek Fathers was varied, symbolic and multivalent, and not literal or dogmatic, much less modern fundamentalist, nor had this complexity ever completely died out in the evolving, never static, churches. The younger Randall was secular, but he never broke with his father or rounded on Christianity, even when he signed his radical colleague Corliss Lamont’s Humanist Manifesto in 1933. His attitude and his exegesis were sympathetic. When students asked, “But do you believe in God,” Randall would smile and say, “That depends on what you mean by God,” neither a dodge nor a joke but a complex, favorable stance. In this spirit he helped his colleagues Friess and Schneider set up at Columbia one of the first secular programs of the study of religion. In this spirit, much later, he co-taught seminars with the modern theologian, Paul Tillich.
The Making of the Modern Mind begins with a discussion of “the richness of the Christian tradition,” both in itself and in its incorporation of much of Classical civilization. Elsewhere, he argued the compatibility of scientific knowledge with religious sensibilities and aspirations, but not with claims of separate religious truths. He presented religion, as his father had, not as any creed or church, but, almost anthropologically, as an emotional basis, a vision like unto art, a way of life, capable of terrible abuse, but also of exalted heights. Randall used “naturalist” to mean a complex and intellectually optimistic position. While recognizing the endlessness of debates about “the real world,” he did believe in a natural universe, material and other, which is not “out there,” outside our minds, but which we, bodies and minds alike, are fully part of. Very sympathetic to German and other idealists, he still held with Aristotle that the universe is prior to our mental processes. Fascinated by words, like any philosopher, he disagreed with the prominent 20th century philosophers who held that words are mazes and languages are barriers that we can never quite pass. He elucidated the usages of Greek words, nous and ousia, in class, and German words, Vernunft and Bewusstsein, but made no great fuss about English words. He believed that our languages, like our muscles, are hard to master initially, but can then become useful tools to understand and manipulate the world. Centrally, Randall held, with Aristotle, that the world (including ourselves) is intelligible and knowable, that it is natural for us to learn and know, and that organized rational inquiries, the sciences, are the ways to acquire that immense knowledge. “Which are the liberating arts? Mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology....”
Likewise, what we call values, though not graspable like rocks and trees, are not irrational subjective whims of individuals and isolated cultures. It is natural for human societies to generate values (not, obviously, the same values everywhere) to live with ourselves and others, and it is natural for us to explore, compare, debate, modify and improve our values, preferably by rational means. In all these positions, Randall was optimistically different from those modern philosophers and more numerous writers and literary scholars who were very skeptical about language, meaning, truth, the sciences and values, who held that language and values are meaningless, the world is unintelligible chaos, and our proper attitude is despair. All these positions Randall tried to illustrate from the history of philosophy. Naturally, he dwelt on Aristotle, not anachronistically as a modern naturalist and functionalist, but as the mighty pioneer philosopher of the naturalness and intelligibility of the universe, and of the possibility and (preliminary) contents of the various intellectual, natural and social sciences. Aristotle’s unmoved mover was not a divinity but an analytic concept, and his soul was not supernatural but a function. Students were startled to hear Randall translate, “The soul of an axe is cutting.” He elaborated on this in his Aristotle (1960), which proved widely convincing. Much more controversial was his treatment of Plato, in classes and in his late Plato: Dramatist of the Life of Reason (1970) in which he followed Woodbridge in The Son of Apollo. Plato was not a “metaphysician” in the bad sense, preaching an erroneous Theory of Forms, much less a totalitarian state. He was, rather, a benign (not sneering) ironist, setting forth discussions and arguments about then new ideas in which he and other Greek intellectuals were interested, establishing important points for the first time, casting doubt on many more, delineating the characters, virtues and foibles of his milieu, a beautiful paean to rationally conducted life and thought. Randall’s most original archival scholarship was done on a Guggenheim Fellowship to Italy in 1933-34 on the Averroist (Aristotelian) school of philosophers at the University of Padua in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. He found and maintained that they were far from being the alleged formulaic fossils immune to Renaissance humanism who resisted modern science but were blown away by Galileo. Rather, they, especially Pomponazzi and Zabarella, were engaged in evolving, fruitful thought in the various natural sciences, relevant steps up which Galileo ascended and built farther. His article, then book, The Development of Scientific Method in the School of Padua (1940) proved widely convincing, though, as with any pioneering work, later research and criticism, by Kristeller, Neal Gilbert and others have modified its findings.
Randall’s treatment of the 17th and 18th centuries naturally centered on “the gradual development of science” which “produced the really great revolution from the medieval to the modern world.” He was impressed and moved by Spinoza’s “reverent attitude” toward nature newly revealed as never before by the mathematical scientists. Randall generated an influential image, “the Newtonian world machine,” a cosmos like a stationary engine, wheeling forever without any evolution, and an influential hypothesis, that the philosophers and scientists of the 18th century were engaged in the fruitful but failing attempt to discern equally simple mathematical laws that would describe and prescribe for the human mind and human society. He, like his Columbia colleague in history, Jacques Barzun, emphasized, indeed gloried in, the tremendous variety and contrariety of the sentiments and movements of the Romantics, not a school of literature but a cultural epoch of all Europe. In The Career of Philosophy, he devoted more space to the German philosophers of the age than to any other tradition. He was less interested in 20th century philosophers, and could never finish the last volume of The Career.
It is difficult to pinpoint Randall’s lasting influence on American philosophy. Other schools than “Columbia naturalism” were more prominent from the mid 20th century on. If American optimism and liberalism have declined, in various senses, this crystalized philosophical expression of them may have declined with them. Yet many members of other movements and indeed other professions still hold in whole or in part to these basic naturalist positions: a secular but not adversarial stance toward religion, a belief in the genuine reality and intelligibility of the universe and of the ability of the many sciences to illuminate it, and a conviction that the long history of philosophy is not just a chronicle of errors, but a two and a half thousand year record of how a number of human minds achieved remarkable and abidingly relevant insights. Insofar as these sentiments are still a part of the American intellectual baseline, Randall lives on.”
“My father was a tall man for his time, six feet, which usually gives men a personal confidence. Curiously, though, he was not quite so tall as his own father’s six foot two, or as his sons, both six foot two. When I was first measured as a bit taller, he seemed pleased. In youth he was not a slim figure. By the age of thirty he was getting fat, and then became decidedly fat for the rest of his life. For decades this didn’t seem to affect his health, or even slow him down. He was a tireless Baedeker tourist in European cities, and he could hike, and paddle a canoe into his sixties. The last New England mountain he climbed, Vermont’s beautiful Camel’s Hump, about 3,800 feet, he scaled, with me, when he was well over fifty. He affected to be proud of being fat, identifying with Plato, which means “broad-shouldered” or burly in Greek, and with St. Thomas Aquinas, always painted as stout (as in the cloisters of Santa Maria Novella in Florence, which he loved showing me in 1953). He told me that a desk of Thomas survives, with a large half moon cut out of the front of it. His face was moderately broad. It was neither handsome nor plain, but pleasant. He parted his hair on the left, as his father had done since the 1880s, and as I do to this day, as a family tradition. (People keep saying I am out-of-date!) I didn’t know him in his youth, but I don’t think he ever carried himself with overt sexuality, or had a predatory eye for girls. Indeed, my mother told me that her family was surprised that he was interested in marrying at all, and that he actually proposed.
Withal, in middle age he would come home from weekly meetings of the teachers of the Contemporary Civilization course at Columbia, with a quota of dirty jokes, most of them from the American historian, Henry Steele Commager. Since my father was notable for his mind alone, it is balancing to record (again) that he was very handy with tools and all aspects of carpentry. He once spent several days in the hot July sun on the rooves of his farmhouse in Peacham, Vt., taking up the metal ridge-protectors, and laying down a new set. He didn’t enjoy driving as such, but he very much enjoyed canoeing on New England Lakes, and taught me the tricks of maneuvering the craft, of not injuring it, and of economizing on energy while paddling. He was widely lauded as being “brilliant,” and I believe there several aspects of his mind that elicited this judgment. First of all, he had what was widely called a “prodigious memory.” He had read extraordinarily widely – since the age of five? – and he remembered an astonishing proportion of it. Before computers, electronic indexing and all our contemporary systems of retrieving information, he could remember what he wanted for his lectures and writings – a tremendous scholarly advantage in those days. He could go to the collected works of Aristotle or Hegel and find the passage he was looking for, either instantly or in a minute or so.
And he “had languages,” a reading knowledge of French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish (He rarely used the last three), and Latin – but he confessed that his ancient Greek was not at all fluent. He had books in all those languages on his shelves, philosophies and literary classics. He spoke German readily, and after his year in Italy, 1933-34, Italian – the rest, including French, only haltingly. And yes, he “had read everything.” He read very rapidly, but not by skimming. Philosophies, of course, and histories, and the more philosophical sides of the social sciences, and the classics of natural science of the past and of his own day, up to Planck, Einstein and Heisenberg. And of course literature: poetry, drama, romances, novels, experimental forms, from Homer to friends of his such as Mark Van Doren. He lectured “brilliantly” – his basic mode of spreading his philosophical views and influence. This meant that he could derive from massive texts and massive information one or more organizing themes that didn’t simplify but illuminated, and that he could illustrate them convincingly with masses of adduced detailed evidence. Enlarged, these became the cores of his most noted writings on the history of philosophy. His case that Aristotle was not a supernaturalist but something close to modern functionalism, driven home by his telling translation, “The soul of an axe is cutting.” His case that the philosopher-scientists at the University of Padua, from 1300 to 1600, were fruitfully using Aristotelian language and methods to tread all the preliminary, cumulative steps to the scientific breakthroughs that the world attributed to Galileo alone. His case that the 17th Century scientists, culminating in Newton, perceived the universe as “the Newtonian World-Machine,” and that 18th Century philosophes were attempting to extend that machine into the human mind and human societies.
And Jack Randall was witty, in turns of phrase, in juxtapositions of ideas, in revelations of ludicrousness, in puncturings of pretentiousness. The wit in his writings and lectures was obviously considered ahead of time. Near the beginning of “The Making of the Modern Mind,” he quoted a12th-century writer, Bartholomew the Englishman as knowing England (quotation) and “France too he knows well.” (quotation) – and then the gentle but deadly, “But India is a long way off,” followed by a long quotation about giant trees and giant men, satyrs and other men wondrously shapen, men without mouths that live only on smells.... In his History of Philosophy course, he would hold up a volume by a German philosopher (any German philosopher?), read a line and turn the page, saying the rest of the page was all footnotes, turning the book to the class so that it could be seen – and repeating the process for the next twelve pages, to the rising laughter of the class. But thousands more instances of his wit were oral, spontaneously generated by an opportunity of the moment.
When he arrived in Rome on his Guggenheim Fellowship in 1933, he was received by the noted Italian philosopher Gentile (who would be shot by the Nazis ten years later), who had kindly arranged an apartment for the Randalls to stay in, and introductions to the often unhelpful libraries of the city. My father instantly said (in Italian) that this was “tre gentile” of him, which made the formidable old scholar and politician smile. – Once when my mother was peeved by my father’s insistence on something, she said he was “ruthless.” “I may be ruthless,” he replied, “but I’m not merciless.” Archaeological studies of jokes can’t dig up their humor, but at least it can be known. The references were to his friend Horace Friess’s wife, Ruth, and to his own, Mercedes. It made my peeved mother burst into a grin.
His most famous quip came late in his career, at the banquet in the Columbia faculty club to honor him at his retirement. His recent students gave him an ancient Athenian coin with the head of Athene on the obverse and her wonderful, goofy owl on the reverse. And John Anton, a somewhat sobersides former student of Greek extraction, presented him with the manuscript soon to be published as, “Essays on the Philosophy of John Herman Randall, Jr.” Father sat impassively through the presentation, looked at the manuscript quizzically, and said “Timeo Danaos et dona ferentis.” [Virgil’s Laocoon, “I fear the Greeks even when they bear gifts.”] The laughter spread, wave after wave.
Yet for all of my father’s mental and intellectual facility, all his eloquence and wit, all his promising youth and its fulfillment in a very successful career, he was a very shy man. He could be embarrassed, rattled and flustered, and flub things. He could retreat from unpleasant encounters, and he had phobias, such as burning buildings and choking on fish bones. He was indeed a brilliant lecturer, but was less successful in sections, where some student questions could leave him unable to address the issues. At home, this could provoke a quick anger – quickly forgotten. From his youth he impressed people, but also struck some of them as odd – my mother’s mother, for instance, before their marriage. This required some explanation, but none was readily forthcoming. Nor is it now.
After his father and mother died, in 1946 and 1948, and as his wife was suffering a nervous breakdown, he suffered ten years of manic-depressive alternations of mood, which he, alas, self-treated with alcohol, and only briefly with psychiatric treatment and lithium. (Father could never take Freud’s theories or his clinical practice seriously) He was able to continue teaching, but wrote very little in that decade. Had this depressive cycle been latent, or only slightly manifest, in his earlier decades? His wife and best friends didn’t think so. And then, in the later 1950s, he largely recovered, and wrote his multi-volume magnum opus, “The Career of Philosophy.” Unlike my grandfather’s case, external events were insufficient to explain either the onset or the remission. But since my grandfather, my father and his brother Bob, and my brother John (but fortunately not I), all suffered from depression, maybe it was indeed hereditary. But the circumstances and severity of each case were quite different, which makes no simple medical explanation possible. It is greatly to my father’s credit that he endured and transcended so terrible an affliction. But it remains a mystery.
In my father’s life and work there were interlocking cycles of independent work and intellectual and emotional collaboration with small groups of friends, sometimes just one. In college, graduate school and his early career, he was significantly formed, sustained and brought forward by Woodbridge, especially, and the other senior philosophers at Columbia. They were leading spirits in Columbia’s pioneering program of “general education,” courses instituted after World War I – courses of very broad scope required of all students in their first two years, designed to give them the entire and interconnected picture of Western culture, before the separated to major in their specialties. He was one of the first group of teachers in the first of these courses, “Contemporary Civilization in the West,” an intellectual history of Europe from the 12th Century to the (moving) present. Father’s first big book, “The Making of the Modern Mind,” grew out of this course, for which it was a background for the many source readings in philosophy and every other intellectual endeavor. Published in 1926, in print for more than fifty years, it made him academically famous and moderately prosperous, and his ideas on the history of philosophy widely known. It was the summit of his early career.
He inherited from Woodbridge the year long graduate course in the history of philosophy, which became his major instrument of influence on generations of young philosophers and others at Columbia In his mid-career, he was sustained by his close, long-standing friends now in the philosophy department with him: Gutmann, Friess, Schneider and Edman, plus the thoughtful historian Tannenbaum, the stockbroker and financial facilitator of the department and its members Redpath, and the new close colleague, the logician Ernest Nagel. Schneider’s work in Italy in the philosophy of Fascism, led him to urge my father to apply for, and receive, a Guggenheim Fellowship for 1933-34, to live mostly in Florence and to study the Aristotelian philosophers at the University of Padua. This led to the major work of his middle period, “The Development of Scientific Method in the School of Padua,” 1940. Schneider also bought two side-by-side farms in Peacham, Vermont, in 1929, and rented one of them to my parents in the summer of 1931 (when I was in the womb), which hooked them on that idyllic farm, village and landscape for life.
Therefore it was a real blow to my parents and to their whole group when, in 1943, the Schneiders, for so long the social center of the group, were divorced. Herbert Schneider remained at Columbia, which was by no means automatic in those days. His wife Carol drank herself to death. Schneider sold one of the farms to my father in 1946. The group survived, but it was never so close a unit again. The 1930s were a political decade. My parents called themselves socialists, and always voted for the perennial pacifist Socialist candidate for president, Norman Thomas, never for Roosevelt, even during World War II. Father judged Marx to be a very reductionist philosopher, Stalin to be a horrible tyrant, and American Communists to be political schemers. In 1935 he resigned from his post in the American Federation of Teachers when the Communists took over the union. He said in a speech then, “The Communists may have a role in advancing American freedom, but it is best that they do it alone.” But he opposed purging Communists from American universities after World War II.
The other political question that pressed itself on American universities as the 1930s went on was that of the many scholarly political refugees, most but by no means all Jews, from the monster dictators of Europe. In the Depression, too many American professors and professorial groups, notably the psychologists, reacted in a trade unionist and ill-concealed anti-Semitic way: Keep those rivals for our jobs, especially all those Jews, out. My father was proud to be instrumental, in 1939, in persuading the American Philosophical Association to take the opposite stand, lamenting the tragedies in Europe and welcoming its victims to our shores and universities. He was one of those who facilitated the appointment of the distinguished Ernst Cassirer to Columbia’s philosophy department. It was harder and took longer to secure the regular appointment of the younger and then less noted Paul Oskar Kristeller. But it was done, in stages, during World War II. Columbia’s reward was that Kristeller became the most distinguished scholar of Renaissance philosophy in America, for over forty years. My father’s reward was that Kristeller became his closest colleague and friend during his last decades, and his wife Edith, a noted physician of physical therapy and rehabilitation, became my mother’s closest friend.
When my father recovered from his long manic-depressive decade, he entered the last and very productive stage of his career, signaled above all by the volumes of his “Career of Philosophy,” a much longer treatment of the history of Western philosophy from the 12th Century to the 20th than “The Making of the Modern Mind” had been forty years and more before. He formally retired in 1967 but taught collaborative courses for another five years, most with another German refugee scholar he had befriended, the theologian Paul Tillich. In 1976 he suffered a stroke of the temporal lobes, which deprived him of almost all his powers of speech and writing, and my mother died the next year – a sad final phase of his life. He died on December 1st, 1980, and his ashes were buried next to my mother’s in their plot in the cemetery of Peacham, on a hill overlooking an extraordinarily beautiful view of the green hills of Vermont.”
Education: Mount Morris High School; Columbia University, BA, 1914-1918; Columbia University, MA, 1918-1919; Columbia University, 1919-1922, PhD. John Herman Randall, Jr. Publications: NeoKantian social philosophy in Germany and France; the critical method applied to the philosophy of control, M.A. Thesis, Columbia University (1919); The problem of group responsibility to society: an interpretation of the history of American labor, Ph.D. Dissertation, Columbia University (1922); (contributor) An Introduction to Reflective Thinking (1923); The Western mind: its origins and development. A survey of the intellectual background of the present age (1924); The making of the modern mind: a survey of the intellectual background of the present age (1926), Our changing civilization: how science and the machine are reconstructing modern life (1929); (with John Herman Randall, Sr.) Religion and the modern world (1929); “The development of scientific method in the school of Padua,” Journal of the History of Ideas 1 (1940), 177-206; (with Justus Buchler) Philosophy: an introduction (1942); “The Meaning of Religion for Man,” in W. E. Hocking, ed., Preface to Philosophy (1946); (ed., with Justus Buchler and Evelyn Shirk) Readings in Philosophy (1946); Nature and historical experience: essays in naturalism and in the theory of history (1958); The role of knowledge in Western religion (1958); Aristotle (1960); The School of Padua and the Emergence of Modern Science (1961); The career of philosophy: Volume I: From the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment (1962); How philosophy uses its past (1963); The Career of Philosophy: Volume II: From the German Enlightenment to the Age of Darwin (1965); The Meaning of Religion for Man (1968); Hellenistic ways of deliverance and the making of the Christian synthesis (1970); Plato: dramatist of the life of reason (1970); ed. Beth J. Singer, Philosophy after Darwin: chapters for The Career of Philosophy, volume III, and other essays (1977). Also see John P. Anton, ed., Naturalism and Historical Understanding: Essays on the Philosophy of John Herman Randall, Jr. (1967).