Ralph Barton Perry (3 July 1876 in Poultney, Vermont - 22 January 1957 in Boston, Massachusetts) was an American philosopher. He was educated at Princeton (B.A., 1896) and at Harvard (M.A., 1897; Ph.D., 1899), where, after teaching philosophy for three years at Williams and Smith colleges, he was instructor (1902-05), assistant professor (1905-13), full professor (1913-30) and Edgar Pierce professor of philosophy (1930-46). He was president of the American Philosophical Association's eastern division in the year 1920-21.
A pupil of William James, whose Essays in Radical Empiricism he edited (1912), Perry became one of the leaders of the New Realism movement. Perry argued for a naturalistic theory of value and a New Realist theory of perception and knowledge. He wrote a celebrated biography of William James, which won the 1936 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography, and proceeded to a revision of his critical approach to natural knowledge. An active member among a group of American New Realist philosophers, he elaborated around 1910 the program of new realism. However, he soon dissented from moral and spiritual ontology, and turned to a philosophy of disillusionment. Perry was an advocate of a militant democracy: in his words "total but not totalitarian". In 1946-8 he delivered in Glasgow his Gifford Lectures, titled Realms of Value.
- The Approach to Philosophy, (1905), New York, Chicago and Boston: Charles Scribner's Sons
- The Moral Economy, (1909), New York: Charles Scribner's Son
- Present Philosophical Tendencies: A Critical Survey of Naturalism, Idealism, Pragmatism, and Realism, together with a Synopsis of the Philosophy of William James, (1912), New York:Longmans, Green & Co.
- Holt, EB; Marvin, WT; Montague, WP; Perry, RB; Pitkin, WB; Spaulding, EG, The New Realism: Cooperative Studies in Philosophy, (1912), New York: The Macmillan Company
- The Free Man and the Soldier, (1916), New York: Charles Scribner's Sons
- The Present Conflict of Ideals: A Study of the Philosophical Background of the World War, (1918), New York: Longmans, Green & Co.
- Annotated Bibliography of the Writings of William James, (1920), Longmans, Green & Co.
- The Plattsburg movement: A Chapter of America's Participation in the World War (1921), New York: E.P. Dutton & company
- A Modernist View of National Ideals (1926) Berkeley: University of California Press [Howison Lecture, 1925]
- General Theory of Value (1926)
- The Hope for Immortality (1935)
- The Thought and Character of William James (1935)
- Plea for an Age Movement (1942) New York: The Vanguard Press [Talk at 1941 Princeton and Harvard Reunions]
- Puritanism and Democracy, (1944)
- Characteristically American: Five Lectures Delivered on the William W. Cook Foundation at the University of Michigan, November-December 1948, (1949), New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1949
- Realms of Value, (1954), Harvard University Press [Based on Gifford Lectures]
- The Humanity of Man, (1956), New York: George Braziller
- Biography, at the Gifford Lectures site
- Works by Perry, in the Internet Archive
- Some works by and about Perry, in the Mead Project website
- "PROF. ROYCE'S REFUTATION OF REALISM AND PLURALISM", The Monist 12 (1901-2): 446-458.
- Review: The Refutation of Idealism, Reviews, The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. I, No. 3 (Feb. 4, 1904), 76-77.
- THE EGO-CENTRIC PREDICAMENT, Journal of Philosophy, Psychology, and Scientific Methods 7 (1910): 5-14
- Editor’s Preface, Essays in Radical Empiricism (1912) by William James
- Lectures on the Harvard Classics. The Harvard Classics, Volume LI (1914):
- Non-Resistance and the Present War--A Reply to Mr. Russell, International Journal of Ethics, Vol. 25 No. 3 (April, 1915). 307–316.