Today I have sought him out.
While many saw Lewis as kin to the logical empiricists, he was never truly comfortable in such company because he declined to divorce experience from cognition. Positivism rejected value as lacking cognitive significance, also rejecting the analysis of experience in favor of physicalism. Both rejections struck him as regrettable. Indeed his growing awareness of the pragmatic tradition led him in the opposite direction. For Lewis, it is only within experience that anything can have significance for anything, and thus he came to see value as a way of representing the significance of knowledge for future conduct. These convictions led him to reflect on the differences between pragmatism and positivism, and on the cognitive structure of value experiences.
I have great fondness for the American pragmatists and didn't realize how Lewis fit into this tradition. It seems he was also excited by the role of subjective experience on cognition.
In my searches, I found a memorial Lewis wrote for the Journal of Philosophy in 1954 (Vol. 51) for George Santayana--a man of letters famous for the quote: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". Here is a section from the memorial:
The external impression was somewhat striking; and it remains vivid with me. I can still see him as he came through that gate out there on Quincy Street; a taller than average figure, erect and well set up, walking with easy gait like that of a man who has sometime learned to march. He appeared observant of whatever went on about him, but not engaged with it-a little aloof perhaps, as if his thoughts were elsewhere. He wore a longish military cape, instead of an overcoat, coming over from his rooms, and I can see him as he swung it off at the door. The complexion was a little darker than the average, indicative of the Spanish strain in his inheritance; and the eyes at once drew notice. The features and general presence were such as I can only suggest by the word "aristocratic."(p.29)
I love the nested sorts of remembering involved in a memorial of a man famous for valuing memory. I am intrigued by Lewis' use of the word 'vivid' and the precise description he provides of the professor. The description suggests that Lewis is not remembering a single event, but has averaged out a set of experiences to produce a distilled essence of experience.
It makes me think of the usual differentiation of episodic memory into either abstract/conceptual or event specific knowledge (ESK). Abstract/conceptual episodic memory involves explicit memory for facts about events in a person's life, e.g. "when I was at high school I studied chemistry and once I performed a perfect titration". On the other hand, ESK involves near-sensory experiences (E.g. mental imagery, smells, tastes), emotions (joy, fear, sorrow, sense of significance). Lewis' recollection seems to incorporate both abstract/conceptual episodic memory and ESK. That is, he constructs a near-sensory recollection fabricated from many exposures.
We all do this frequently, e.g., when we imagine eating a lox and cream cheese bagel, we recollect the feelings from many instances.