The Positivist Foundation in William James's "Principles"

Review of Metaphysics 37 (3):579 - 593 (1984)
Abstract
In "the principles of psychology" james both claimed to be putting psychology on a firm foundation as a natural science in the positivist sense and argued that the positivist program was untenable. this inconsistency is partially the result of the transitional character of the "principles" but, more fundamentally, a reflection of the traditional division between science as objective knowledge of an independent reality and the subjective moral realm of human agency. this paper explains why james was as yet unable to integrate scientific and moral-aesthetic views and in so doing indicates the fundamental shift involved in his developing philosophical pragmatism
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