In his introduction to this collection, John representative. McDermott presents James's thinking in all its manifestations, stressing the importance of radical empiricism and placing into perspective the doctrines of pragmatism and the will to believe. The critical periods of James's life are highlighted to illuminate the development of his philosophical and psychological thought. The anthology features representive selections from The Principles of Psychology, The Will to Believe , and The Variety of Religious Experience in addition to the complete (...) Essays in Radical Empiricism and A Pluralistic Universe . The original 1907 edition of Pragmatism is included, as well as classic selections from all of James's other major works. Of particular significance for James scholarship is the supplemented version of Ralph Barton Perry's Annotated Bibliography of the Writings of William James , with additions bringing it up to 1976. (shrink)
A central purpose of government is to lower taxes, and so it is a triumph for America that conservatives have successfully brought taxes to historic lows. Lest this be seen as a reactionary bulwark against liberal tax increases, or as shamelessly helping the rich—the conservative movement must offer a principled vision for America’s future. The principled conservative, I wish to maintain, must hold fast to an uncompromising zero tax position: we must continue to cut taxes, until every last American enjoys (...) perfect taxfree liberty. (shrink)
William James had the courage to experience the collision of European and American ways of thinking head on, and to emerge from it with a new philosophy - one displaying a remarkable vitality for dealing with the transformative issues at the core of the human condition. This easy to read introduction to his life and work explains why James' work is overwhelmingly valuable to us today in getting to grips with the spiritual dimension of human experience.
After completing his monumental work, The Principles of Psychology, William James turned his attention to serious consideration of such important religious and philosophical questions as the nature and existence of God, immortality of the soul, and free will and determinism. His interest in these questions found expression in various works, including The Varieties of Religious Experience, his classic study of spirituality. Based on the prestigious Gifford Lectures on Natural Religion he gave at the University of Edinburgh in 1901 and (...) 1902, the book--studded with richly concrete examples--documents and discusses various religious states of consciousness and covers such topics as the meaning of the term "divine," the reality of the unseen, the religion of healthy-mindedness, the sick soul, the divided self and the process of its unification, conversion, saintliness, and mysticism. One of the author's most popular works, The Varieties of Religious Experience remains one of the great books on the subject, especially noteworthy for the evidence it gives for religious experience as a unique phenomenon. This Dover edition will be the least expensive one in print. Unabridged republication of the second edition of The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature, originally published by Longmans, Green and Co., New York, 1902. Index. (shrink)
The culmination of William James' interest in the psychology of religion, The Varieties of Religious Experience approached the study of religious phenomena in a new way -- through pragmatism and experimental psychology. The most important effect of the publication of the Varieties was to shift the emphasis in this field of study from the dogmas and external forms of religion to the unique mental states associated with it. Explaining the book's intentions in a letter to a friend, James (...) stated: "The problem I have set myself is a hard one: first, to defend...'experience' against 'philosophy' as being the real backbone of the world's religious life...and second, to make the hearer or reader believe what I myself invincibly do believe, that, although all the special manifestations of religion may have been absurd (I mean its creeds and theories), yet the life of it as a whole is mankind's most important function." Drawing evidence from his own experience and from such diverse thinkers as Voltaire, Whitman, Emerson, Luther, Tolstoy, John Bunyan, and Jonathan Edwards, The Varieties of Religious Experience remains one of the most influential books ever written on the psychology of religion. (shrink)
The Essential William James covers the primary topics for which James is still closely studied: the nature of experience, the functions of the mind, the criteria for knowledge, the definition of “truth,” the ethical life, and the religious life. His notable terms, still resonating in their respective fields, are all covered here, from “stream of consciousness” and “pure experience” to the “will to believe,” the “cash-value of truth,” and the distinction between the religiously “healthy soul” and the “sick (...) soul.” This volume’s eighteen selections receive the bulk of the attention and citation from scholars, provide excellent coverage of core topics, and have a broad appeal across many academic disciplines. (shrink)
A rationale is presented for using social roles as the basis for developing a social roles curriculum framework at the secondary level. The construct social role is defined as a pattern of behaviours and attitudes related to a specific function or position as expected by society. Havighurst's social role concept provides background information for the current research project. This study attempts to revitalise Havighurst's social role theory within a contemporary context. Data were collected from 300 adults on a community survey (...) that was distributed within the Tampa Bay Area, USA. The survey controlled for an equal number of respondents grouped by age, gender, and SES level. Particular social roles emerged from the analysis as salient for certain adult groups. It was found that students need to be prepared for the various new social roles they will fill as adults, and that secondary school curricula should be rethought along these lines. The importance of such under-valued social roles as friendship is contemplated for formal school learning. Finally, perspectives are advanced for integrating the research findings into the secondary school curriculum. (shrink)
The possibility of achieving ectogenesis, or the growing of a human fetus to term in an artificial womb, is approaching reality as a result of advances in treatment of premature newborns and in in vitro fertilization techniques. In their 1984 book, The Reproductive Revolution, issued in North America as Making Babies, Peter Singer and Deane Wells offered several arguments for ectogenesis. James examines their arguments and rejects two of them, that ectogenesis offers a less problematic alternative to surrogate motherhood, (...) and that ectogenesis could make it possible to reconcile fetal rights with the right to abortion on demand. He grants Singer and Wells' argument that the childless have a claim to state support of their desire to nurture, but contends that government-supported ectogenesis should still be rejected because the adoption of unwanted children is a preferable alternative to the use of an exotic, expensive, and still unproven technology. (shrink)
When William James spoke about belief to the philosophy clubs of Yale and Brown in 1896, he forewarned his audience of the nature of his comments by describing them as a “sermon on justification by faith” (James 13), titling the talk “The Will to Believe.” Although there is disagreement about the substance of James’s remarks, it is fairly innocuous to assert that James thought they were appropriate because of the prevalence of the “logical spirit” of many (...) of those who practiced academic philosophy that led them to the conclusion that religious faith was untenable. Aware of his audience, James presents his view on the permissibility of religious faith on the terms and grounds familiar to professional philosophers. .. (shrink)
Adapting Wittgenstein's concept of the human species as 'a ceremonial animal', Wendy James writes vividly and readably. Her new overview advocates a clear line of argument: that the concept of social form is a primary key to anthropology and the human sciences as a whole. Weaving memorable ethnographic examples into her text, James brings together carefully selected historical sources as well as references to current ideas in neighbouring disciplines such as archaeology, paleoanthropology, genetics, art and material culture, ethnomusicology, (...) urban and development studies, politics, economics, psychology, and religious studies. She shows the relevance of anthropology to pressing world issues such as migration, humanitarian politics, the new reproductive technologies, and religious fundamentalism. -/- Wendy James's engaging style will appeal to specialist and non-specialist alike. The Foreword is written by Michael J. Lambek, Professor of Anthropology, University of Toronto. (shrink)
The status of the body figures paradoxically in the interrelated discourses of whiteness, aesthetic taste, and hipness. While Richard Dyer’s analysis of whiteness argues that white identity is “in but not of the body,” Carolyn Korsmeyer’s and Julia Kristeva’s feminist analyses of aesthetic “taste” demonstrate that this faculty is traditionally conceived as something “of” but not “in” the body. While taste directly distances whiteness from embodiment, hipness negatively affirms this same distance: the hipster proves his elite status within white culture (...) by positioning himself as, in the words of James Chance’s song title, “Almost Black.” The notion of hip contributes to my analysis of taste by focusing on both the gender politics of white embodiment, and how, by taking the social body as object of the prepositions “in” and “of,” these discourses of taste and hipness produce individual bodies as white, and maintain Whiteness as a socio-political norm. (shrink)
What at bottom is meant by calling the universe many or by calling it one? -/- Pragmatically interpreted, pluralism or the doctrine that it is many means only that the sundry parts of reality may be externally related. Everything you can think of, however vast or inclusive, has on the pluralistic view a genuinely "external" environment of some sort or amount. Things are "with" one another in many ways, but nothing includes everything, or dominates over everything. The word "and" trails (...) along after every sentence. Something always escapes. "Ever not quite" has to be said of the best attempts made anywhere in the universe at attaining all-inclusiveness. The pluralistic world is thus more like a federal republic than like an empire or a kingdom. However much may be collected, however much may report itself as present at any effective centre of consciousness or action, something else is self-governed and absent and unreduced to unity. -/- Monism, on the other hand, insists that when you come down to reality as such, to the reality of realities, everything is present to everything else in one vast instantaneous co-implicated completeness -- nothing can in any sense, functional or substantial, be really absent from anything else, all things interpenetrate and telescope together in the great total conflux. (shrink)
In 1907 William James was invited to give the Hibbert Lectures at Manchester College, Oxford. Initially he was reluctant to do so since he feared undertaking them would divert him from developing rigorously and systematically some metaphysical ideas of his own that had preoccupied him for some time. In the end, however, he relented and in the spring of 1908 gave the lectures which were subsequently published as A Pluralistic Universe. As it happened, though, in the course of these (...) lectures James presented some of those metaphysical ideas, though in a popular and informal style appropriate to lecturing. Later on he did get down to working out a systematic metaphysics in proper academic style, but the project was cut short by his untimely death in 1910. The incomplete Some Problems of Philosophy, posthumously published in 1911, recapitulates some major themes of A Pluralistic Universe. (shrink)
William James' Radical Empiricist essays offer a unique and powerful argument for direct realism about our perceptions of objects. This theory can be completed with some observations by Kant on the intellectual preconditions for a perceptual judgment. Finally James and Kant deliver a powerful blow to the representational theory of perception and knowledge, which applies quite broadly to theories of representation generally.
This book is my new scholarly edition of William James, A Pluralistic Universe. The original text has been recovered, annotations to the text added to identify James' authors and events of interest, there is a new bibliography chiefly based on James' sources, a brief chronology of James' career, and I have added an expository and critical Introduction and a comprehensive analytical index.
As suggested in the subtitle, A New Philosophical Reading, the editor aspires in his Introduction and his notes to “facilitate a deeper understanding and a critical evaluation (...) of this crucial and difficult philosophical work” (p. ix). This was the last important book which James published during his lifetime. With it James aims at a critical evaluation of Hegelian monism and an exploration of the philosophical and theological alternatives. “Our world of some one hundred years on”—the editor says (...) (p. ix)—“is much the better for James’ contribution, and understanding William James on pluralism deeply contributes even now to America’s self-understanding.”. (shrink)
This new edition of William James’s 1909 classic, A Pluralistic Universe reproduces the original text, only modernizing the spelling. The books has been annotated throughout to clarify James’s points of reference and discussion. There is a new, fuller index, a brief chronology of James’s life, and a new bibliography—chiefly based on James’s own references. The editor, H.G. Callaway, has included a new Introduction which elucidates the legacy of Jamesian pluralism to survey some related questions of contemporary (...) American society. -/- A Pluralistic Universe was the last major book James published during his life time. It is a substantial philosophical work, devoted to a thorough-going criticism of Hegelian monism and Absolutism—and the exploration of philosophical and social-theological alternatives. Our world of some one hundred years on is much the better for James’s contributions; and understanding James’s pluralism deeply contributes even now to America’s self-understanding. At present, we are more certain that American is, and is best, a pluralistic society, than we are of what particular forms our pluralism should take. Keeping an eye out for social interpretations of Jamesian pluralism, this new philosophical reading casts light on our twenty-first century alternatives by reference to prior American experience and developments. -/- . (shrink)
Academic popularizers of the new field of evolutionary psychology make notable appeals to William James to bolster their doctrine. In particular, they cite James’ remark that humans have all the “impulses” animals do and many more besides to shore up their claim that people’s “instincts” account for their flexibility. This essay argues that these scholars misinterpret James on the instincts. Consciousness (which they find inscrutable) explains cognitive flexibility for James. The evolutionary psychologists’ appeal to James (...) is, therefore, unwarranted and, given the conditions relevant to the public and professional audiences they address, also ineffective as a rhetorical tool for enlisting new recruits. (shrink)
William James undertook to steer his way between a rationalistic system that was not empirical enough and an empirical system so materialistic that it could not account for the value commitments on which it rested. In arguing against both the absolutists (gnostics) and the empiricists (agnostics), he defined a position of pluralistic moralism that seemed equally distant from both, leaving himself vulnerable to the criticism that he had rescued morality from scientism only by reducing religion to morals. Such criticism, (...) however, ignores distinctions James made between religion and theology and between monistic theology and dualistic theology. When these distinctions are taken into account, it becomes evident that James can be criticized for reducing religion to morality only from the point of view of either absolute monism or religious humanism and that radical empiricism not only embraces a significant number of nonmoral religious experiences but also leaves open the possibility of belief in the particular historical God of traditional Christianity. (shrink)
"Space," William James confessed, "is [both] a direfully difficult subject [and the] driest of subjects.'" Nonetheless, convinced that most previous accounts of space were either incoherent or mythological, he set out to describe space as it is actually experienced. His first effort, "The Spatial Quale," appeared in The Journal of Speculative Philosophy in 1879. 2 This article is historically important; as Ralph Barton Perry notes, "his peculiar view of the amplitude and eonnectedness of experience seems to have begun with (...) the application to space. ''3 But, despite this fact, it is seldom read today. It was not reprinted in James's Collected Essays and Reviews because the editor found "no important difference" between the content of this article and that of the chapter in The Principles of Psychology dealing with the same topic. 4 And it has not been included in more recent anthologies of James's writings. James would undoubtedly have concurred with the reasoning behind these editorial decisions. In the preface to the Psychology he wrote: Chapter 20, on Space-perception, is a terrible thing, which, unless written with all that detail, could not be fairly treated at all. An abridgment of it, called The Spatial Quale' ... may be found by some persons a useful substitute for the entire chapter? In fact, however, there is a significant philosophical difference between... (shrink)
With this book, Jacques Barzun pays what he describes as an "intellectual debt" to William James—psychologist, philosopher, and, for Barzun, guide and mentor. Commenting on James's life, thought, and legacy, Barzun leaves us with a wise and civilized distillation of the great thinker's work.
Conclusion: "For Bergson, it will be remembered, there is a conclusion,...The conquest of death is implied metaphysically, not to be verified experimentally. Man is born at home in the world, a microcosm essentially at one with it. For James the difference of man from the world is the fundamental thing. He is not born at home in it, he makes a home of it.
A Pluralistic Universe is America's favourite philosopher's last complete work before he died in 1910. Nevertheless, it has been somewhat neglected as a final self-reckoning. Indeed the term "pragmatism" occurs pretty rarely in it, while "experience" and "pluralism" abound. As introduced and annotated by H.G. Callaway, the Cambridge Scholars edition offers some valuable background on James and the text itself, particularly for the nonspecialist reader. Besides retaining James's notes, Callaway has also provided his own glosses on important philosophical (...) terms, translations of the foreign phrases James so often fell back on, and an expanded index and new bibliography to the text. It is, as Callaway says, a "reading and study edition" (ix). (shrink)
Translating Chinese Classics in a Colonial Context: James Legge and His Two Versions of the Zhongyong, by Hui Wang, Peter Lang Content Type Journal Article Pages 166-167 Authors Paul Boshears, Europäische Universität für Interdisziplinäre Studien/The European Graduate School Journal Comparative and Continental Philosophy Online ISSN 1757-0646 Print ISSN 1757-0638 Journal Volume Volume 4 Journal Issue Volume 4, Number 1 / 2012.
El artículo constituye una breve investigación histórica y teórica en torno a los principales nexos entre el pensamiento temprano de William James y el trabajo desplegado por Edmund Husserl en las Investigaciones lógicas. A través de un examen preliminar de las relaciones personales entre ambos autores, pasaremos a un estudio sobre el aparato conceptual desarrollado por James, sobre todo en Principios de psicología, con el objetivo de contrastarlo con el planteado por Husserl, mostrando cómo el primer autor esbozó, (...) entre otros, los conceptos fenomenológicos de intencionalidad y objetividad ideal. (shrink)
The title of Thomas James's 2011 In Face of Reality: The Constructive Theology of Gordon D. Kaufman echoes the title of Gordon Kaufman's 1993 In Face of Mystery: A Constructive Theology. Kaufman's theology evolved over his long career, but mystery became his principal metaphor for God. In substituting reality for mystery, James signals his central project, which is to argue that Kaufman's theology offers an objective God who "really acts in the world" (1).For James, God's providential activity (...) is a touchstone of Christian theology. However, he asserts, contemporary science has left little space for God to act. Most theologians have responded by: 1) limiting interaction with scientific findings to preserve .. (shrink)
This essay contributes to the debate over whether there is, or can be, any place for metaphysics in pragmatism, in William James's pragmatism, in particular. The paper defends the possibility of pragmatist metaphysics, seeking to show how interesting forms of such metaphysics with a grounding in key Jamesian texts can, pragmatically, be put to work. This task is interesting from the perspective of both James scholarship and the ongoing re-evaluation and critical transformation of the pragmatist tradition. Furthermore, we (...) need metaphilosophical discussion of the possibility and prospects of metaphysics in a situation in which many philosophers believe metaphysics to be dead and buried, partly thanks to the classical pragmatists and their followers. Thus, the present paper examines critically the widespread idea that pragmatism is an inherently non- or even antimetaphysical philosophy (a view held not only by radical neopragmatists like Richard Rorty but also by scholars of classical pragmatism such as Charlene Haddock Seigfried). (shrink)
William James’ Principles of Psychology, in which he made famous the ‘specious present’ doctrine of temporal experience, and Edmund Husserl’s Zur Phänomenologie des inneren Zeitbewusstseins, were giant strides in the philosophical investigation of the temporality of experience. However, an important set of precursors to these works has not been adequately investigated. In this article, we undertake this investigation. Beginning with Reid’s essay ‘Memory’ in Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man, we trace out a line of development of ideas (...) about the temporality of experience that runs through Dugald Stewart, Thomas Brown, William Hamilton, and finally the work of Shadworth Hodgson and Robert Kelly, both of whom were immediate influences on James (though James pseudonymously cites the latter as ‘E.R. Clay’). Furthermore, we argue that Hodgson, especially his Metaphysic of Experience (1898), was a significant influence on Husserl. (shrink)
The James–Lange theory considers emotional feelings as perceptions of physiological body changes. This approach has recently resurfaced and modified in both neuroscientific and philosophical concepts of embodiment of emotional feelings. In addition to the body, the role of the environment in emotional feeling needs to be considered. I here claim that the environment has not merely an indirect and thus instrumental role on emotional feelings via the body and its sensorimotor and vegetative functions. Instead, the environment may have a (...) direct and non-instrumental, i.e., constitutional role in emotional feelings; this implies that the environment itself in the gestalt of the person–environment relation is constitutive of emotional feeling rather than the bodily representation of the environment. Since the person–environment relation is crucial in this approach, I call it the relational concept of emotional feeling. After introducing the relational concept of emotional feeling, the present paper investigates the neurophilosophical question whether current neuroimaging data on human emotion processing and anatomical connectivity are empirically better compatible with the “relational” or the “embodied” concept of emotional feeling. These data lend support to the empirical assumption that neural activity in subcortical and cortical midline regions code the relationship between intero- and exteroceptive stimuli in a relational mode, i.e. their actual balance, rather than in a translational mode, i.e., by translating extero- into interoceptive stimulus changes. Such intero-exteroceptive relational mode of neural coding may have implications for the characterization of emotional feeling with regard to phenomenal consciousness and intentionality. I therefore conclude that the here advanced relational concept of emotional feeling may be considered neurophilosophically more plausible and better compatible with current neuroscientific data than the embodied concept as presupposed in the James–Lange theory and its modern neuroscientific and philosophical versions. (shrink)
William James's The Varieties of Religious Experience was an intellectual landmark, paving the way for modern study of parapsychology and religious experience. In this indispensable new companion to the Varietie s, key international experts in the fields of religious studies, psychology and mysticism offer contemporary responses to James's book, exploring its historical importance and modern relevance. As the only critical work dedicated to the cross-disciplinary influence of The Varieties of Religious Experience , it stands as a testament to (...)James's genius and ongoing legacy. (shrink)
William James' Principles of Psychology , in which he made famous the "specious present" doctrine of temporal experience, and Edmund Husserl's Zur Phänomenologie des inneren Zeitbewusstseins were giant strides in the philosophical investigation of the temporality of experience. However, an important set of precursors to these works has not been adequately investigated. In this article, we undertake this investigation. Beginning with Reid's essay "Memory" in Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man , we trace out a line of development (...) of ideas about the temporality of experience that runs through Dugald Stewart, Thomas Brown, William Hamilton, and finally the work of Shadworth Hodgson and Robert Kelly, both of whom were immediate influences on James (though James pseudonymously cites the latter as 'E.R. Clay'). Furthermore, we argue that Hodgson, especially his Metaphysic of Experience (1898), was a significant influence on Husserl. (shrink)
James Shelley argues that the perception of beauty, as Hutcheson characterizes it, in the first of the two treatises that comprise the Inquiry into the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue, that is, the Inquiry Concerning Beauty, Order, Harmony, Design, is not what I called in The Seventh Sense, ‘non-epistemic’ perception but, rather, ‘epistemic’ perception through and through. Having studied Shelley's arguments with care, and consulted the relevant primary sources yet again, I am still convinced (...) that the best reading of Hutcheson's second Inquiry, in the first edition of 1725, has Hutcheson espousing a non-epistemic account of our perception of what he calls ‘absolute beauty’. And so I argue in the present paper. (shrink)
Religious pluralis does have, as James Kraft says, a negative impact on the epistemic confidence with which one holds a religious position, when epistemology is thought on both the externalist and internalist lines. I also conclude both that there is a resulting epistemic humility and that a tolerance of religious diversity results from it, but I reach these conclusions for entirely different reasons. Epistemic humility and religious tolerance are fostered by the realization that many religions are striving for the (...) infinite, though all have limited views of it. (shrink)
This article is about a sidebar in James Gibson's last book, The ecological approach to visual perception. In this sidebar, Gibson, the founder of the ecological perspective of perception and action, argued that to perceive an affordance is not to classify an object. Although this sidebar has received scant attention, it is of great significance both historically and for recent discussions about specificity, direct perception, and the functions of the dorsal and ventral streams. It is argued that Gibson's acknowledgment (...) of Wittgenstein's ideas of classification suggests a limited scope of his theory of direct perception?it cannot account for the classification of objects. The implications for both the specification debate and theorizing about the brain's dorsal and ventral pathways are explored. Based on a recent ecological conception of information and direct perception, we ultimately argue that both affordance perception and classification are direct. (shrink)
In this paper I offer three main challenges to James (2011). All three turn on the nature of philosophy and secure knowledge in Spinoza. First, I criticize James's account of the epistemic role that experience plays in securing adequate ideas for Spinoza. In doing so I criticize her treatment of what is known as the ‘conatus doctrine’ in Spinoza in order to challenge her picture of the relationship between true religion and philosophy. Second, this leads me into a (...) criticism of her account of the nature of philosophy in Spinoza. I argue it is less piecemeal and less akin to what we would recognize as ‘science’ than she suggests. Third, I argue against James's core commitment that Spinoza's three kinds of knowledge differ in degree; I claim they differ in kind. My argument will offer a new interpretation of Spinoza's conception of ‘common notions’. Moreover, I argue that Spinozistic adequate knowledge involves something akin to angelic disembodiment. (shrink)
I am grateful that someone whose work I greatly admire could be the philosopher to so eloquently and succinctly cut to the heart of the problem that I posed in the previous issue of Deleuze Studies. James Williams' critical reply leaves me, prima facie, confronted by a stark alternative: either I have misunderstood Deleuze, or I have illustrated problems and lacunae in Deleuze. I will suggest, however, that this is a false alternative, and that Williams' and my divergent accounts (...) of The Logic of Sense – and even Deleuze's oeuvre as a whole – is better understood as a situation of ‘both/and’ rather than ‘either/or’, and hence that my interpretation of Deleuze isn't wrong, but necessarily iconoclastic. (shrink)
James Stacy Taylor advances a thorough argument for the legalization of markets in current (live) human kidneys. The market is seemly the most abhorrent type of market, a market where the least well-off sell part of their body to the most well off. Though rigorously defended overall, his arguments concerning exploitation are thin. I examine a number of prominent bioethicists’ account of exploitation: most importantly, Ruth Sample’s exploitation as degradation. I do so in the context of Taylor’s argument, with (...) the aim of buttressing Taylor’s position that a regulated kidney market is morally allowable. I argue that Sample fails to provide normative grounds consistent with her claim that exploitation is wrong. I then reformulate her account for consistency and plausibility. Still, this seemingly more plausible view does not show that Taylor’s regulated kidney market is prohibitively exploitative of impoverished persons. I tack into place one more piece of support for Taylor’s conclusion. (shrink)