The Essential WilliamJames 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)
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 WilliamJames , with additions bringing it up to 1976. (shrink)
WilliamJames 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.
v. 1. William and Henry, 1861-1884 -- v. 2. William and Henry, 1885-1896 -- v. 3. William and Henry, 1897-1910 -- v. 4. 1856-1877 -- v. 5. 1878-1884 -- v. 6. 1885-1889 -- v. 7. 1890-1894 -- v. 8. 1895-June 1899 -- v. 9. July 1899-1901 -- v. 10. 1902-March 1905 -- v. 11. April 1905-March 1908 -- v. 12. April 1908-August 1910.
When WilliamJames 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)
Noted psychologist and philosopher develops his own brand of pragmatism, based on theories of C. S. Peirce. Emphasis on "radical empiricism," versus the transcendental and rationalist tradition. One of the most important books in American philosophy. Note.
What is an emotion? -- The dilemma of determinism -- The perception of reality -- The hidden self -- Habit -- The will -- The gospel of relaxation -- On a certain blindness in human beings -- What makes a life significant -- Philosophical conceptions and practical results -- The Philippine tangle -- The sick soul -- The Ph. D. octopus -- Does "consciousness" exist? -- The energies of men -- Concerning Fechner -- The moral equivalent of war.
This paper addresses the project of philosophical autobiography, using two different perspectives. On the one hand, the societal, economic, and family contexts of WilliamJames are addressed, and connected a modern academic context of business ethics research, marketing and purchasing decision making, and the continuing financial crisis. The concepts of “stream of consciousness” and “acting as-if” are connected to recent literature on WilliamJames. On the other hand, the significance of family context, and the possible connection (...) between the WilliamJames family and the author, is addressed through shared family narratives interspersed throughout the paper. (shrink)
The war against war is going to be no holiday excursion or camping party. The military feelings are too deeply grounded to abdicate their place among our ideals until better substitutes are offered than the glory and shame that come to nations as well as to individuals from the ups and downs of politics and the vicissitudes of trade. There is something highly paradoxical in the modern man's relation to war. Ask all our millions, north and south, whether they would (...) vote now (were such a thing possible) to have our war for the Union expunged from history, and the record of a peaceful transition to the present time substituted for that of its marches and battles, and probably hardly a handful of eccentrics would say yes. Those ancestors, those efforts, those memories and legends, are the most ideal part of what we now own together, a sacred spiritual possession worth more than all the blood poured out. Yet ask those same people whether they would be willing, in cold blood, to start another civil war now to gain another similar possession, and not one man or woman would vote for the proposition. In modern eyes, precious though wars may be they must not be waged solely for the sake of the ideal harvest. Only when forced upon one, is a war now thought permissible. -/- It was not thus in ancient times. The earlier men were hunting men, and to hunt a neighboring tribe, kill the males, loot the village and possess the females, was the most profitable, as well as the most exciting, way of living. Thus were the more martial tribes selected, and in chiefs and peoples a pure pugnacity and love of glory came to mingle with the more fundamental appetite for plunder. (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)
he rest of the world has made merry over the Chicago man's legendary saying that 'Chicago hasn't had time: to get round to culture yet, but when she does strike her, she'll make her hum.' Already the prophecy is fulfilling itself in a dazzling manner. Chicago has a School of Thought! -- a school of thought which, it is safe to predict, will figure in literature as the School of Chicago for twenty-five years to come. Some universities have plenty of (...) thought to show, but no school; others plenty of school, but no thought. The University of Chicago, by its Decennial, Publications, shows real thought and a real school. Professor John Dewey, and at least ten of his disciples, have collectively put into the world a statement, homogeneous in spite of so many coöperating minds, of a view of the world, both theoretical and ~practical, which is so simple, massive, and positive that, in spite of the fact that many parts of it yet need to be worked out, it deserves the title of a new system of philosophy. If it be as true as it is original, its publication must be reckoned an important event. The present reviewer, for one, strongly suspects it of being true. (shrink)
Louis Agassiz.--Address at the Emerson Centenary in Concord.--Robert Gould Shaw.--Francis Boott.--Thomas Davidson: a knight-errant of the intellectual life.--Herbert Spencer's autobiography.--Frederick Myers' services to psychology.--Final impressions of a psychical researcher.--On some mental effects of the earthquake.--The energies of men.--The moral equivalent of war.--Remarks at the peace banquet.--The social value of the college-bred.--The university and the individual: The Ph.D. octopus. The true Harvard. Stanford's ideal destiny.--A pluralistic mystic.
The culmination of WilliamJames' 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, (...) class='Hi'>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)
After completing his monumental work, The Principles of Psychology, WilliamJames 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)
One of the most influential men of his time, philosopher, psychologist, educator, and author WilliamJames (1842-1910) helped lead the transition from a predominantly European-centered nineteenth-century philosophy to a new "pragmatic" American philosophy. Helping to pave the way was his seminal book Pragmatism (1907), in which he included a chapter on "Truth," an essay which provoked severe criticism. In response, he wrote the present work, an attempt to bring together all he had ever written on the theory of (...) knowledge, including an article on the function of cognition, later polemic and expository contributions, and some replies to previous criticism. The result was a full and definitive expression of the pragmatist "epistemology" from James' point of view. In the book, he urges the reader to "turn away from abstractions, verbal solutions, fixed principles, and pretended absolutes and look for concreteness and facts, action and power," arguing that "the ultimate test for us of what a truth means is the conduct it dictates or inspires." For students, scholars--anyone interested in WilliamJames or the history of American philosophical thought--this book offers an in-depth exposition of the influential ideas of one of the greatest American thinkers. Unabridged republication of the edition originally published by Longmans, Green and Co., New York and London, 1909. (shrink)
Two books bound together, from religious period of one of the most renowned and representative thinkers. Written for laymen, thus easy to understand, it is penetrating and brilliant as well. Illuminations of age-old religious questions from a pragmatic perspective, written in a luminous style.
The aim of this article is to establish—and explore—James Baldwin's significance for educational theory. Through a close reading of ‘Everybody's Protest Novel’, I show that Baldwin's thinking is an important (if unrecognized) precursor to the work of Stanley Cavell and Cora Diamond, and is relevant to a number of problems that are educationally significant, in particular problems of race and racism.
IN the recently published Life by I.eslie Stephen of his brother, Fitz-James, there is an account of a school to which the latter went when he was a boy. The teacher, a certain Mr. Guest, used to converse with his pupils in this wise: "Gurney, what is the difference between justification and sanctification?- Stephen, prove the omnipotence of God " etc. In the midst of our Harvard freethinking and indifference we are prone to imagine that here at your (...) good old orthodox College conversation continues to be somewhat upon this order; and to show you that we at Harvard have not lost all interest in these vital subjects, I have brought with me tonight something like a sermon on justification by faith to read to you, --I mean an essay in justification of faith, a defence of our right to adopt a believing attitude in religious matters, in spite of the fact that our merely logical intellect may not have been coerced. 'The Will to Believe,' accordingly, is the title of my paper. (shrink)
Jean Hyppolite describes Hegel’s project in the Phenomenology of Spirit as “the development and formulation of natural consciousness and its progression to science, that is to say, to philosophic knowledge, to knowledge of the absolute” (Hyppolite 1974, 4). This development or progression is the “work of consciousness engaged in experience,” as phenomenal knowledge necessarily leads to absolute knowledge. Thus from the very nature of consciousness one is led toward the absolute, which is both substance as well as subject. This paper (...) will argue that Hegel’s account of the development of consciousness and its progression towards knowledge has certain commonalities with feminist philosophy of science. Frequently, feminist theorists cite Hegel specifically in reference to his discussion of the master/slave relationship, or his discussion of ethics, two sections of the Phenomenology of Spirit in which Hegel explicitly attempts to delineate a role or place for women. Many of these sections do have decidedly antifeminist implications, as has been correctly pointed out by many scholars. Especially in the section on Antigone, where Hegel ascribes the private sphere of life in the home to woman and the public sphere of life in the polis to man, Hegel is clearly unconcerned with the subordination of women, prescribing means of resistance, or finding alternatives to promote the removal of women’s oppression.1 Although Hegel’s political and moral theory does not reflect a feminist perspective, in this paper I will argue that Hegel’s theory of knowledge, the progress towards absolute knowledge described above, has much in common with recent feminist epistemology and philosophy of science. A central implication of this conclusion is that feminist theorists would do well to regard Hegel not merely politically, as an example of another “dead white male” philosopher who participated in the oppression of women; but also epistemologically, as a possible ally in the creation of better theories of knowledge that will regard the experience of culturally situated subjects as important sources of knowledge.2 This conclusion will be argued in two ways. First, I will illustrate how Hegel reconceptualizes the relationship between subject and object, and subject and community, and the related notion of objectivity. This type of objectivity will be shown to be a variety of “dialectical objectivity,” following Allan Megill’s delineation of four senses of objectivity. This reading of Hegelian subject-object relations and objectivity will then be compared to Sandra Harding’s concept of “strong objectivity,” a very similar type of dialectical objectivity which stands as an excellent example of current feminist epistemology and standpoint theory. From this similarity, it will be shown that Hegelian and feminist epistemology have much more in common than previously thought. (shrink)
Introduction, by G. Holton.--Three eighteenth-century social philosophers: scientific influences on their thought, by H. Guerlac.--Science and the human comedy: Voltaire, by H. Brown.--The seventeenth-century legacy: our mirror of being, by G. de Santillana.--Contemporary science and the contemporary world view, by P. Frank.--The growth of science and the structure of culture, by R. Oppenheimer.--The Freudian conception of man and the continuity of nature, by J. S. Bruner.--Quo vadis, by P. W. Bridgman.--Prospects for a new synthesis: science and the humanities as (...) complementary activities, by C. Morris.--A humanist looks at science, by H. M. Jones. (shrink)
In this memorial essay on Sir Frank Kermode (1919–2010), the author focuses on his own exchange of views with Kermode during the 1970s. In Kermode's book The Sense of an Ending (1966), he had criticized Frank's essay “Spatial Form in Modern Literature” (1945) as part of a larger critique of what the Romantic-Symbolist tradition of English poetry had become in the twentieth century. Yeats, Pound, Eliot, and other late Symbolists had turned artists into advocates of an irrational wisdom (...) superior to reason and common sense, thus isolating—so Kermode argued—the world of art from that of ordinary human concerns. Rejecting their view of art, he turned instead to a pre-Romantic tradition (including Spenser and Milton) that the Symbolists had rejected. Among modern writers, Kermode turned to Wallace Stevens, who became his foil for Yeats, Eliot, and Pound, as well as the most important influence on his own later thinking. Joseph Frank, in this essay, recalls the combination of acerbic intelligence, social concern, gentility, and finally friendship that characterized his debate over these questions with Kermode. Frank recalls as an indication of his respect and admiration for Kermode that he wrote, in 1977, that, even if his own theory of spatial form were to be shown worthless, it would still have value in having provided some of the stimulus for Kermode to write The Sense of an Ending. (shrink)