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)
What I say here has been said before on many days and nights by reflective persons, for centuries long and planetary wide. Why, then, say it again, Sam? Is it because Heraclitus was onto something when he told us the Logos speaks but few hear? Or is the situation that of the Hassidic tale as recounted by Martin Buber? A man took it upon himself to convey the message of the high and holy one. He found no response and so (...) went directly, petulantly, to the author of the message. "Why are you here?" asked the high and holy one. "I have offered your message and no one hears me." "But," comes the response, "there is no hearing here for you. I have sunk my hearing in the deafness of mortals." More directly we can recall .. (shrink)
The claim has often been made that passing the Turing Test would not be sufficient to prove that a computer program was intelligent because a trivial program could do it, namely, the “Humongous-Table (HT) Program”, which simply looks up in a table what to say next. This claim is examined in detail. Three ground rules are argued for: (1) That the HT program must be exhaustive, and not be based on some vaguely imagined set of tricks. (2) That the HT (...) program must not be created by some set of sentient beings enacting responses to all possible inputs. (3) That in the current state of cognitive science it must be an open possibility that a computational model of the human mind will be developed that accounts for at least its nonphenomenological properties. Given ground rule 3, the HT program could simply be an “optimized” version of some computational model of a mind, created via the automatic application of program-transformation rules [thus satisfying ground rule 2]. Therefore, whatever mental states one would be willing to impute to an ordinary computational model of the human psyche one should be willing to grant to the optimized version as well. Hence no one could dismiss out of hand the possibility that the HT program was intelligent. This conclusion is important because the Humongous-Table Program Argument is the only argument ever marshalled against the sufficiency of the Turing Test, if we exclude arguments that cognitive science is simply not possible. (shrink)
The essay surveys Newman's work in literary drama, from an early essay on Aristotle's Poetics to his adaptation of Roman comedies for production at the Oratory School, in order to approach his affinities with Hans Urs von Balthasar's theological dramatic theory. Newman does not find a Balthasarian theo-drama via literary drama – perhaps because he was not properly exposed to medieval religious drama – but scattered dramatic analogies in his history writing suggest that he undertakes a theo-drama in that genre. (...) Von Balthasar and Newman employ dramatic analogies to reject chiliastic apocalyptic and foster ‘keromatic’ apocalyptic. (shrink)
The popular mind is deep and means a thousand times more than it knows. It is fitting that the Royal Institute of Philosophy series on American philosophy include a session on the thought of Josiah Royce, for his most formidable philosophical work, The World and the Individual , was a result of his Gifford lectures in the not too distant city of Aberdeen in 1899 and 1900. The invitation to offer the Gifford lectures was somewhat happenstance, for it was extended (...) originally to William James, who pleaded, as he often did in his convenient neurasthenic way, to postpone for a year on behalf of his unsettled nerves. James repaired himself to the Swiss home of Theodore Flournoy, with its treasure of books in religion and psychology, so as to write his Gifford lectures, now famous as The Varieties of Religious Experience . In so doing, however, James was able to solicit an invitation for Royce to occupy the year of his postponement. Royce accepted with alacrity, although this generosity of James displeased his wife Alice, who ranted, ‘Royce!! He will not refuse, but over he will go with his Infinite under his arm, and he will not even do honour to William's recommendation.’ Alice was partially correct in that Royce, indeed, did carry the Infinite across the ocean to the home of his intellectual forebears, although on that occasion as on many others, he acknowledged the support of his personal and philosophical mentor, colleague and friend, William James. (shrink)
O'Brien & Opie's theory fails to address the issue of consciousness and introspection. They take for granted that once something is experienced, it can be commented on. But introspection requires neural structures that, according to their theory, have nothing to do with experience as such. That makes the tight coupling between the two in humans a mystery.
This ethnographic study of political life in the department of the Yonne, in the Burgundy region, explores a still richly Balzacian provincial world. The author, a French anthropologist, has extensive field experience in Ethiopia. Deploying the insights and methods of social anthropology by drawing on local history, interviews and participant observation, Abélès describes politicians at every level, from municipal officers to Members of Parliament and Ministers. He provides a clear picture of the process of 'decentralization' initiated by the Socialist government (...) in 1982, and undermines the simplistic notion of 'centralist France'. This book, which develops a fresh perspective on political life in France, past and present, illustrates more generally an exciting approach to modern political phenomena, from the point of view of anthropology. (shrink)
Quine's key argument against intentional psychology is that belief ascriptions have no determinate empirical content unless we take facts about linguistic meaning for granted, but meaning claims have no determinate empirical content unless we take belief for granted. I try to show that, on the contrary, an intentional psychology can explain behaviour without relying on any concept of meaning.