"[Wilshire] establishes a phenomenology of theatre, a theory of enactment, and a theory of appearance, none of which American theatre... has ever had." —Performing Arts Journal "... Wilshire makes unique contributions to understanding major aspects of the human condition in its necessary search for selfhood." —Process Studies "It is one of the American classics." —Human Studies.
Continuing his quest to bring American philosophy back to its roots, Bruce Wilshire connects the work of such thinkers as Thoreau, Emerson, Dewey, and James with Native American beliefs and practices. His search is not for exact parallels, but rather for fundamental affinities between the equally "organismic" thought systems of indigenous peoples and classic American philosophers. Wilshire gives particular emphasis to the affinities between Black Elk’s view of the hoop of the world and Emerson’s notion of horizon, and also between (...) a shaman’s healing practices and James’s ideas of pure experience, willingness to believe, and a pluralistic universe. As these connections come into focus, the book shows how European phenomenology was inspired and influenced by the classic American philosophers, whose own work reveals the inspiration and influence of indigenous thought. Wilshire’s book also reveals how artificial are the walls that separate the sciences and the humanities in academia, and that separate Continental from Anglo-American thought within the single discipline of philosophy. (shrink)
How is philosophy possible? How can there be a truly basic theorizing about the world—a perfectly general and self-luminous theorizing? That is, how can there be a questioning of presuppositions that questions its own presuppositions as a questioning? Is it possible for philosophy to begin?
The importance of this collection of writings of William James lies in the fact that it has been arranged to provide a systematic introduction to his major philosophical discoveries, and precisely to those doctrines and theories that are of most burning current interest. William James: The Essential Writings is a series of philosophical arguments on some of the most “obscure and head-cracking problems” in contemporary philosophy; the relation of thought to its object; the interrelationships between meaning and truth; the levels (...) and structures of experience; the degrees of reality; the nature of the embodied self; the relation of ethics, aesthetics, and religious experience to man’s strenuously and “heroically” active nature; and, above all, the structurization of the experienced life-world as the validating ground and origin of all theory; Bruce Wilshire has provided an introduction to William James’s thought on these and other related points which is at once both substantial and subtle. (shrink)