This new edition of WilliamJames’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)
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)
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)
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)
WilliamJames is one of the founders of Pragmatism. _The Principles of Psychology_, is his attempt to separate metaphysics and psychology, and is his major work. _Essays in Radical Empiricism_ is James’ ontology, his theory of perception and his theory of intentionality; his full metaphysical position. Eric James provides a lively and engaging guide to these key texts, and explores their philosophical contexts, as well as their relationship to each other. He introduces: James’ unique philosophical (...) vision James’ life and the background of _The Principles of Psychology_, and _Essays in Radical Empiricism_ Modern resonances of James’s work in the ideas of twentieth century thinkers _The Routledge Philosophy GuideBook to WilliamJames on Psychology and Metaphysics_ is the ideal introduction for students who wish to understand more about this important philosopher and these classics works of philosophy. (shrink)
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.
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.
In his essay “Pragmatism and Humanism,” WilliamJames recalls a friend’s disappointment that the “prodigious star-group” known as the Big Dipper “should remind us Americans of nothing but a culinary utensil.”1 Such, presumably, is the fault of generalization, though James himself is less than specific in illustrating the occasional parity of varied perspectives. For example, he posits two identical equilateral triangles, one inverted and overlapping the other, and notes, “You can treat the adjoined figure as a star, (...) as two big triangles crossing each other, as a hexagon with legs set up on its angles, as six equal triangles hanging together by their tips, etc.”. What he does not say is that the design.. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to discuss the “Austro-American” logical empiricism proposed by physicist and philosopher Philipp Frank, particularly his interpretation of Carnap’s Aufbau, which he considered the charter of logical empiricism as a scientific world conception. According to Frank, the Aufbau was to be read as an integration of the ideas of Mach and Poincaré, leading eventually to a pragmatism quite similar to that of the American pragmatist WilliamJames. Relying on this peculiar interpretation, (...)Frank intended to bring about a rapprochement between the logical empiricism of the Vienna Circle in exile and American pragmatism. In the course of this project, in the last years of his career, Frank outlined a comprehensive, socially engaged philosophy of science that could serve as a “link between science and philosophy”. (shrink)
Using six decades of researches unknown to Perry, I here aim to survey carefully the various factors affecting the personal temperaments of WilliamJames and Josiah Royce. Such a survey creates a background against which later one can better examine their philosophical interactions. Initially, a comparison-contrast of their temperaments symbolizes James as an "eye" and Royce as an "ear". Then a more detailed study explores their differences in age and health, personal gifts, the "significant others" in their (...) lives, educational opportunities, and their religious upbringing and attitudes. These factors significantly illumine the decades-long philosophical interaction of these two American philosophers. (shrink)
Critics and defenders of WilliamJames both acknowledge serious tensions in his thought, tensions perhaps nowhere more vexing to readers than in regard to his claim about an individual’s intellectual right to their “faith ventures.” Focusing especially on “Pragmatism and Religion,” the final lecture in Pragmatism, this chapter will explore certain problems James’ pragmatic pluralism. Some of these problems are theoretical, but others concern the real-world upshot of adopting James permissive ethics of belief. Although Jamesian permissivism (...) is qualified in certain ways in this paper, I largely defend James in showing how permissivism has philosophical advantages over the non-permissivist position associated with evidentialism. These advantages include not having to treat disagreement as a sign of error or irrationality, and mutual support relations between permissivism and what John Rawls calls the "reasonable pluralism" at the heart of political liberalism. (shrink)
The relationship between WilliamJames and Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) has recently been the subject of intense scholarly research. We know for instance that the later Wittgenstein's reflections on the philosophy of psychology found in James a major source of inspiration. Not surprisingly therefore, the pragmatist nature of the philosophy of the later Wittgenstein is increasingly acknowledged, in spite of Wittgenstein’s adamant refusal of being labeled a “pragmatist”. In this brief paper I merely want to piece together some (...) of the available evidence of Wittgenstein’s high regard for WilliamJames, not only for his thoughts, but even more so for his character. (shrink)
While some scholars neglect the theological component to WilliamJames’s ethical views in “The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life,” Michael Cantrell reads it as promoting a divine command theory (DCT) of the foundations of moral obligation. While Cantrell’s interpretation is to be commended for taking God seriously, he goes a little too far in the right direction. Although James’s view amounts to what could be called (and what Cantrell does call) a DCT because on it God’s (...) demands are necessary and sufficient for the highest obligations, this is a view with characteristics unusual for a DCT. It only holds for some obligations; on it moral obligation does not derive from God’s authority; it is not obvious that James believes the God required by it even exists; we do not know what God’s demands are; and, finally, since we do not know them, we cannot act on them. -/- (Lest there be any confusion, the titular phrase "taking God seriously, but not too seriously" describes WilliamJames' view of God and morality, not my own view.). (shrink)
In this short paper I try to present WilliamJames’s connection with the Argentinian writer Macedonio Fernández (1874-1952), who was in some sense a mentor of Borges and might be considered the missing link between Borges and James.
The year of the centennial of the Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges is probably the right time to exhume one of the links that this universal writer had with WilliamJames. In 1945, Emece, a publisher from Buenos Aires, printed a Spanish translation of WilliamJames’s book Pragmatism, with a foreword by Jorge Luis Borges.
Although WilliamJames claims be a "rabid individualist" and although his commentators agree that his individualism is central to his philosophical views, neither he nor they give an explicit account of that individualism. My goal in this dissertation is to provide such an account. ;In the first three chapters, I discuss the main contexts in which James's individualism arises: the political context, in which James contends that the contributions of individual geniuses are the catalysts of social (...) change; the psychological context, where James argues that psychology is properly the study of finite, individual minds; and the religious/metaphysical context, in which James claims that individuals are irreducible constituents of spiritual reality. ;In the fourth chapter, I present my integration thesis, which argues for a way of minimizing the ambiguities and inconsistencies that plague James's writings on individualism. This thesis claims that James experienced a gradual philosophical conversion in the last ten years of his life and that this conversion allowed him to integrate his earlier beliefs. In his later works, James reconciles active moralism and passive religion, softens his strong anti-intellectualism, and modifies his anti-institutionalism. ;These changes result in an integrated individualism that is also radical. James's individualism is more radical, for example, than that of Emerson or Kierkegaard. On the metaphysical level, Emerson holds individuality to be illusory, and Kierkegaard holds it to be derivative: only James defends its primacy. ;The final chapter consists of a further development of James's views. In it, I present structured wholeness, my theory for applying James's radical and integrated individualism to epiphanal experience. Human experience includes both feelings of wholeness and the structure of everyday, ordinary existence . Structured wholeness claims that the stoic rejection of epiphany and the romantic rejection of mundanity are both pathological. It insists, instead, on the volitional integration of epiphany and mundanity in a process of unlimited personal progress. (shrink)