Participants were asked to carry out a series of simple tasks while following mental control instructions. In advance of each task, they either suppressed thoughts of their intention to perform the task, concentrated on such thoughts, or monitored their thoughts without trying to change them. Suppression resulted in reduced reports of intentionality as compared to monitoring, and as compared to concentration. There was a weak trend for suppression to enhance reported intentionality for a repetition of the action carried out after (...) suppression instructions had been discontinued. (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)
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)
Does Spinoza present philosophy as the preserve of an elite, while condemning the uneducated to a false though palliative form of ‘true religion’? Some commentators have thought so, but this contribution aims to show that they are mistaken. The form of religious life that Spinoza recommends creates the political and epistemological conditions for a gradual transition to philosophical understanding, so that true religion and philosophy are in practice inseparable.
The twenty-two essays collected for this book range widely in theme, style, and quality. The essays, a majority of which were previously unpublished, are arranged in three sections: 1) Early Essays, containing one particularly fine essay, "The Soul at Play," originally intended as part of Santayana's Soliloquies in England; 2) Later Essays, in which the title essay and "Friendship" are outstanding; and 3) Philosophical Essays, offering commentaries on Russell, Dewey, and James, on his own philosophy, and "On the False (...) Steps of Philosophy." The book's last article, "What is the Ego?", is an elaboration of his criticism of those "German Prophets" who return from self-contemplation "as greedy as children and as stubborn as Inquisitors." Santayana's manner of exposition often involves the elaboration of a single image or metaphor. When an image or metaphor is employed which can bear the weight of subtle distinctions, he is brilliant; but when the metaphor is too weak to encompass his thinking, then his writing becomes flowery and decadent. The essays, unfinished and fragmentary for the most part, are frequently little more than a single extended metaphor--sometimes over-extended. The fragmentary, possibly only experimental, ideas in these essays invite comparison with their use in his completed works. The book will be of special interest to someone already familiar with Santayana.--A. K. T. (shrink)
James K.A. Smith argues that the ontology of participation associated with Radical Orthodoxy is incompatible with a Christian affirmation of the intrinsic being and goodness of creatures. In response, he proposes a Leibnizian view in which things are endowed with the innate dynamism of ‘force’. Creatures have a certain depth of being, and are intrinsically good, just because they each have an inner virtuality that they bring into expression. Such force is said to be a metaphysical component of the (...) agent. In this paper it is asked whether John Milbank's ontology of participation can be defended by distinguishing between two senses of being a subject. Perhaps it is possible for a creature to bring into expression what is an infused ‘alien’ gift rather than a metaphysical component – to be expressive subject, but not ontic subject, for divine power. However, while this distinction promises to make sense of the reception of an indwelling ‘other’ in grace, knowledge and love, neither proper substance nor proper existence can be received in this way. A creature must be the ontic subject for its being, after all. Still, divine being might proceed from God as radical indwelling gift, as non-ontic ground for ontic being. (shrink)
James K. A. Smith’s book Awaiting the King interrogates the religious nature of contemporary politics and the political nature of Christian practice, and in doing so draws Augustine out of the ivory tower to which many have confined him, putting the late-antique theologian into a conversation with a host of contemporary voices.
The religiously inclined have always rejected materialism. The thesis of this study is that there may have been good reasons for them to do so until comparatively recent times but that the same reasons no longer exist. Our knowledge of matter has not only increased, it has also been altered so completely that there is no more justification for disapproving of materialism on religious grounds.