This is a study of all the recent literature on william james written from a phenomenological perspective with the purpose of showing that william james made fundamental contributions to the phenomenological theory of the intentionality of consciousness, To the phenomenological theory of self-Identity, And to the phenomenological conception of noetic freedom as the basic concept of ethical theory.
If theism is true, then there exists a being to which we appropriately refer with the term ‘God’. This point is analytic. Any object to which we appropriately refer with the term ‘God’ bears certain properties – e.g. omniscience, omnipotence and moral perfection. While the analyticity of this point may be a matter of debate, I find no problem granting its necessary truth , at least for the purposes of this paper. There are properties essential to the appropriate wearing of (...) the title ‘God’. Does it follow from these claims that the object to which we appropriately apply the term ‘God’ bears the properties in question – omniscience, omnipotence, etc. – essentially? Is God essentially God? Or is it possible that the being to whom we refer with ‘God’ exist but not be God? Many would assume that the answers to these questions are obvious – that God is God essentially, or not at all. However, I wish to argue that there may be properties essential to Godhood, but not essential to the being that is God. (shrink)
During the last forty years, the Aboriginal peoples of the Americas, of the British Commonwealth, and of other countries colonized by Europeans over the last five hundred years have demanded that their forms of property and government be recognized in international law and in the constitutional law of their countries. This broad movement of 250 million Aboriginal people has involved court cases, parliamentary politics, constitutional amendments, the United Nations, the International Court of Justice, the development of an international law of (...) Aboriginal peoples, and countless nonviolent and violent actions in defense of Aboriginal systems of property and cultures. The Aboriginal peoples of New Zealand, Canada, and the United States have been at the forefront of the movement, and it is in these countries that the greatest legal recognition has been achieved. (shrink)
William James’s theory of emotion has been controversial since its inception, and a basic analysis of Cannon’s critique is provided. Research on the impact of facial expressions, expressive behaviors, and visceral responses on emotional feelings are each reviewed. A good deal of evidence supports James’s theory that these types of bodily feedback, along with perceptions of situational cues, are each important parts of emotional feelings. Extensions to James’s theory are also reviewed, including evidence of individual differences in (...) the effect of bodily responses on emotional experience. (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.
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)
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.
Religion has been a constant throughout human history. Evidence of it dates from the earliest times. Religious practice is also universal, appearing in every region of the globe. To judge from recorded history and contemporary accounts, religious intolerance is equally widespread. Yet all the major faiths proclaim the golden rule, namely, to “love your neighbour as yourself.” When Jesus was asked by a lawyer, “Who is my neighbour?” he replied with the story of the good Samaritan—the man who bound up (...) the wounds and looked after the Israelite who was neither his co-religionist nor a member of his race. Jesus’ example has been rarely followed. What is it in religion—and not just in the Christian religion—that leads its members to limit their conception of their neighbour? How is it that, in preaching the universal brotherhood of mankind, religions so often practice the opposite? In my paper, I suggest some answers by focusing on the notions of faith, ethics and finitude. (shrink)
Theodicy begins with the recognition that the world is not obviously under the care of a loving God with limitless power and wisdom. If it were, why would the world be burdened with its considerable amount and variety of evil? Theodicists are those who attempt to answer this question by suggesting a possible rationale for the appearance of evil in a theocentric universe. In the past theodicists have taken up the cause of theodicy in the service of piety, so that (...) God might be defended against libel from humans, particularly the accusation that God's reign lacks justice. Contemporary practitioners, who live in a world where the existence of God can no longer be presumed, tend to favour theodicy as an exercise in securing the rationality of religious belief. Their hope is that one crucial theoretical obstacle to responsible belief in God will have been eliminated, once the idea of God has been reconciled with the reality of evil. What has commonly united theodicists, at least since the Enlightenment, is that they must answer to a non–believing antagonist. Until relatively recently, theodicy has been a debate between apologists for theistic faith and their cultured detractors. (shrink)
Contributions in modern theoretical physics and chemistry on the behavior of nonlinear systems, exemplified by Ilya Prigogine's work on the thermodynamics of open systems, attract growing attention in economics. Our purpose here is to relate the new orientation in the natural sciences to a particular nonorthodox strand of thought within economics. All that is needed for this purpose is some appreciation of the general thrust of the enterprise, which involves a shift of perspective from the determinism of conventional physics to (...) the nonteleological open-endedness, creative, and nondetermined nature of evolutionary processes. (shrink)
Liberalism has often been viewed as a continuing dialogue about the relative priorities between liberty and equality. When the version of equality under discussion requires equalization of outcomes, it is easy to see how the two ideals might conflict. But when the version of equality requires only equalization of opportunities, the conflict has been treated as greatly muted since the principle of equality seems so meager in its implications. However, when one looks carefully at various versions of equal opportunity and (...) various versions of liberty, the conflict between them is, in fact, both dramatic and inescapable. Each version of the conflict poses hard choices which defy any systematic pattern granting priority to one of these basic values over the other. In this essay, I will flesh out and argue for this picture of fundamental conflict, and then turn to some more general issues about the kinds of answers we should expect to the basic questions of liberal theory. (shrink)
In 1896 William James published an essay entitled The Will to Believe, in which he defended the legitimacy of religious faith against the attacks of such champions of scientific method as W.K. Clifford and Thomas Huxley. James's work quickly became one of the most important writings in the philosophy of religious belief. James Wernham analyses James's arguments, discusses his relation to Pascal and Renouvier, and considers the interpretations, and misinterpretations, of James's major critics. Wernham shows (...) convincingly that James was unaware of many destructive ambiguitities in his own doctrines and arguments, although clear and consistent in his view that our obligation to believe in theism is not a moral but a prudential obligation -- a foolish-not-to-believe doctrine, rather than a not-immoral-to-believe one. Wernham also shows that the doctrine is best read as affirming the wisdom of gambling that God exists, a notion which James failed to distinguish from believing and which, among other things, he explicitly identified with faith. James's pragmatism, a theory concerning the meaning of truth, is shown to be quite distinct from the doctrine of The Will to Believe. In concentrating on a careful analysis of this doctrine of the will-to-believe, Wernham not only makes a major contribution to understanding James's philosophy, but also clarifies issues in the philosophy of religion and in the analysis of belief and faith. (shrink)
This paper examines the potential role of deliberative democracy in constitutional processes of higher law-making, either for the founding of constitutions or for constitutional change. It defines deliberative democracy as the combination of political equality and deliberation and situates this form of democracy in contrast to a range of alternatives. It then considers two contrasting processes—elite deliberation and plebiscitary mass democracy as approaches to higher law-making that employ deliberation without political equality or political equality without deliberation. It finally turns to (...) some institutional designs that might achieve both fundamental values at the same time, or in the process of realizing a sequence of choices. (shrink)
it is easy to think that he did. Clifford certainly had one. In a celebrated essay he argued for the thesis that “it is wrong always, everywhere and for anyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence“; and his title was “The Ethics of Belief.” Clifford was not alone, for Huxley, also, was of that same opinion. For him, such belief was not just wrong: it was “the lowest depth of immorality.” With that opinion, and with those advocates of it, (...) class='Hi'>James was locked in a struggle throughout his life; and it is a reasonable suspicion that the opponent of one ethics of belief is himself an ethicist with a rival ethics of belief of his own. That suspicion, moreover, appears to be confirmed by James's best known essay. He himself came to the view that his The Will to Believe would have been better named The Right to Believe, and it is a commonplace that “right” is a word of the ethical vocabulary. In short, there are obvious signs pointing to a positive answer to our question. (shrink)
William James is notorious for the large number of inconsistencies and at least apparent contradictions in his writings. Many readers conclude that he should be appreciated more for his profound but erratic insights than for any coherent philosophical perspective. Ellen Kappy Suckiel disagrees. She argues that James is far more careful and systematic than many readers realize. Her work on James is guided by the attempt to lay bare his coherent philosophical vision and the consistent philosophical methodology (...) underlying it. As a result of this approach, Suckiel's work on James is both sympathetic to his philosophical insights and carefully argued. In her first book, The Pragmatic Philosophy of William James (1982), Suckiel applies this approach to James's philosophy as a whole. The result is a work of remarkable clarity and insight that serves as a wonderful introduction to James's thought. In her more recent book, Suckiel applies this approach specifically to James's philosophy of religion, with similar felicitous results. Heaven's... (shrink)
John L. Austin believed that in the illocution he had discovered a fundamental element of our speech, the understanding of which would disclose the significance of all kinds of linguistic action: not only proposing marriage and finding guilt, but also stating, reporting, conjecturing, and all the rest of the things men can do linguistically. 2 We claim that the illocution, the full-fledged speech-act, is central to religious utterances as well, and that it provides a perspicuity in understanding them not elsewhere (...) provided in the work of recent philosophy of religion. In particular we hold that understanding religious talk through the illocution shows the way in which the representative and affective elements are connected to one another and to the utterance as a whole. There may, further, be features in such an analysis which can be extended to other forms of discourse than religious. (shrink)
I take it as my assignment to criticize the Gauthier enterprise. At the outset, however, I should express my general agreement with David Gauthier's normative vision of a liberal social order, including the place that individual principles of morality hold in such an order. Whether the enterprise is, ultimately, judged to have succeeded or to have failed depends on the standards applied. Considered as a coherent grounding of such a social order in the rational choice behavior of persons, the enterprise (...) fails. Considered as an extended argument implying that persons should adopt the moral stance embodied in the Gauthier structure, the enterprise is, I dunk, largely successful. Considered as a set of empirically falsifiable propositions suggesting that persons do, indeed, choose as the Gauthier precepts dictate, the enterprise offers Humean hope rather than Hobbesian despair. (shrink)
Smith has defended the rationalist's conceptual claim that moral requirements are categorical requirements of reason, arguing that no status short of this would make sense of our taking these requirements as seriously as we do. Against this I argue that Smith has failed to show either that our moral commitments would be undermined by possessing only an internal, contextual justification or that they need presuppose any expectation that rational agents must converge on their acceptance. His claim that this rationalistic understanding (...) of metaethics is required for the intelligibility of moral disagreement is also found to be inadequately supported. It is further proposed that the rationalist's substantive claims - that there are such categorical requirements of reason and that our actual moral commitments are a case in point - are liable to disappointment; and that the conceptual claim is fatally undermined by reflection on how we might best respond to such disappointment. (shrink)
Madison Powers raises the difficult problem of repugnant desires. The problem is not only difficult but pervasive, more pervasive even than Powers says. He notes that it affects hedonist, eudaimonist, and desire-fulfilment forms of utilitarianism; but it also affects the form of utilitarianism that uses a list of irreducibly plural values, so long as one of the values on the list is pleasure or happiness, and it can affect non-utilitarian positions as well for the same reason.
It has been remarked that there is a tendency in all Governments to an augmentation of power at the expense of liberty. But the remark as usually understood does not appear to me well founded.... It is a melancholy reflection that liberty should be equally exposed to danger whether the Government have too much or too little power, and that the line which divides the extremes should be so inaccurately drawn by experience. -/- Madison, letter to Jefferson, October 17, 1788.