Pragmatism and Other Writings

The writings of William James represent one of America s most original contributions to the history of ideas Ranging from philosophy and psychology to religion and politics, James composed the most engaging formulation of American pragmatism Pragmatism grew out of a set of lectures and the full text is included here along with The Meaning of Truth , Psychology , TheThe writings of William James represent one of America s most original contributions to the history of ideas Ranging from philosophy and psychology to religion and politics, James composed the most engaging formulation of American pragmatism Pragmatism grew out of a set of lectures and the full text is included here along with The Meaning of Truth , Psychology , The Will to Believe , and Talks to Teachers on Psychology.
Pragmatism and Other Writings The writings of William James represent one of America s most original contributions to the history of ideas Ranging from philosophy and psychology to religion and politics James composed the most en

  • Title: Pragmatism and Other Writings
  • Author: William James Giles B. Gunn
  • ISBN: 9780140437355
  • Page: 278
  • Format: Paperback
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      Published :2018-05-01T15:27:37+00:00

    About the Author

    William James Giles B. Gunn

    William James January 11, 1842 August 26, 1910 was an American philosopher and psychologist who was also trained as a physician The first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States, James was one of the leading thinkers of the late nineteenth century and is believed by many to be one of the most influential philosophers the United States has ever produced, while others have labelled him the Father of American psychology Along with Charles Sanders Peirce and John Dewey, he is considered to be one of the greatest figures associated with the philosophical school known as pragmatism, and is also cited as one of the founders of the functional psychology He also developed the philosophical perspective known as radical empiricism James work has influenced intellectuals such as mile Durkheim, W E B Du Bois, Edmund Husserl, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Hilary Putnam, and Richard Rorty.Born into a wealthy family, James was the son of the Swedenborgian theologian Henry James Sr and the brother of both the prominent novelist Henry James, and the diarist Alice James James wrote widely on many topics, including epistemology, education, metaphysics, psychology, religion, and mysticism Among his most influential books are Principles of Psychology, which was a groundbreaking text in the field of psychology, Essays in Radical Empiricism, an important text in philosophy, and The Varieties of Religious Experience, which investigated different forms of religious experience.William James was born at the Astor House in New York City He was the son of Henry James Sr a noted and independently wealthy Swedenborgian theologian well acquainted with the literary and intellectual elites of his day The intellectual brilliance of the James family milieu and the remarkable epistolary talents of several of its members have made them a subject of continuing interest to historians, biographers, and critics.James interacted with a wide array of writers and scholars throughout his life, including his godfather Ralph Waldo Emerson, his godson William James Sidis, as well as Charles Sanders Peirce, Bertrand Russell, Josiah Royce, Ernst Mach, John Dewey, Macedonio Fern ndez, Walter Lippmann, Mark Twain, Horatio Alger, Jr Henri Bergson and Sigmund Freud.William James received an eclectic trans Atlantic education, developing fluency in both German and French Education in the James household encouraged cosmopolitanism The family made two trips to Europe while William James was still a child, setting a pattern that resulted in thirteen European journeys during his life His early artistic bent led to an apprenticeship in the studio of William Morris Hunt in Newport, Rhode Island, but he switched in 1861 to scientific studies at the Lawrence Scientific School of Harvard University.In his early adulthood, James suffered from a variety of physical ailments, including those of the eyes, back, stomach, and skin He was also tone deaf He was subject to a variety of psychological symptoms which were diagnosed at the time as neurasthenia, and which included periods of depression during which he contemplated suicide for months on end Two younger brothers, Garth Wilkinson Wilky and Robertson Bob , fought in the Civil War The other three siblings William, Henry, and Alice James all suffered from periods of invalidism.He took up medical studies at Harvard Medical School in 1864 He took a break in the spring of 1865 to join naturalist Louis Agassiz on a scientific expedition up the River, but aborted his trip after eight months, as he suffered bouts of severe seasickness and mild smallpox His studies were interrupted once again due to illness in April 1867 He traveled to Germany in search of a cure and remained there until November 1868 at that time he was 26 years old During this period, he began to publish reviews of his works appeared in literary periodicals such as the North America

    167 Comment

    • peiman-mir5 rezakhani said:
      Aug 20, 2018 - 15:27 PM

      دوستانِ گرانقدر، این نادان 200 صفحه، فقط و فقط چرت و پرت نوشته و بسانسان وقتی بیشعور و بی خرد شود، حاضر است سرِ خودش را هم کلاه بگذارد و خزعبلات بنویسد این بیشعور موجوداتِ نادان و مذهبی را « عقل گرا» و « نرم اندیش» و « خوشبین» می داند و انسانهایی که باخرد هستند و به دین و مذهب اعتق [...]

    • James said:
      Aug 20, 2018 - 15:27 PM

      One of my favorite philosophical texts. James is an eye opening read to many who feel dissatisfied with philosophy or that most ideas of the world are too extreme, in either direction. However, James' philosophy of Pragmatism is not "settling" for the average or picking the exact middleground. Pragmatism encourages what works. If an idea fits into what we experience, it is valuable. By the same token, it is a good idea to look at what the consequences would be if a particular idea or philosophy [...]

    • Brian Hoffstein said:
      Aug 20, 2018 - 15:27 PM

      James' method of explicating his ideas takes some time to get off the ground and running. But when he does, it's really damn good. Pragmatism is a wonderful metaphysics, and he's writing at such an interesting time in the development of human thought. When you read Nietzsche you think the seeds of postmodernism began with him, but it may be more developed with James' philosophy. Pragmatism, for James, embraces both science and religion as means towards the improvement and progress of the process [...]

    • Bill said:
      Aug 20, 2018 - 15:27 PM

      William James is one of my favorites. A long while ago, The Varieties Of Religious Experience made a pretty big impression on me. This guy has left its mark as well.What I like about William James is as much style as anything else almost all of his good stuff is written lectures, so there's an oratorical flair about it. At the same time, though, _Pragmatism_ (the first set of lectures here) and _Varieties_ both have a good literary arc to them, they're whole works. Given that, I wonder how his a [...]

    • Tyler said:
      Aug 20, 2018 - 15:27 PM

      Pragmatism, it appears, tries to answer a question that hasn't been asked. Henry James wants to bridge the gap between materialism and idealism, or maybe between rationalism and empiricim. But both sides of those issues are clearly drawn; I saw no need to introduce any bridging concept, and even at that time, James's proposal was anachronistic. Here, too, one finds James's curious theory of truth: that truth is what works for the immediate purpose. This has a limited application in the field of [...]

    • Jerad said:
      Aug 20, 2018 - 15:27 PM

      An attempt to build a theology based on the theory that God is not intimately involved in creation after the fact. His arguments hinge on the ASSUMPTION that God is not involved in our daily lives and therefore proceeds to develope ideas of what morale should look like and whether the concept of morality exists. He theorizes that morale comes from the idea that humans are in mutual agreement not to hurt one another and that becomes the standard. There are of course other theologies derived in th [...]

    • Edward said:
      Aug 20, 2018 - 15:27 PM

      The original philosophy of Pragmatism says that the meaning of words is largely a matter of agreement between speaker and listener (or in many cases, disagreement), and not inherent in words themselves. This has nothing to do with the current usage, in which pragmatic is taken to mean practical. The change in meaning of the word "Pragmatic" is a good example of the theory.Dashiell Hammett used the ideas of the Pragmatists, including James and Charles Sanders Peirce, in writing The Maltese Falcon [...]

    • Jules Tuyes said:
      Aug 20, 2018 - 15:27 PM

      Truly enjoyable read. I particularly appreciate the pragmatist refusal to participate in metaphysical discussions. It was particularly useful to have James to finish while on a meditation retreat. His generosity of thought is appreciable allowing us to witness the caring for of a humanism that hasn't said its last word yet. For those of a religious bend you will no doubt find James the most sympathetic among the pragmatists as he examines the will to believe in this collection, leaving a large s [...]

    • Dillon Westbrook said:
      Aug 20, 2018 - 15:27 PM

      There's something dangerous about rereading too many times a philosopher one agrees with, but I constantly find I need to have his argument refreshed for me so I can go about my day with some sanity. James' test for truth and meaning, basically that the one applies to what is worth your believing and the other is what effects your understanding, are so shockingly sane as to almost warrant banishing him from the annals of philosophy. Couldn't recommend him enough.

    • David Tenemaza Kramaley said:
      Aug 20, 2018 - 15:27 PM

      I had never read philosophy before: While some of the essays included are great to think about and interesting to go through, I found some unfitting with the rest of the book in that they were extremely boring (or perhaps just extremely advanced and abstract). Especially the last essay, don't think I got anything from it! Pragmatism though, makes complete sense and is an awesome world view.

    • JP said:
      Aug 20, 2018 - 15:27 PM

      It's easy to see how this would be so readily adopted by Dewey and other reformers, since Truth is really just a conveyance to an end. I'm not quite as critical as that might seem. James is convincing in his argument that the other philosophers rely too much on abstraction and logic, when much of that rationality becomes too unwieldy for use.

    • Mike Torres said:
      Aug 20, 2018 - 15:27 PM

      This book should be the basis of everything human. Required reading for every high school student. Oh yeah, it shows us where existentialism led to if your into the history of philosophy or something.

    • Caitlin said:
      Aug 20, 2018 - 15:27 PM

      There are some Sunday afernoons when all I want to do is curl up on the couch with this book and pull apart James' logic.

    • Robert Core said:
      Aug 20, 2018 - 15:27 PM

      We all need a philosophy to live by and pragmatism, not uniquely American, but certainly sharpened to it's highest degree on these shores, is a good place to start.

    • Paul Wilner said:
      Aug 20, 2018 - 15:27 PM

      I like this dude better than his brother

    • Jason Zhang said:
      Aug 20, 2018 - 15:27 PM

      great philosophy. very convincing

    • Mavaddat said:
      Aug 20, 2018 - 15:27 PM

      James elucidates his conception of meaning as possibility-of-use-value in clear, amicable language that uninitiated readers can appreciate.

    • Matt said:
      Aug 20, 2018 - 15:27 PM

      I think I've read this at least three times, but this time through I was particularly interested in James' epistemology of religion. Turns out, I was surprised at James' rationalistic fideism.

    • Nate said:
      Aug 20, 2018 - 15:27 PM

      When James's arguments are seriously considered they will likely have an effect on one's worldview. The effect might be big for some and small for others, but there will likely be an effect.

    • Rickard Godzkilla said:
      Aug 20, 2018 - 15:27 PM

      it just works

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