The Philosophy of William James: An Introduction

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September 2004



This accessible introduction to the philosophy of William James reveals a significant division between a Promethean type of pragmatism and passive mysticism which Richard Gale integrates. While James' "pragmatist" persona conceives of truth and meaning as a means to control nature and make it do our bidding, his "mystic" persona eschews the use of concepts to penetrate the inner conscious core of all being, including nature at large.


Introduction; Part I. The Promethean Pragmatist: 1. The ethics of Prometheanism; 2. The willfulness of belief; 3. The freedom of belief; 4. The will to believe; 5. The ethics of truth; 6. The semantics of 'truth'; 7. Ontological relativism: William James meets Poo-bah; Part II. The Passive Mystic: 8. The self; 9. The I-thou quest for intimacy and religious mysticism; 10. The Humpty Dumpty intuition and backyard mysticism; 11. An attempt at one world interpretation of James.


Richard M. Gale is Professor Emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh and Adjunct Professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.


'What makes the book exceptional is its intimate grasp of James's thought and of the thinker behind it ...' Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 'Carefully argued, written with gusto and full of wise-cracking bonhomie...a major stimulus to the understanding of James's philosophy.' Philosophical Quarterly '... presents a deeper, more systematic picture of James's philosophy than any other presently available.' Mind
EAN: 9780521549554
ISBN: 0521549558
Untertitel: New. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: September 2004
Seitenanzahl: 258 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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