PP, p. In this last quotation, James tackles a philosophical problem from a psychological perspective. We rest when we remember the name we have been searching for; and we are off again when we hear a noise that might be the baby waking from her nap. However, the objective world originally experienced is not the world of spatial relations that we think:. The significance of this view, according to James, is that our emotions are tied in with our bodily expressions.
In his survey of a range of cases, James finds that some actions involve an act of resolve or of outgoing nervous energy, but others do not. If I am on an isolated mountain trail, faced with an icy ledge to cross, and do not know whether I can make it, I may be forced to consider the question whether I can or should believe that I can cross the ledge.
In such a case the belief may be justified by the outcome to which having the belief leads. He extends his analysis beyond the religious domain, however, to a wide range of secular human life:. James defends our right to believe in certain answers to these questions anyway. In the higher animals a theoretical or thinking stage intervenes between sensation and action, and this is where, in human beings, the thought of God arises. The blindness to which James draws attention is that of one human being to another, a blindness he illustrates with a story from his own life.
Riding in the mountains of North Carolina he comes upon a devastated landscape, with no trees, scars in the earth, here and there a patch of corn growing in the sunlight. This plurality, he writes:. But at some five hundred pages it is only half the length of The Principles of Psychology , befitting its more restricted, if still large, scope. For James studies that part of human nature that is, or is related to, religious experience. Healthy-mindedness can be involuntary, just natural to someone, but often comes in more willful forms.
Thirdly, mystical states are transient; and, fourth, subjects are passive with respect to them: they cannot control their coming and going. They lead to consistency, stability and flowing human intercourse. James holds neither that we create our truths out of nothing, nor that truth is entirely independent of humanity.
Certain sequences of pure experiences constitute physical objects, and others constitute persons; but one pure experience say the perception of a chair may be part both of the sequence constituting the chair and of the sequence constituting a person.
It is never precisely defined in the Essays , and is best explicated by a passage from The Meaning of Truth where James states that radical empiricism consists of a postulate, a statement of fact, and a conclusion. His legacy extends into psychology and the study of religion, and in philosophy not only throughout the pragmatist tradition that he founded along with Charles Peirce , but into phenomenology and analytic philosophy.
The Nation 3 September —4. The Principles of Psychology 4.
Essays in Popular Philosophy 5. The Varieties of Religious Experience 6. Educated by tutors and at private schools in New York. Brother Henry born. Sister Alice born. Family moves to Europe.
William attends school in Geneva, Paris, and Boulogne-sur-Mer; develops interests in painting and science. Family settles in Geneva, where William studies science at Geneva Academy; then returns to Newport when William decides he wishes to resume his study of painting. William abandons painting and enters Lawrence Scientific School at Harvard.
Metaphysics with a Human Face: William James and the Prospects of Pragmatist Metaphysics
Enters Harvard School of Medicine. Returns to medical school. Suffers eye strain, back problems, and suicidal depression in the fall. Receives M.
A Pluralistic Universe
Severe depression in the fall. Depression and poor health continue. Accepts offer from President Eliot of Harvard to teach undergraduate course in comparative physiology.
- Radar Signal Analysis and Processing Using MATLAB.
- William James - Essays in Radical Empiricism.
- A Pluralistic Universe.
Accepts an appointment to teach full year of anatomy and physiology, but postpones teaching for a year to travel in Europe. Begins teaching psychology; establishes first American psychology laboratory. Marries Alice Howe Gibbens.
Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking by William James
Appointed Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Harvard. Continues to teach psychology. Travels to Europe. Develops heart problems. Becomes active member of the Anti-Imperialist League, opposing U. All were reprinted in Essays in Radical Empiricism Resigns Harvard professorship. His partially completed manuscript published posthumously as Some Problems of Philosophy.
Dies of heart failure at summer home in Chocorua, New Hampshire. For example: The rhythm of a lost word may be there without a sound to clothe it…. However, the objective world originally experienced is not the world of spatial relations that we think: Certainly a child newly born in Boston, who gets a sensation from the candle-flame which lights the bedroom, or from his diaper-pin [who] does not feel either of these objects to be situated in longitude 71 W. The flame fills its own place, the pain fills its own place; but as yet these places are neither identified with, nor discriminated from, any other places.
That comes later. For example: I sit at table after dinner and find myself from time to time taking nuts or raisins out of the dish and eating them. My dinner properly is over, and in the heat of the conversation I am hardly aware of what I do; but the perception of the fruit, and the fleeting notion that I may eat it, seem fatally to bring the act about. There is certainly no express fiat here;… PP He extends his analysis beyond the religious domain, however, to a wide range of secular human life: A social organism of any sort is what it is because each member proceeds to his own duty with a trust that the other members will simultaneously do theirs….
A government, an army, a commercial system, a ship, a college, an athletic team, all exist on this condition, without which not only is nothing achieved, but nothing is even attempted WB This plurality, he writes: commands us to tolerate, respect, and indulge those whom we see harmlessly interested and happy in their own ways, however unintelligible these may be to us.
Download preview PDF. Skip to main content. Advertisement Hide. Phenomenology and Pragmatism: A Recent Encounter. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves. This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access. See Patrick L.
See also: Sandra B. This last-mentioned work focuses on temporality, including Heidegger, pragmatism and many others on the contemporary scene. See also: Patrick L. Bourgeois, The Religious within Experience and Existence: A Phenomenological Investigation Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, for the use of pragmatists, William James and John Dewey, in setting up a phenominological investigation, thus showing the integration of two methods. Google Scholar. Mead The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, CrossRef Google Scholar. Sandra B.