Pragmatism and Other Writings (Google eBook)

Front Cover, Jan 1, 2006 - Literary Collections
14 Reviews
Expounding on principles of pragmatism and rationality, William James has given a free reign to his thoughts and ideas. He expounds on the behaviour and attitudes of those who are ruled by common sense in comparison to those who are governed by their beliefs. In this amazing work, he forces the readers to review their philosophies of life. Thought-provoking!

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Review: Pragmatism and Other Writings

User Review  - Rickard Godzkilla - Goodreads

it just works Read full review

Review: Pragmatism and Other Writings

User Review  - JP - Goodreads

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 ... Read full review

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Selected pages


Part I
Lecture I
Lecture II
Lecture III
Lecture IV
Lecture V
Lecture VI
Lecture VIII
Part II
Part III
Part IV
About the Auhtor
About the Book

Lecture VII

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About the author (2006)

William James, oldest of five children (including Henry James and Alice James) in the extraordinary James family, was born in New York City on January 11, 1842. He has had a far-reaching influence on writers and thinkers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Broadly educated by private tutors and through European travel, James initially studied painting. During the Civil War, however, he turned to medicine and physiology, attended Harvard medical school, and became interested in the workings of the mind. His text, The Principles of Psychology (1890), presents psychology as a science rather than a philosophy and emphasizes the connection between the mind and the body. James believed in free will and the power of the mind to affect events and determine the future. In The Will to Believe (1897) and The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902), he explores metaphysical concepts and mystical experiences. He saw truth not as absolute but as relative, depending on the given situation and the forces at work in it. He believed that the universe was not static and orderly but ever-changing and chaotic. His most important work, Pragmatism (1907), examines the practical consequences of behavior and rejects the idealist philosophy of the transcendentalists. This philosophy seems to reinforce the tenets of social Darwinism and the idea of financial success as the justification of the means in a materialistic society; nevertheless, James strove to demonstrate the practical value of ethical behavior. Overall, James's lifelong concern with what he called the "stream of thought" or "stream of consciousness" changed the way writers conceptualize characters and present the relationship between humans, society, and the natural world. He died due to heart failure on August 26, 1910.

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