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Pragmatism

Pragmatism( )
Author: James, William
Series title:Great Books in Philosophy Ser.
ISBN:978-0-87975-633-8
Publication Date:Dec 1991
Publisher:Prometheus Books, Publishers
Book Format:Paperback
List Price:USD $13.99
Book Description:

"The whole function of philosophy ought to be to find out what definite difference it will make to you and to me, at definite instances in our life, if this world-formula or that world-formula be the true one." With these words, William James, one of the great minds of American philosophy, captures the power of pragmatism, a theory first developed by Charles S. Peirce. Pragmatism explores the various theories of truth, meaning, and reality to discover their "cash value"...
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Book Details
Pages:143
Detailed Subjects: Philosophy / Movements / Pragmatism
Physical Dimensions (W X L X H):5.421 x 8.346 x 0.351 Inches
Book Weight:0.466 Pounds
Author Biography
James, William (Author)
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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