Some Problems of Philosophy

Voorkant
Harvard University Press, 1979 - 464 pagina's
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Some Problems of Philosophy, William James's last book, was published after his death in 1910. For years he had talked of rounding out his philosophical work with a treatise on metaphysics. Characteristically, he chose to do so in the form of an introduction to the problems of philosophy, because writing for beginners would force him to be nontechnical and readable. The result is that, although this is James's most systematic and abstract work, it has all the lucidity of his other, more popular writings. Step by step the reader is introduced, through analysis of the fundamental problems of Being, the relation of thoughts to things, novelty, causation, and the Infinite, to the original philosophical synthesis that James called radical empiricism.

This is the seventh volume to be published in The Works of William James, an authoritative edition sponsored by the American Council of Learned Societies.

 

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Some problems of philosophy: a beginning of an introduction to philosophy

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Inhoudsopgave

Chapter II
21
Chapter IV
31
view Conceptual knowledge the empiricist view The content and function of con
59
and the infinite
80
Chapter VIII
96
Chapter IX
105
Appendix
111
Appendixes
151
Alterations in Draft Leaves and Fragment of
169
Annotations in TMslb by F C S Schiller
183
A Note on the Editorial Method
189
The Text of Some Problems of Philosophy
198
Apparatus
259
General Index
449
Key to the Pagination of Editions
463
Copyright

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Over de auteur (1979)

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.

Frederick Burkhardt, formerly a professor of philosophy and then a college president, is President Emeritus of the American Council of Learned Societies.

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