The Divided Self of William James

The Divided Self of William James

3.33 (3 ratings by Goodreads)
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This book offers a powerful interpretation of the philosophy of William James. It focuses on the multiple directions in which James's philosophy moves and the inevitable contradictions that arise as a result. The first part of the book explores a range of James's doctrines in which he refuses to privilege any particular perspective: ethics, belief, free will, truth and meaning. The second part of the book turns to those doctrines where James privileges the perspective of mystical experience. Richard Gale then shows how the relativistic tendencies can be reconciled with James's account of mystical experience. An appendix considers the distorted picture of James's philosophy that has been refracted down to us through the interpretations of his work by John Dewey.show more

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Review quote

'Original in focus and style, Gale's book will certainly be hailed as one of the most stimulating studies of James to have appeared in years. And it will attract a wide readership not only for the benefit of scholars and seminar students but for all those 'out there' beyond the campus border, who for one reason or another read James and about him and his works.' Gerald Myers, author of William James: His Life and Thoughtshow more

Table of contents

Acknowledgements; 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 Anti-Promethean Mystic: 8. The self; 9. The I-thou quest for intimacy and religious mysticism; 10. The humpty-dumpty intuition and panpsychism; 11. Attempts at a one-world interpretation of James; Appendix: John Dewey's naturalization of William James; Bibliography of works cited; Index.show more

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