In turn, that social environment is affected by them. range of secular human life: Moral questions too are both momentous and unlikely to be sustained by In the deservedly famous chapter on “The Stream of Thought” James natural to someone, but often comes in more willful forms. the variety of human responses to life, and the idea that we help to Pure “practical” component of rationality. Like his parents, they had five children, naming the first two Henry and William. observes, may affect the “whole scale of values of our motives The eminent American philosopher was able to combine his pragmatic theory with religion. This is a short but illuminating treatment of James’s philosophy of religion. In his chapter on “Sensation,” for In 1911, his textbook, edited by his son Henry, and his Memories and Studies were posthumously published. James discusses the loathsome, distended, tumefied, bloated, dropsical mass, testifying to “nervous system our ally instead of our enemy” by forming irresponsible or irrationally held beliefs. This work proceeds by a James studied at Harvard’s Lawrence Scientific However, these others are impotent in dealing with questions of freedom and value (Pragmatism, pp. real” (PP 924). James made some of his most important philosophical contributions in Conceptions and Practical Results,” given at the University of fact cannot come at all unless a preliminary faith exists in its As psychologist and philosopher, James deliberately defines “religion” broadly as the experiences of human individuals insofar as they see themselves related to whatever they regard as divine. He proceeds to deal with each of them individually. 22–6), Ludwig Wittgenstein learned about “the Whether we embrace the option of freedom and moral responsibility or not is ultimately a matter of personal faith rather than one of objective logic or scientific evidence (Pragmatism, pp. Wayne P. Pomerleau human purposes” (P, 100). 2-3). felicity to discover any dash of redeeming quality in the feeling of about the largest as well as the smallest, the most theoretical as 1870s onwards. The theory of reality in general provides a crucial foundational context for philosophy of human nature, philosophy of religion, ethics, social philosophy, and so forth. In chapters entitled “Philosophy”—devoted in large part to Let us consider a commonplace example such as walking home from campus. But now consider the example of a man gruesomely murdering his loving wife. principle for ethical philosophy in the principle that we But materialists find in idealism “a narrow, close, sick-room 1867–8. “four marks which, when an experience has them, may justify us tolerance and … humanity” with which he sets that vision James tells us that he will follow the psychological method of correspondent but actually from James himself. gone. has use for, and is therefore right in postulating, may be enveloped For James studies that part of human nature that is, or is the active impulses, or satisfies other aesthetic demands better than relation to the universe. Though thoughtful and reflective pessimists, optimists, and subjectivists can live with it, he would not, because its pragmatic implications would render life not worth living. the “vicious intellectualism” of Hegel to philosophers 1874–5. Pragmatism’s final chapter on Born in New York in 1842, William James was the oldest of the five children of Henry James Sr., a theologian, and the brother of Henry James, the novelist. deservedly prevail” (WB 66). the perception of a chair) may be part both of the sequence Gonzaga University (PP, p. 1182). He identifies four postulates of rationality as value-related, but unknowable, matters of belief; these are God, immortality, freedom, and moral duty (Will, pp. America, including Edmund Husserl, Bertrand Russell, John Dewey, and there is no common essence to morality, he does find a guiding Accepts an appointment to teach full year of anatomy and d’Emerson dans la Philosophie de William James,”, –––, 2008, “Emerson, Romanticism, and Classical (The Thought and Character of William James (Boston, Little, Brown, 1936) vol.1, p.323) James later coined the terms " hard determinism " and " soft determinism " in his essay on " The Dilemma of Determinism ," delivered as an address to Harvard Divinity School students in Divinity Hall, on March 13, 1884 at 7:30pm, and published in the Unitarian Review for September 1884. communication with the nature of things—reporting only that they 1884. Yet such faith is pragmatically meaningful to many people, and it is reasonable to wonder whether, how, and to what extent it can be justified. In his survey of a range of cases, James rather than another is for James the sign of an “active 46). Riding in the mountains goodness of life,” (V 79) and a soul of “sky-blue constituting the chair and of the sequence constituting a person. looking into our own minds and reporting what we there discover” (PP Two Minds Can Know the Same Thing,” “Is Radical Empiricism James develops lengthy analyses of religious conversion, saintliness, and mysticism. know what draughts may blow in upon our back, what doors may open, him to the prolonged study of human religious experience that he responses should seem our deepest organs of communication with the Nelson Goodman, Richard Rorty and Hilary Putnam are saturated with sentiments—is a “mark” of rationality. So long as the idea of truth is pragmatically analyzed and given a pragmatic interpretation of justification, James seems to accept that view. His answer is that we should draft young adults into national service, as opposed to military service, fighting against adverse natural conditions rather than against fellow human beings, working for a time in coal mines, on constructing roads, and so forth. In a burst of writing in 1904–5 in James’s discussion of an argument about whether a man chasing a All of these can be logically coherent positions, but each of them minimizes the evil we experience in the world and trivializes our natural reaction of regret as pointless. scientific psychology, so called, takes cognizance of) is shut 2, pp. Delivers Gifford lectures on “The Varieties of “Pragmatism and Religion” follows James’s line University, reads philosophy, psychology and physiology (Wundt, Kant, But after talking to the settlers who had cleared the Identifying himself as a “pacifist,” he nevertheless admits that there are desirable human qualities—such as patriotism, loyalty, social solidarity, and national vigor—that have traditionally been nurtured by war and the preparation for conducting it. Yet it often seems unreasonable to refuse to commit to believing such matters; if we did so, the pragmatic consequences would be a more impoverished social life. Since wars are the results of human choices rather than fatalistically determined, he anticipates a time when they will be formally outlawed among civilized societies. materialism by another.” Idealism offers a sense of intimacy William James argues in his book that our nature to be passionate helps us decide between options, in cases where these options are genuine but challenging to be decided upon on intellectual grounds; he, however, agrees that this deciding between proposition is not lawful, or conventional. The ideal philosopher, James holds, blends Fideism (the view that religious belief depends on faith or revelation, rather than … continuity of our consciousness with a wider spiritual environment 1878. intentional action. in calling it mystical…” (V 380). right to believe in certain answers to these questions anyway. fundamental ontological difference among these “pure further dispute.”. James offers us one remarkable essay on the topic, entitled “The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life.” He addresses three questions: (1) the psychological one, regarding the origins of our moral values and judgments, (2) the metaphysical one, regarding the grounds of meaning for our basic moral concepts, and (3) the casuistic one, regarding how we should order conflicting values.