Up@dawn 2.0

Monday, June 12, 2017

Squirrels and American Philosophers

Since George brought it up...
Image result for william james pragmatism squirrel

Image result for william james pragmatism squirrel

American philosophers, Jamesians anyway, agree: the ubiquitous rodent is a rich and instructive metaphor.


That's my esteemed mentor John Lachs, about two minutes in, making a solid pluralistic point: beware talk of the American philosopher... or (as we noted the other day) the Anglo-American mind.
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A British take on William James: In Our Time (BBC)-

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss 'The Varieties of Religious Experience' by William James. The American novelist Henry James famously made London his home and himself more English than the English. In contrast, his psychologist brother, William, was deeply immersed in his American heritage. But in 1901, William came to Britain too. He had been invited to deliver a series of prestigious public lectures in Edinburgh. In them, he attempted a daringly original intellectual project. For the first time, here was a close-up examination of religion not as a body of beliefs, but as an intimate personal experience. When the lectures were printed, as 'The Varieties of Religious Experience', they were an instant success.They laid the ground for a whole new area of study - the psychology of religion - and influenced figures from the psychiatrist Carl Jung to the novelist Aldous Huxley. To date, James's book has been reprinted thirty-six times and has been hailed as one of the best non-fiction books of the twentieth century.With:Jonathan ReeFreelance philosopherJohn HaldaneProfessor of Philosophy at the University of St AndrewsGwen Griffith-DicksonEmeritus Professor of Divinity at Gresham College and Director of the Lokahi FoundationProducer: Natasha Emerson.
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William James, the topic of this morning’s program,  is one of America’s greatest philosophers.  His career spanned the turn of the Twentieth century; he actually was teaching at Stanford at the time of the 1906 earthquake, and wrote an interesting essay about his experiences and feelings during the quake.
James was a precursor to contemporary philosophers, in that he was really a cognitive scientist / philosopher.  He was in both departments at Harvard.  His two-volume PRINCIPLES OF PSYCHOLOGY was the bible of psychologists at the time.  It still makes fascinating and rewarding reading. His book THE VARIETIES OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE, which is a combination of philosophy, psychology and sociology, virtually originated the serious study of the psychology of  religion...  A conversation with Russell Goodman (Philosophy Talk, continues)
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James: Pragmatism and Empiricism
William James was a fellow-member of the "Metaphysical Club," where Peirce established the pragmatist movement. But James had greater academic success than his friend, using his M.D. as the basis for a respectable career teaching in the Department of Philosophy and Psychology at Harvard. Wide-ranging interests in human life, behavior, and religion led James to develop the pragmatic method more explicitly as a foundation for a thoroughly empiricist alternative to the prevailing idealism of his era... (continues
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A Stroll with William James

 4.24  ·   Rating Details ·  45 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
With this book, Jacques Barzun pays what he describes as an "intellectual debt" to William James—psychologist, philosopher, and, for Barzun, guide and mentor. Commenting on James's life, thought, and legacy, Barzun leaves us with a wise and civilized distillation of the great thinker's work... goodreads
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William James Remembered, by Linda Simon
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Letters of William James, vol.1/vol.2
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The Pragmatic Openness of Mind: John Stuart Mill, William James and Anglo-American Liberalism Though pragmatism is a definitively American philosophy, in this paper I suggest that a significant line of influence from the British empirico-liberal tradition, specifically from John Stuart Mill, has been under-researched and may have had more impact on the development of pragmatism than is commonly thought. In exploring this avenue, I particularly examine the influence of Mill on William James’s psychology and philosophy, arguing that Mill’s treatment of the self and his conceptions of truth and human flourishing had important implications for the development of James’s pragmatic naturalism and his moral perspective. Though James ultimately rejected both Mill’s associationism and his utilitarianism, Mill nonetheless gave James a set of basic premises that he initially worked from and ultimately transcended; as such, I suggest that we may better understand various important aspects of pragmatist moral psychology, ideals of human development and epistemology if we more fully take into account the impact from the English school of Mill. I conclude by suggesting ways in which this influence may help account for continuing family resemblances between American pragmatism and liberal thought in Britain and Western Europe as manifested in the foci of environmental policy, and suggest that this is a telling convergence given the large differences between American and European environmental traditions. 
Stephens, Piers. "‘The Pragmatic Openness of Mind’: John Stuart Mill, William James and Anglo-American Liberalism" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, Crowne Plaza Hotel Ravinia, Atlanta, Georgia. 2014-11-28 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p396024_index.html>

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Bertrand Russell is another Brit for our agenda... and Harriet Martineau...








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