Some Problems of Philosophy: A Beginning of an Introduction to Philosophy

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9780803275874: Some Problems of Philosophy: A Beginning of an Introduction to Philosophy
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With the clarity that James deemed obligatory, Some Problems of Philosophy outlines his theory of perception. The early chapters expose the defects of intellectualism and monism and the advantages of empiricism and pluralism. The novelty that enters into concrete perceptual experience, and that is disallowed by the rationalizing intellect, suggests exciting possibilities. Denied any absolute truth in an ever-changing world, privy to only a piece of the truth at any given moment, the individual can, with faith and good will, help create order out of chaos. Some Problems in Philosophy, published posthumously, represents an important advance in William James’s thought.

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"Philosophy, beginning in wonder, as Plato and Aristotle said, is able to fancy everything different from what it is. It sees the familiar as if it were strange, and the strange as if it were familiar. It can take things up and lay them down again. Its mind is full of air that plays round every subject. It rouses us from our native dogmatic slumber and breaks up our caked prejudices. Historically it has always been a sort of fecundation of four different human interests, science, poetry, religion, and logic, by one another. It has sought by hard reasoning for results emotionally valuable. To have some contact with it, to catch its influence, is thus good for both literary and scientific students. By its poetry it appeals to literary minds; but its logic stiffens them up and remedies their softness. By its logic it appeals to the scientific; but softens them by its other aspects, and saves them from too dry a technicality. Both types of student ought to get from philosophy a livelier spirit, more air, more mental background."―William James, Some Problems of Philosophy Author: William James

From the Author:

Ellen Kappy Suckiel, a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is the author of The Pragmatic Philosophy of William James and Pragmatism and Religious Belief: A Study of the Philosophy of William James.

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