The Heart of William James

The Heart of William James

William James made what are called “contributions” to the fields of psychology, philosophy, and religious studies. But, as editor Robert Richardson explains, just as we do not read Thoreau, Whitman or Emerson for their professional “contributions,” but for their continuing power to motivate and inspire our individual personal lives, so we can read William James to learn how to live a better life. Richardson, author of a recent James Bio (William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism), presents a chronological collection of some of James’ most notable writing. Richardson’s introduction to the book covers James’ life and development, preparing the reader to track both through the volume’s essays. The short introductions to each essay provide context for the piece and reflect on its impact and continuing relevance.

A Pluralistic Universe

A Pluralistic Universe

In May 1908 William James, a gifted and popular lecturer, delivered a series of eight Hibbert lectures at Manchester College, Oxford, on "The Present Situation in Philosophy." These were published a year later as A Pluralistic Universe. During the preceding decade James, as he struggled with deep conflicts within his own philosophic development, had become increasingly preoccupied with epistemological and metaphysical issues. He saw serious inadequacies in the forms of absolute and monistic idealism dominant in England and the United States, and he used the lectures to attack the specific form that "vicious intellectualism" had taken. In A Pluralistic Universe James captures a new philosophic vision, at once intimate and realistic. He shares with his readers a view of the universe that is fresh, active, and novel. The message conveyed is as relevant today as it was in his time. Supervised by a team of scholars, each a specialist in his field, The Works of William James fills the long-standing need for an authoritative, standard edition of the philosopher's works. The General Editor and supervisor of the project is Frederick Burkhardt. Mr. Burkhardt, formerly a professor of philosophy and then a college president, is President Emeritus of the American Council of Learned Societies. The Textual Editor, Fredson Bowers, Linden Kent Professor of English at the University of Virginia, is in charge of the establishment of the text and its production according to standards of the Center for Editions of American Authors. Gold Medalist of the Bibliographical Society, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Corresponding Fellow of The British Academy, Mr. Bowers is the author of two books on the theory and practice of textual criticism and editor of several multivolume critical editions. Ignas K. Skrupskelis, the Associate Editor, contributes the substantive notes. He is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina and has conducted extensive research in the James collection.

Essays in Psychology

Essays in Psychology

Gathers articles by the influential nineteenth-century American psychologist on the human intellect, emotion, hypnotism, phantom limbs, language, space consciousness, and personality

Essays in Philosophy

Essays in Philosophy

Essays in Philosophy brings together twenty-one essays, reviews, and occasional pieces published by James between 1876 and 1910. They range in subject from a concern with the teaching of philosophy and appraisals of philosophers to analyses of important problems. Several of the essays, like "The Sentiment of Rationality" and "The Knowing of Things Together," are of particular significance in the development of the views of James's later works. All of them, as John McDermott says in his Introduction, are in a style that is "engaging and personal...witty, acerbic, compassionate, and polemical." Whether he is writing an article for the Nation of a definition of "Experience" for Baldwin's Dictionary or "The Mad Absolute" for the Journal of Philosophy, James is always unmistakably himself, and always readable.

The Will to Believe

And Other Essays in Popular Philosophy

The Will to Believe

William James was an important American psychologist and philosopher. He was one of the early academics of psychology and his philosophy touched mainly on pragmatism and the religious or mystic experience. The Will to Believe is a lecture he delivered, which argues that personal belief is a valid basis for hypothesis, in the place of evidence. Following this seminal essay are nine other philosophical essays by James.

The Moral Philosophy of William James

The Moral Philosophy of William James

Here, in a single volume, are selections from the writings of William James that cover the entire spectrum of his work as psychologist, moral philosopher, pragmatist, and metaphysician. These selections concentrate on the theme of James's moral philosophy. Although James was acknowledged as one of the dominant philosophers of his time, his total moral perspective is not easy to grasp. This is because he never developed a fully unified statement of his position. Rather, his illuminating reflections on moral issues were scattered unsystematically throughout his writings. This volume focuses attention on writings that are at the heart of James's ethical perspective. -- Book jacket.

Essays in Pragmatism

Essays in Pragmatism


Essays in Religion and Morality

Essays in Religion and Morality

Essays in Religion and Morality brings together a dozen papers of varying length to these two themes so crucial to the life and thought of William James. Reflections on the two subjects permeate, first, James's presentation of his father's Literary Remains; second, his writings on human immortality and the relation between reason and faith; third, his two memorial pieces, one on Robert Gould Shaw and the other on Emerson; fourth, his consideration of the energies and powers of human life; and last, his writings on the possibilities of peace, especially as found in his famous essay "The Moral Equivalent of War." These speeches and essays were written over a period of twenty-four years. The fact that James did not collect and publish them himself in a single volume does not reflect on their intrinsic worth or on their importance in James's philosophical work, since they include some of the best known and most influential of his writings. All the essays, throughout their varied subject matter, are consistently and characteristically Jamesian in the freshness of their attack on the problems and failings of humankind and in their steady faith in human powers.

Psychology

The Briefer Course

Psychology

Classic text examines habit, consciousness, self, discrimination, the sense of time, memory, perception, imagination, reasoning, instincts, volition, much more. This edition omits the outdated first nine chapters.

Memories and Studies

Memories and Studies

William James was a towering intellectual figure with a vast knowledge base that transcended typical disciplinary boundaries. In this collection of essays, William James explores the topics of memory and cognition through the lenses of philosophy, psychology, and his own personal life experiences, all recounted in his uniquely engaging writing style.