Essays in Radical Empiricism - Wikipedia

But on the side of the object, so to call it roughly, our view is much less satisfactory. Ofwhich of our many objects are we to believe that it truly was there and at work before the human mind began?Time, space, kind, number, serial order, cause, consciousness, are hard things not to objectify — even transcendentalidealism leaves them standing as ‘empirically real.’ Substance, matter, force, fall down more easily before criticism,and secondary qualities make almost no resistance at all. Nevertheless, when we survey the field of speculation, fromScholasticism through Kantism to Spencerism, we find an ever-recurring tendency to convert the pre-human into a merelylogical object, an unknowable ding-an-sich, that but starts the process, or a vague materia primathat but receives our forms.

William James, Essays in Radical Empiricism. New York:Longman Green and Co (1912).

The essays gathered in the posthumously published formulate ideas that had brewed in James’s mind for thirty years as he sought a way out of the philosophical dilemmas generated by the new psychology of the late nineteenth century. They constitute the explanatory core of his doctrine of radical empiricism, a doctrine that charts his course between the absolute idealism he could not accept and, at the other extreme, the law of associationism, which reduces knowledge to sheer contiguity of ideas. In his introduction John J. McDermott describes the historical background and the genesis of James’s theory and considers the objections raised by its opponents.


Essays in radical empiricism : James ..

William James,

THE present volume is an attempt to carry out a plan which William James is known tohave formed several years before his death. In 1907 he collected reprints in an envelopewhich he inscribed with the title 'Essays in Radical Empiricism'; and he also hadduplicate sets of these reprints bound, under the same title, and deposited for the use ofstudents in the general Harvard Library, and in the Philosophical Library in Emerson Hall.


Essays in Radical Empiricism by William James - Free …

The essays gathered in the posthumously published formulate ideas that had brewed in James’s mind for thirty years as he sought a way out of the philosophical dilemmas generated by the new psychology of the late nineteenth century. They constitute the explanatory core of his doctrine of radical empiricism, a doctrine that charts his course between the absolute idealism he could not accept and, at the other extreme, the law of associationism, which reduces knowledge to sheer contiguity of ideas. In his introduction John J. McDermott describes the historical background and the genesis of James’s theory and considers the objections raised by its opponents.

Free eBook: Essays in Radical Empiricism by William James.

(3) "The generalized conclusion is that therefore the parts of experience holdtogether from next to next by relations that are themselves parts of experience. Thedirectly apprehended universe needs., in short, no extraneous transempirical connectivesupport, but possesses in its own right a concatenated or continuous structure." Whenthus generalized, 'radical empiricism' is not only a theory of knowledge comprisingpragmatism as a special chapter, but a metaphysic as well. It excludes " thehypothesis of trans-empirical reality " (Cf. below, p. 195). It is the author's mostrigorous statement of his theory that reality is an "ex-

James essays in radical empiricism - …

It gets rid, for example, of the whole agnostic controversy, by refusing to entertain thehypothesis of trans-empirical reality at all. It gets rid of any need for an absolute ofthe Bradleyan type (avowedly sterile for intellectual purposes) by insisting that theconjunctive relations found within experience are faultlessly real. It gets rid of theneed of an absolute of the Roycean type (similarly sterile) by its pragmatic treatment ofthe problem of knowledge [a treatment of which I have already given a version in two veryinadequate articles].[6] As the views of knowledge, reality and truthimputed to humanism have been those so far most fiercely attacked, it is in regard tothese ideas that a sharpening of focus seems most urgently required. I proceed thereforeto bring the views which I impute to humanism in these respects into focus as briefly as Ican.