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Pragmatism and Other Writings (Penguin Classics)

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0140437355
ISBN-10: 0140437355
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About the Author

Older brother of novelist Henry James, William James (1842-1910) was a philosopher, psychologist, physiologist, and professor at Harvard. James has influenced such twentieth-century thinkers as Richard Rorty, Jurgen Habermans, Michel Foucault, and Julia Kristeva. Giles Gunn is Professor of English and of Global & International Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He is author of 'Culture of Criticism and Criticism of Culture' and edited Early American Writing for Penguin.
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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (April 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140437355
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140437355
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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William James remains our greatest and most original philosopher, as well as a great psychologist and scholar of religion. Together, James and Mark Twain made the world take notice of us as serious intellectual and artistic contenders. While James never had much chance to pull the many threads of his philosophy together, the writings in this volume show much of what was at the core of his thought.

His style is outstanding, one reason he and brother Henry were aptly and jointly described as the novelist who is a psychologist and the psychologist who is a novelist. I find it helpful to read James as if he and I were in fluent conversation; that way, the great lecturer and conversationalist come to the fore, transcending most other 19th Century prose.
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This is a very important collection of texts on William James' work. Particularly, texts on pragmatism and monism that represent the hard core of William James' philosophy.
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Format: Paperback
William James was one of the most influential and seminal thinkers in modern psychology and philosophy. His rare combination of dynamism, optimistic pragmatism, and social responsibility led to a unique and defensible American Philosophy, and he described "who Americans want to be" quite effectively. James was also a superb writer -- the "scientist who wrote like a poet" -- and this collection of essays summarizes his essential writing nicely. His writing style does differ from modern prose, but it's definitely worth reading someone who influenced American social and psychological thinking at a time when psychology was just beginning its journey as a separate discipline.
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