Buy New
$33.20
Qty:1
  • List Price: $34.95
  • Save: $1.75 (5%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we'll deliver when available.
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item.
Details
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Thought and Character of William James (The Vanderbilt Library of American Philosophy) Paperback – August 31, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-0826512796 ISBN-10: 0826512798

Buy New
Price: $33.20
17 New from $33.20 18 Used from $6.70
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$26.06
Paperback
"Please retry"
$33.20
$33.20 $6.70
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student



NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Save up to 90% on Textbooks
Rent textbooks, buy textbooks, or get up to 80% back when you sell us your books. Shop Now

Product Details

  • Series: The Vanderbilt Library of American Philosophy
  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press (August 31, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826512798
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826512796
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #220,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

. . . an exceptionally complete biography, a wilderness of materials thoroughly subdued to order and structure, a masterpiece of devoted and unerring scholarship, a monument on a great scale to William James . . . . a critical corpus invaluable to the student of James and the whole empirical movement in American philosophy.
--The Journal of Philosophy

About the Author

Ralph Barton Perry (1876-1957) was long associated with the outstanding philosophy department at Harvard, as student and professor, during its heyday. He was the author of nearly two dozen books, among which Puritanism and Democracy and several others are still in print. Charlene Haddock Seigfried, Professor of Philosophy and American Studies at Purdue University and President of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, is the author of two previous books on William James: William James's Radical Reconstructionism of Philosophy and Chaos and Context: A Study in William James.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
2
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 3 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By "kurifuton" on September 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
Perry's text is the original, definitive expression of William James' philosophy, outside of the writings of James -- a founder father of the philosophical genre of pragmatism, contemporary American social thought and modern psychology -- himself. Despite the multitude of books written on and about James and his ideas since, no serious student of William James should be without or ignore this one. It is the Genesis-text, as it were, of Jamesean studies.
Perry organizes and effectively analyzes the whole array of James' diverse writings (including reprints of some tremendous and now otherwise difficult to find selections), enabling any reader to obtain a comprehensive and detailed understanding of James' philosophy. At the same time, Perry infects his analysis with a solid and enduring illustration of James's personality, without ever becoming either trite or merely philosophical biography.
Perry's own skills as a writer are evident in such passages as the following, which is a most memorable description of the breadth and depth of Jame's character: "[James] called himself empiricist, pluralist, pragmatist, individualist, but whenever he did so he began at once to hanker after the fleshpots of rationalism, monism, intellectualism, socialist. He liked body in his philosophizing, and he hated to leave out anything that had either flavor or nutritive value. He was much more afraid of thinness than he was of inconsistency."
In one or two places, the serious James scholar might have a difference of opinion with Perry's analysis, whether historical or philosophical, but all philosophy texts are susceptible to such criticism, and Perry's is less susceptible than most. Indeed, it will be by treating Perry's text as a sound starting place that the inexperienced or unfamiliar reader might become such an adept analyst and capable of interpreting James' life, character and thought so well.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Currie-Knight TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
William James was as incongruent as his philosophy; and I don't mean this sardonically. He was a lover both of art and science; both of the unity of the whole and the plurality of parts; both of the rationalistic and the sentimental parts of life. It is always suprising to me not that he could be all these things, but how well he balanced them all. Whenever one trait would come to the forefront, James almost instinctively checked it with an equal and opposite impulse.
This book gives us a front-row seat to watch James's balancing act up close! By my estimates, a little over half of this book's text is letters either from or to James (by frinecs such as Perice, Holmes, Dewey, Bergson, and his brother Henry). The author does a good job weaving these letters together with biographical infromation; with this mixture, he does two things. He puts James's life in the context of his philosophy (philosophies?) and puts his philosophy(-ies)in the context of his life. The best part, to me, was the author's ability to discouse on each book James wrote integrating its philosophy with the events of James's world at the time.
As with most biographies, this one does have a tendency (too much so in my opiinion) to psychologize in ways that, to me, seem stretching. The last two chapters, for instance, on James's "Morbid Traits" and his "Benign Traits" are like a psychological summary of James, often identifying traits James posessed as ones that are hinted at in his works (particularly the Varieties of Religous Experience). While sections like these can be interesting, they can also (as these two are) become overkill. I read the rest of the book (which psychologizes but keeps it to a minimum) and skimmed these two chapters.
Otherwise, this s a great biography.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "kurifuton" on September 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
Perry's text is the original, definitive expression of William James' philosophy, outside of the writings of James -- a founder father of the philosophical genre of pragmatism, contemporary American social thought and modern psychology -- himself. Despite the multitude of books written on and about James and his ideas since, no serious student of William James should be without or ignore this one. It is the Genesis-text, as it were, of Jamesean studies.
Perry organizes and effectively analyzes the whole array of James' diverse writings (including reprints of some tremendous and now otherwise difficult to find selections), enabling any reader to obtain a comprehensive and detailed understanding of James' philosophy. At the same time, Perry infects his analysis with a solid and enduring illustration of James's personality, without ever becoming either trite or merely philosophical biography.
Perry's own skills as a writer are evident in such passages as the following, which is a most memorable description of the breadth and depth of Jame's character: "[James] called himself empiricist, pluralist, pragmatist, individualist, but whenever he did so he began at once to hanker after the fleshpots of rationalism, monism, intellectualism, socialist. He liked body in his philosophizing, and he hated to leave out anything that had either flavor or nutritive value. He was much more afraid of thinness than he was of inconsistency."
In one or two places, the serious James scholar might have a difference of opinion with Perry's analysis, whether historical or philosophical, but all philosophy texts are susceptible to such criticism, and Perry's is less susceptible than most. Indeed, it will be by treating Perry's text as a sound starting place that the inexperienced or unfamiliar reader might become such an adept analyst and capable of interpreting James' life, character and thought so well.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Search