Manuscript Essays and Notes

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When William James died in 1910 he left a large body of manuscript material that has never appeared in print. Much of it is of biographical interest only, but the largest part is concerned with James's work. The present volume, the first of two that will bring The Works of William James to completion, includes the manuscripts devoted to work in progress on philosophical and psychological subjects. The last volume will bring together the manuscripts relating to James's public lectures and teaching.

The most important of these manuscripts are those of the years 1903 and 1904 called "The Many and the One." This was material for the book that James hoped would be the full technical exposition of his philosophy of radical empiricism. It contains discussions of problems and concepts that are not found in his published work. Closely related to this are his responses to the so-called Miller-Bode objections, which charged that his philosophy of pure experience could not solve the problem of the many and the one or the question "How can two minds know the same thing?" James's notes record his offers to work his way out of the impasse, which eventually led to his formulation of radical empiricism and his total rejection of the mind-body dualism that had dominated Western philosophy since Descartes.

The manuscripts in the rest of the volume contain James's reflections over a period of forty years in the form of drafts, memoranda, and notebook entries. The diverse subjects are arranged under the headings of Philosophy, Psychology, Aesthetics, Ethics, and Religion. Of special interest are the early notes in which James began to work out his own philosophical point of view.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674548299
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 5/31/1988
  • Series: The Works of William James Series
  • Pages: 600
  • Product dimensions: 6.47 (w) x 9.57 (h) x 1.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Ignas K. Skrupskelis is Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina.
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Table of Contents


Introduction by Ignas K. Skrupskelis

Manuscript Essays and Notes


1. Introduction: Philosophies Paint Pictures

2. Introduction

3. Common Sense

4. [Pragmatism]

5. World of Pure Experience

6. Chapter I: Continuity

7. Possibility

8, Necessity

Appendix to The Many and the One 1903-1909

9. [Notes on Continuity I]

10. [Notes on Continuity II]

11. [Notes on Activity I]

12. [Notes on Activity II]

13. [Notes on Activity III]

14. [Reflections on Strong's Book I]

15. [Reflections on Strong's Book II]


16. [The Miller-Bode Objections]


A. Philosophy

17. Miscellanea I: Mostly Concerning Empiricism 1870-1873

18. Idealism, etc. 1870-1873

19. Against Nihilism 1873-1875

20. [Hodgson's Time and Space] 1875-1876

21. On Sensation and Will 1875-1882

22. [Note on Empiricism] 1876-1877

23. Identity 1877-1878

24. Syntheses a Priori 1878-1884

25. Idealism: Short Lecture 1878-1884

26. Confusion of Conditions with Contents of Thought 1878-1885

27. [The Cerebral and the Mental] 1878-1885

28. Phenomenalism 1879-1880

29. Panpsychism 1879-1880

30. Idealism [I] 1880-1884

31. Idealism [II] 1880-1884

32. Cognition Idealism 1880-1885

33. [Notes on Infinity] 1880-1899

34. Classification 1881-1882

35. Must Idealism Be Monistic? 1883-1885

36. Idealism [III] 1884

37. Article on Kant 1896-1900

38. Royce's Argument for the Absolute 1899

39. "Roseau" 1899-1904

40. Münsterberg's Book 1900-1904

41. Idealism [IV] 1902-1903

42. [Notes on Bergson] 1902-1908

43. Infinity 1902-1910

44. Possibility: The World of Platonic Ideas 1903-1904

45. Heymans's Book 1905-1906

46. [Fragment on Rationalists] 1906

47. [Note on Royce's Absolute] 1907

48. [Interview on Pragmatism] 1907

49. Hegelism 1907-1908

50. Truth—Reality, etc. 1907-1910

51. [Fragment on Radical Empiricism] 1910

B. Psychology

52. [Draft on Brain Processes and Feelings] 1872

53. [Notes on Feelings of Movement] 1878-1880

54. [Mental Structure and Experience] 1880-1890

55. [Notes on Perception] 1882-1885

56. Chapter II: The Object of Cognition & the judgment of Reality 1883-1884


57. [Proposal for the American Psychopathological Society] 1909-1910

C. Aesthetics, Ethics, and Religion

58. [Notes on Art and Pessimism] 1873

59. Religions Guarantee 1875

6o. Magnolia 1.Sept. 1, 2 1875

61. [Notes on Ethics I] 1878-1885

62. [Notes on Ethics II] 1888-1889

63. Faith [I] 1895-1903

64. [Faith II] 1899-1901

65. [Notes on Ethics III] 1899-1901

66. Emerson 1905



A Month on the Solimoens

A Note on the Editorial Method

Textual Apparatus


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