William James (1842-1910) was a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher trained as a medical doctor. He wrote influential books on the young science of psychology, educational psychology, psychology of religious experience and mysticism, and the philosophy of pragmatism. He was the brother of novelist Henry James and of diarist Alice James. William James was born at the Astor House in New York City. He was the son of Henry James Sr., an independently wealthy and notoriously eccentric Swedenborgian theologian well acquainted with the literary and intellectual elites of his day. The intellectual brilliance of the James family milieu and the remarkable epistolary talents of several of its members have made them a subject of continuing interest to historians, biographers, and critics.
Pragmatism and the Meaning of Truth (Works of William James)by William James
"Pragmatism" by William James is the most famous single work of American philosophy. Its sequel, "The Meaning of Truth," is its imperative and inevitable companion. The definitive texts of both works are together in this volume, "Pragmatism and the Meaning of Truth." Pragmatism resulted from a series of lectures delivered by William James in 1906 and 1907. This series of lectures illustrates well the fundamental attributes of pragmatism. Written in an engaging and accessible style, Pragmatism is a valuable corrective to modern uses of the word, since the voice that speaks in its pages embodies precisely the opposite values from the pejorative senses the word has acquired. William James was a challenging thinker who deserves to be read and still has much to teach. As for Pragmatism, it remains a provocative, valuable, and important work, a classic of American thought. Pragmatism's sequel, "The Meaning of Truth," is its imperative and inevitable companion. The definitive texts of both works are together in this volume. In Pragmatism James attacked the transcendental, rationalist tradition in philosophy and tried to clear the ground for the doctrine he called radical empiricism. When first published, the book caused an uproar. It was greeted with praise, hostility, ridicule. Determined to clarify his views, James collected nine essays he had written on this subject before he wrote Pragmatism and six written later in response to criticisms by Bertrand Russell and others. He published "The Meaning of Truth" in 1909, the year before his death. "Pragmatism and the Meaning of Truth" show James at his best full of verve and good humor. Intent upon making difficult ideas clear, he is characteristically vigorous in his effort to explain his views.
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