William James's Radical Reconstruction of Philosophy

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Seigfried (philosophy, Purdue U.) reconceptualizes James's writings and methodologies, providing a fresh approach to many of the recalcitrant problems raised over the years in the secondary literature, the longest controversy being over his theory of truth. This work is organized into five sections on overcoming nihilism and skepticism, interpretive structures of human experience, hermeneutic methods, knowledge and truth, and overcoming the tradition. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791404010
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/1990
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 433

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Abbreviations of The Works of William James

Introduction

1. The Center of James's Vision
2. Between Misinterpretation and Over-literalness
3. Framing the Larger Project
4. Critique and Reconstruction

PART ONE: OVERCOMING NIHILISM AND SKEPTICISM

One. Beginnings

1. Between Trail-blazing and Perfectly Ideal Discourse
2. Reducing the Reductive or Overcoming Nihilism
3. Theoretic Rationality
4. Practical Rationality
5. On Mind Corresponding to Reality
6. Discerning the Initial Direction of the Trail

Two. Founding Level of Meaning: Towards an Experiential Grounding of Both Science and Metaphysics

1. Cracks in the Positivist Model of Science
2. Clash of Philosophical Goals: Ultimate Comprehension and Ecstatic Union
3.Overcoming the Split between Science and Metaphysics
4. Concrete Beginnings: The Fundamental Facts of Knowing-Things-Together, Intentionality, Context, and Temporality

PART TWO: INTERPRETIVE STRUCTURES OF HUMAN EXPERIENCE

Three. Concrete Experience and Selective Interest

1. A Concrete Methodology
2. Selective Interest as a Concrete Structure of Experience
3. Selective Interest as Organizing Principle of The Principles of Psychology
4. Selective Interest Developed in Other Texts
5. Radical Finitude

Four. Concrete Acts of Thinking

1. Contemplative and Rational Thinking in "Brute and Human Intellect"
2. Extracting the Right Character from the Whole Phenomenon
3. Critique and Reconstruction of Reasoning in Principles
4. How Facts Come to Be in "The Importance of Individuals"
5. Conclusion

Five. Practical and Aesthetic Interests

1. Postulates Given in Our Nature
2. The Practical as Coordinate with the Aesthetic
3. The Practical as Primordial
4. The Aesthetic
5. Both Irreducibly Ultimate

Six. Natural History Methodology and Artistic Vision

1. Natural History Methodology Transformed
2. Natural History Findings and Metaphysical Speculation
3. Re-defining Definitions
4. Re-describing Description
5. Observation: "The Primal State of Theoretic and Practical Innocence"
6. Bare Facts in a 'Real' World versus Interpreted Facts of Experienced Phenomena
7. Creativity
8. Artistic Vision: "Mystic Sense of Hidden Meaning"

PART THREE: HERMENEUTIC METHODS

Seven. Interpretive Theory and Praxis

1. Hermeneutic Structures
2. A Radically Empiricist Concrete Hermeneutics
3. Concrete Presuppositions of Hermeneutical Strategy
4. A Radically Empiricist Hermeneutics of Textual Texts
5. Metaphysical Unification and Hermeneutical Pluralism
6. Interpretive Structure of The Varieties of Religious Experience

Eight. Analogy and Metaphor

1. The Genial Play of Association by Similarity
2. Philosophy: Making Conventionalities Fluid Again
3. Rationalism and Empiricism
4. Metaphorical Terminology
5. The Sculptor's Chisel

Nine. The Scope of Pragmatism

1. A Method Merely or a Philosophy of Experience?
2. Using the Pragmatic Method to Reconstruct Philosophy
3. Pragmatic Critique of Reductionist Empiricism and Intellectualist Rationalism
4. A Doubled Interpretive Space

PART FOUR: KNOWLEDGE AND TRUTH

Ten. "Knowing as it Exists Concretely"

1. A Concrete Analysis of the Cognitive Function of Lived Experience
2. Intentionality in "On the Function of Cognition"
3. The Horizon of Knowing in "On Some Omissions of Introspective Psychology"
4. "A Context Which the World Supplies"
5. Phenomenalist Idealism and Trans-subjective Realism

Eleven. Truth

1. Cognitive Truth and Pragmatic Truth
2. Criticizing Truth as Correspondence
3. Truth as Satisfactory Working or Leading
4. The Practical Character of Our Beliefs
5. The Concrete Point of View
6. Truth as Value for Life
7. Objective Truth

PART FIVE: OVERCOMING THE TRADITION

Twelve. Why Metaphysics?

1. Concrete Analysis of Lived Experience
2. Is Radical Empiricism a Metaphysics?
3. Incomplete Transformation of the Realist/Metaphysical Perspective into the Concrete/Hermeneutic

Thirteen. Unexamined Empiricist Assumptions

1. The Tangle of Science and Metaphysics
2. Inability to Formalize Structures of Explanation
3. Reconstructing the Reconstruction
4. Reconstructing Subjectivity and Objectivity
5. James's Inability to Produce a Systematic Philosophy
6. Beyond Metaphysics

Fourteen. Radical Empiricism as Concrete Alternative to Realism

1. Dismantling Metaphysics
2. Pure Experience as Concrete Analysis
3. A Reconstruction of Realism and Truth from the Perspective of the Full Fact / Full Self

Fifteen. Critique and Reconstruction of Rationalism

1. Critique of Rationalism
2. James's Genealogy of Rationality
3. Rationality "Taken in its Fullest Sense"
4. Inconclusive Conclusions

Conclusion

The End of Philosophy and the Beginning

Notes

Index

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