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ERIC Number: ED426934
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998
Pages: 18
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Darwinian Center to the Vision of William James.
Bredo, Eric
The essence of William James's vision can sometimes be hard to discover due to emotional volatility and exploratory impulsiveness. On the other hand, beneath James's apparent inconsistency was a constancy of purpose that can be easily underestimated. This paper argues that the center of James's vision lay in an interpretation of Darwinism. By drawing specific connections between James and Darwin, the paper seeks to make James's overall approach clearer and to relate a variety of seemingly disparate themes within it. First the paper explores James's emotional concerns. Next the paper considers Charles Darwin's influence on James' thinking. The paper questions what it means to be "Darwinian," especially when considered philosophically, examining Darwin's accomplishments. According to the paper, Darwin introduced and legitimized a number of intellectual innovations that have become so familiar today that their radical character often goes unrecognized. Contending that pragmatism can be viewed as the generalization of Darwinian philosophy to human social and moral affairs, to see how James used Darwin's ideas, the paper first considers James's work in psychology and then in philosophy. The paper concludes that James tackled the problems facing him by adopting a version of an evolutionary philosophy. (Contains 20 notes and 33 references.) (BT)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A