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By William James

As those lectures are supposed to be public, and so few, i've got assumed all very precise difficulties to be excluded, and a few subject of basic curiosity required. thankfully, our age looks transforming into philosophical back - nonetheless within the ashes dwell the wonted fires. Oxford, lengthy the seed-bed, for the english global, of the idealism encouraged via Kant and Hegel, has lately turn into the nursery of a really assorted frame of mind. Even non-philosophers have all started to take an curiosity in an argument over what's referred to as pluralism or humanism. It seems a bit as though the traditional english empiricism, goodbye positioned out of favor right here by means of nobler sounding germanic formulation, can be re-pluming itself and preparing for a better flight than ever. It seems like foundations have been being sounded and tested afresh.
Individuality outruns all category, but we insist on classifying each one we meet

Table of Contents

The sorts of Philosophic considering 1; Our age is becoming philosophical back, three swap of tone in view that 1860, four Empiricism and Rationalism outlined, 7 the method of Philosophizing: Philosophers pick out a few a part of the realm to interpret the full via, eight They search to make it appear much less unusual, eleven Their temperamental changes, 12 Their platforms has to be reasoned out, 18 Their tendency to over-technicality, 15 way over this in Germany, 17 the kind of imaginative and prescient is the key in a thinker, 20 Primitive proposal, 21 Spiritualism and Materialism : Spiritualism exhibits varieties, 23 Theism and Pantheism, 24 Theism makes a duality of guy and God, and leaves guy an interloper, 25 Pantheism identifies guy with God, 29 The modern tendency is in the direction of Pantheism, 30 Legitimacy of our call for to be crucial within the Universe, 33 Pluralism as opposed to Monism: The 'each-form' and the 'all-form' of representing the area

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Example text

As I read it, its favorite way of meeting plu­ ralism and empiricism is by a reductio ad ab­ surdum framed somewhat as follows : You con­ tend, it says to the pluralist, that things, though II. M O N ISTIC I DE A LI S �[ in some respects connected, are in other respects independent, so that they are not members of one all-inclusive individual fact. Well, your position is absurd on either point. For admit in fact the slightest modicum of independence, and you find (if you will only think accurately) that you ha\'e to admit more and more of it, until at last nothing but an absolute chaos, or the proved impossibility of any connexion whatever between the parts of the universe, remains upon your hands.

For me ; I suffer those conSC'lllcnces. The absolute knows of those t hi ngs, of course, for it knows me and my suffering, hut it does n't itself suffer. It can't be ignorant, for simultancous with its knowledge of each ques­ tion goes its kno,dedge of each ans'Ye<. It can't be pati ent, for it has to wait for nothing, having everything at once in its possession. It can't be surprised ; it can't be guilty. ' Things true of the world in i ts finite aspects, then, arc not true of it i n its infinite capacity.

It has to be confessed that this dualism and lack of intimacy has always operated as a drag and handicap on christian thought. Orthodox theology has had to wage a steady fight within the schools against the various forms of pan­ theistic heresy which the mystical experiences of religious persons, on the one hand, and the formal or resthetic superiorities of monism to dualism, on the other, kept producing. God as intimate soul and reason of the universe has always seemed to some people a more worthy conception than God as external creator.

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