The Compromised Scientist: William James in the Development of American Psychology

The Compromised Scientist: William James in the Development of American Psychology

The Compromised Scientist: William James in the Development of American Psychology

The Compromised Scientist: William James in the Development of American Psychology

Excerpt

William James was a man with many faces, perhaps poses. An extraordinary versatility combined with a compassionate humanity, brilliant intellectual gifts, and outstanding scholarly accomplishment--the result was a most remarkable American and a major figure in modern intellectual history. If the following pages present a critical judgment on certain Jamesian qualities, they cannot detract from ineradicable genius. Whatever is written about James must forever stand in the background.

Scholars have concentrated on James's place in the development of philosophy, in working out implications of his contribution to the broad sweep of modern thought. James has been portrayed as a pioneering pragmatist, a radical empiricist, and an early phenomenologist. He has also been depicted as one of the most significant American thinkers to apply Darwinism to psychology and philosophy. James has generally been praised as the philosophical warrier who dismantled the prepragmatic metaphysical edifice and as an "individualist" who fashioned a dynamic psychology that created a remarkable, empirical topography of human introspection.

But his intellectual contribution has not been the only attraction. Others have examined the heroic quality of his life. They have been particularly fascinated with his "psychic" or "spiritual" crisis in the late 1860s, one that brought deep de-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.