Submitting to Freedom: The Religious Vision of William James

By Bennett Ramsey | Go to book overview

NOTES

William James will be cited as WJ throughout the notes.


Introduction

For examples of these two tendencies in James scholarship, see Richard Rorty's treatment of James in Consequences of Pragmatism (Min- neapolis : University of Minnesota Press, 1982), and Wayne Proudfoot's treatment of James in Religious Experience (Berkeley: University of Cali- fornia Press, 1985). Rorty dislocates James's self-redescriptions from his religious understandings, and as a result makes James into a nonfounda- tionalist and romantic strong poet. Proudfoot dislocates James's religious investigations from the rest of his work, and as a result comes up with a James who is basically a Schleiermachian or naive romantic, one who talks about religious experience without any awareness of the contingency and contextualization of that experience.

1.
2. Lewis Mumford, Technics and Human Development (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1967), p. 16.
3.
The specific allusion here is to Jacques Barzun, A Stroll with William James (New York: Harper and Row, 1983), where James is treated as a contemporary conversation partner. Henry Levinson, in The Religious Investigations of William James (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1981), raises the problem of "presentism" in James scholarship. While his point may be somewhat overstated, I agree with Levinson that James must be considered with regard for his time and place.
4.
For an assessment of James's understanding of his responsibility to society, see Nicholas Lash, Easter in Ordinary (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1988), pp. 21-23.
5.
For a strictly biographical work on James, see Gay Wilson Allen, William James: A Biography (New York: Viking, 1967). Ralph Barton Perry's two-volume Thought and Character of William James (Boston: Little, Brown, 1935) offers the most exhaustive treatment of James's per-

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Submitting to Freedom: The Religious Vision of William James
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Submitting to Freedom - The Religious Vision of William James *
  • Acknowledgments *
  • Contents *
  • Submitting to Freedom *
  • Introduction 3
  • I - The Early Years: 1865-1890 *
  • 1 - A Presence of Absence 17
  • 2 - Reweaving the Self 33
  • II - The Later Years: 1890-1910 *
  • 3 - The Romance of Self-Assertion 59
  • 4 - The Self Resubmitted 77
  • 5 - Returning to Experience 103
  • Conclusion 129
  • Notes 145
  • Index 173
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