This book takes a fresh look at how William James' (1842-1910) conceptions of the human mind, death (mortality and immortality), and religion provide us with a viable alternative to many contemporary philosophical approaches. The distinctive Jamesian perspective is illuminated through critical discussions of several different theories and conjectures. The overall argument of this volume is that pragmatist metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of religion must be subordinated to ethics. To provide an historical and philosophical context for this revolutionary conception of the pragmatic method, an introductory discussion of James' views on pragmatism, realism, and truth is also included. Instead of focusing on the general issues of realism and pragmatism, however, the volume examines the applications of these issues to topics such as death, evil, and other minds. The book is vital reading not only for James scholars and pragmatists, but for anyone thinking seriously about human mortality and the endless ethical challenges our life with other human beings that confront us.
Sami Pihlstrom is Professor of Practical Philosophy at the University of Jyvaskyla, Finland, and Docent of Theoretical Philosophy at the University of Helsinki, Finland. This is his tenth book. Earlier publications include: Structuring the World (1996), Pragmatism and Philosophical Anthropology (1998), Naturalizing the Transcendental (2003), Solipsism (2004), and Pragmatic Moral Realism (2005), as well as four volumes in Finnish.
Part 1 Preface Part 2 Acknowledgements Part 3 Abbreviations of Citations Chapter 4 Introduction: William James and the Pragmatist Tradition Chapter 5 Pragmatic and Transcendental Arguments for Theism Chapter 6 James on Death, Mortality, and Immortality Chapter 7 On the Reality of Evil: A Jamesian Investigation Chapter 8 James's Pragmatist Metaphysics of the Mind: Religion, Individualism, and Other Minds Chapter 9 Pragmatism and Personalism Chapter 10 Panpsychism-a Neglected Jamesian Alternative? Chapter 11 Conclusion Part 12 Index Part 13 About the Author