Welcome to the William James Forum

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    • #1259
      Avatar photoGary Jaron
      Member

        Welcome to the William James Forum.

        The idea for this site is to bring our interest in William James to a place where we can share, discuss, and explore with like-minded individuals.
        Everyone here shares, to a certain degree, a passion for the ideas that William James brought to our world.
        Here we can share our thoughts and questions about the ideas and life of William James that interest us and that we wish to focus on.

        For example:
        • Perhaps you want to speculate about what would James think about some social or political issue of the day?
        • Perhaps you wonder why he neglected to comment on a social or political issue of his day when he did on others?
        • Perhaps a learned Professor wrote something about James that doesn’t sit right with you, and you wish to disagree with that assessment. You want to see and hear if others agree with you on that assessment or not.
        • Perhaps you can’t find that quote of James’s that you recall reading somewhere, but now you just can’t find it. You could describe it as best you can and then ask for help tracking it down.
        • Perhaps, just because someone wrote a seemingly definitive answer to an issue, that doesn’t mean you have to agree with it. Challenge it. Question it. Let’s hash it out. Always remember the fun is in having unanswered questions. That is what makes life interesting.
        • Perhaps you are about to write something about James and want some feedback; you want a second opinion on the issue or topic?
        • Or something else…

        I would hope we can help each other and support each other. Recognize and give credit where credit is due. That’s what we live for, is it not? Recognition and acknowledgment. It would be fitting if there was a footnote in some future paper that read something like: “I would like to thank so and so for her contribution from that online exchange. She gave me…”

        We should recall what James wrote in 1904 in his article “A World of Pure Experience”.
        We are all biased by our personal feelings, I know, and I am personally discontented with extant solutions; so I seem to read the signs of a great unsettlement, as if the upheaval of more real conceptions and more fruitful methods were imminent, as if a true landscape might result, less clipped, straight-edged and artificial.
        If philosophy be really on the eve of any considerable rearrangement, the time should be propitious for any one who has suggestions of his own to bring forward. For many years past my mind has been growing into a certain type of Weltanschaung. Rightly or wrongly, I have got to the point where I can hardly see things in any other pattern. I propose, therefore, to describe the pattern as clearly as I can consistently with great brevity, and to throw my description into the bubbling vat of publicity where, jostled by rivals and torn by critics, it will eventually either disappear from notice, or else, if better luck befall it, quietly subside to the profundities and serve as a possible ferment of new growths or a nucleus of new crystallization.

        [From the essay entitled ‘The World of Pure Experience’, printed in the 1912 edition of Essays in Radical Empiricism, Longmans, Green and Co. pp 40-41.]

        So, come here, present your pattern as clearly as possible, and be brief but sufficient. Let it get jostled and torn. Who knows, perhaps something you say here may lead to new growth or become the nucleus of something new. If that seems too lofty a goal for this forum, it will still be worthwhile if you simply enjoy sharing your opinions and insights on something and someone we all think does matter and should be remembered.

      • #1359
        Avatar photop.m.davis@liverpool.ac.uk
        Member

          I hope this is of some interest – this attempt in a new series from Oxford University Press to write about ‘My William James’

          https://global.oup.com/academic/product/william-james-9780192847324?q=philip%20Davis&lang=en&cc=us

          Philip Davis

          • #1386
            Avatar photoRickJoines
            Member

              Planning on writing a review for William James Studies.

            • #1387
              Avatar photoGary Jaron
              Moderator

                Rick,
                That sounds great. What will you be reviewing?

              • #1389
                Avatar photoRickJoines
                Member

                  Philip Davis’ book.

              • #1361
                Avatar photoGary Jaron
                Moderator

                  Interesting book you have written!
                  Thanks for sharing it.

                  The blurb from the book:

                  The My Reading series offers personal models of what it is like to care about particular authors and works, and to show their effect upon a reader’s own thinking and development
                  Shows how William James’s work searched for the meaning of existence in the overlap between literature, psychology, philosophy, and biography
                  Considers William James’s acute perception of the interior’s fundamental validity in the perception of/making of the Real
                  Relates to issues of mental health and the attempted flourishing of life, despite the threats of pain and depression
                  Draws on the experience of the author and that of other readers

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