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A History of Western Philosophy - Book 3: Chapter 29, William James Summary & Analysis

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Book 3: Chapter 29, William James Summary and Analysis

William James (1842-1910) was a recognized American philosopher and psychologist, who invented the doctrine of radical empiricism, advancing 'pragmatism' and 'instrumentalism'. He was interested in science and religion while his study of medicine was inspired by materialism that was restricted by religious emotions. He was a Protestant, whose only conflict was with Santayana, a Catholic free thinker.

He published his doctrine of radical empiricism in 1904 in an essay called "Does consciousness exist?" It was to show that the relation between the subject and object was not fundamental. Knowing was considered as consisting of two entities, such as a knower or subject and the thing known, such as the object. The knower involved a mind or soul, while the object known pertained to an object, essence, or mind. This view agreed with the accepted philosophy of...

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This section contains 636 words
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