Writings, 1902-1910 - Pragmatism Section I (Lectures I-IV) Summary & Analysis

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Pragmatism Section I (Lectures I-IV) Summary and Analysis

Lecture I - The Present Dilemma in Philosophy

In lecture I, James states of philosophy, "Philosophy is at once the most sublime and the most trivial of human pursuits"(pg 488). He goes on to describe two main philosophic stances; that of the rationalist and that of the empiricist. According to James, the rationalist position is "based on principles, intellectualistic, idealistic, optimistic, religious, free-willest, monistic, and dogmatic." The empiricist position is "based on facts, sensationalistic, materialistic, pessimistic, irreligious, fatalistic, pluralistic, and skeptical." James speaks to the positivist viewpoint which makes the universe larger and lessens the role of man. The religious viewpoint tends to "retreat and accommodate," while the pantheistic viewpoint is "aggressive and radical." James suggests that pragmatism can fill the needs of both religion and fact.

Lecture II - What Pragmatism Means...

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