Writings, 1902-1910 - Study Guide A Pluralistic Universe Section I (Lectures I-IV) Summary & Analysis

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Lecture I - The Types of Philosophic Thinking

In lecture I, James discusses the various approaches used in philosophy. He suggests that empiricism uses parts to explain wholes through inductive reasoning and that rationalism uses wholes to explain the parts through deductive reasoning. Empiricism is pluralist and rationalism is monist. He explores the difference between spiritualism with a sympathetic temper and materialism with a cynical temper. James suggests that there are two sub-categories of spiritualism; monistic pantheism and dualistic theism. He adds that the theism position lacks intimacy, particularly with regard to individual experience, and is thus unsatisfactory.

Lecture II - Monistic Idealism

In lecture II, James discusses the underlying suppositions of monistic idealism. James refers to the monist position as the 'all-form' and the pluralist position as the 'each-form.' He continues...

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