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This paper covers the religious, philosophical and psychological views of William James, focusing on the issue between reason and religion (freedom of choice) as covered in "The Varieties of Religious Experience," along

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Introduction

��ࡱ�>�� WY����V�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������[email protected] ��0Wfbjbj�2�2 (z�X�X�[�������������������8� �<�Iv�������$�R �������������������� Gեw���j��0I�� | � ���2T����� �� ���� This paper covers the religious, philosophical and psychological views of William James, focusing on the issue between reason and religion (freedom of choice) as covered in �The Varieties of Religious Experience,� along with many other works. The American philosopher-psychologist William James was born in New York City in 1842 to the religious philosopher Henry James Sr. and his wife Mary Walsh. William James was one of the forefathers of modern psychology. He was a philosopher and psychologist, but was most well known in the field of psychology for developing the philosophy of pragmatism, or the functionalist theory: �Theory of mental life and behavior that is concerned with how an organism uses its perceptual abilities to function in its environment.� James was the most widely read author of the 1900�s. In 1890 James published a book called �The Principles of Psychology,� which was considered a classic. William James was also the first psychologist to be born in America. To put his work in context, it is important to see the cultural and religious milieu in which he was writing. America at the end of the 19th century was characterized by individualism, pluralism, and optimism. From the beginning of colonization, Americans have been formed by the myth of the rugged frontiersman, the hardworking man who single-handedly goes forth and creates his own destiny through taming the wild frontier with his muscle, his wits, and the sweat of his brow. Reality aside, this myth has created an ethos where individuals are held responsible for their own situation in life and for their own opinions. Success is judged by how well one carves one's own niche in the world and personally appropriates the available abundance. This reflects not simply on one's abilities, but on the veracity of one's entire approach to life. In Principles of Psychology, James reviews the question of evidence in regard to the question of determinism versus freedom of choice. ...read more.

Middle

He is attacking what came to be known later in the century as the Genetic Fallacy. We can explain human actions or belief systems in terms of how they have come to be, but that tells us nothing about their value, which must be something divorced from origins. Hence, history does not necessarily resolve all questions of truth and value. Let me cite a common example: students are often heard to complain that the grade they receive for an assignment is not equal with the amount of work they put into it. "But I worked so hard on that essay," they say, "I should get a higher grade." This is a particularly common version of the Genetic Fallacy that James is attacking. For it is clear that hard work is no criterion of quality, frustrating as it may be for many students that their work receives lower grades than the assignments of someone else who just happens to dash off the work apparently very casually. At any rate, this opening argument enables James to set aside those who think they have explained religion adequately by pointing to this or that physical cause (a school of thought that James calls Medical Materialism). And in the course of this discussion James introduces the single most important principle that is the major theme, not only of James's discussion of religion, but also of his entire philosophy - that the value of something is to be judged by its effects, not by its origin, or, in James's phrase, by your fruits you shall know them, not by their roots. It quickly becomes apparent here that James is a radical empiricist, perhaps the most extreme example we have met. For him all questions of value have to meet the test of experience. And by experience he does not mean a universal norm. No, he means experiences, the active consequences which occur in the lives of particular individuals. ...read more.

Conclusion

Atlantic Monthly, October, 1880. <http://www.des.emory.edu/mfp/jgreatmen.html>. James, William. "Subjective Effects of Nitrous Oxide." Erowid.org, 2000. <http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/nitrous/nitrous_article1.shtml>. James, William. �The Varieties of Religious Experience.� (Macmillan Pub Co. 1961). James, William �What Makes a Life Significant.� Emory University. Sep 23, 2005. <http://www.des.emory.edu/mfp/jsignificant.html>. O'Meara, William �Questions and Lecture # 3 on Sartre and William James on Freedom� 1997 <http://falcon.jmu.edu/~omearawm/ph101sartre3.html>. Pragmatism. John Shook. 2006. <http://www.pragmatism.org/>. Suckiel, Ellen Kappy. The Pragmatic Philosophy of William James (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1982). Taylor, Eugene I. and Wozniak, Robert H. �Pure Experience, the Response to William James: An Introduction.� Classics in the History of Psychology. York University, Toronto, Ontario. <http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/James/TaylorWoz.htm>. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Russell Goodman. Mar 19, 2006. <http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/james/>. Wikipedia: the free encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 6 April 2006. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_James>. William L. Rowe, William J. Wainwright. Philosophy of Religion Selected Readings. p.461-472 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998). This document was downloaded from Coursework.Info - The UK's Coursework Database - http://www.coursework.info/ This document was downloaded from Coursework.Info - The UK's Coursework Database - http://www.coursework.info/ This document was downloaded from Coursework.Info - The UK's Coursework Database - http://www.coursework.info/ This document was downloaded from Coursework.Info - The UK's Coursework Database - http://www.coursework.info/ This document was downloaded from Coursework.Info - The UK's Coursework Database - http://www.coursework.info/ This document was downloaded from Coursework.Info - The UK's Coursework Database - http://www.coursework.info/ �^_�c�cdd�d�d�d�dmene�e�eQfRfVfWf�������������h0?Ph0?POJQJh0?Ph0?PCJOJQJ%h0?Ph0?POJQJfHq� ����)h0?Ph0?PCJOJQJfHq� ����h0?Phxu�h0?Ph0?PmHsH hxu�h0?P��� � 01=>fg6'7'++c2d2e2f2�4�4�6�699d:e:f:�����������������������������gdxu��cVf��f:g:�:�:�:�:;;@;A;G;H;>>[email protected]@[email protected]@�@�@�@�@AAQARA�A�A�A�A�����������������������������gdxu��A�C�C�E�E�G�GJIKI:K;KsLtLOO�P�P�P�PnRoRTT[V\V1X2X�Y�Y�[�����������������������������gdxu��[�[�[�[�[�[�[\P\Q\�\�\�\�\] ]U]V]�]�]�]�]�]�](^)^]^^^�^�^�����������������������������gdxu��^�^�^__s_t_�_�_�_�_A`B`�`�`�`�`aa=a>a�a�a�a�a-b.brbsb�b�����������������������������gdxu��b�b�b�bccpcqc�c�cdddd�d�d�d�d�d�d�d�dneoepeqe�e��������������������������$a$gd0?P$a$gd0?Pgdxu��e�e�e�eRfSfTfUfVfWf���������gdxu�$a$gd0?P &1�h:pxu���/ ��=!�'"�'#��$��%��[email protected]�D NormalCJ_H aJmH nHsH [email protected]�D Default Paragraph FontRi�R Table Normal�4� l4�a� (k�(No [email protected]�D xu� Plain TextCJOJQJ^[email protected] 0?PHeader ���!4 @4 0?PFooter ���!`�o"` 0?Pwatermark header$a$CJOJQJfHq� ����N�o2N 0?Pwatermark footer$a$ CJOJQJW^z���� ���z� ���z� ���z� ���z� ���z� ���z� ���z� ���z�{7[.9LF�S-ZW^��s�r�V�:��Wf4f:�A�[�^�b�eWf5789:;<Vf6�VW�[�[\\�\�\�\�\o]q]�]�]S^X^X^�[X^��alex�0?Pxu��@�[\Z�W^[email protected]��Unknown������������G��z ��Times New Roman5V��Symbol3&� �z ��Arial7&�� �VerdanaG5�� �����h�MS Mincho-�3� fg?5� �z ��Courier New"1���hUK�fUK�fUK�f��MS���MS���������4�[�[3�� H�?������������������xu���TCoursework.Info Coursework - http://www.coursework.info/ - Redistribution ProhibitedTCoursework.Info Coursework - http://www.coursework.info/ - Redistribution Prohibitedalexalex�� ��Oh��+'��0`��� |�� �� ( [email protected]�sUCoursework.Info Coursework - http://www.coursework.info/ - Redistribution ProhibitedualexewoUCoursework.Info Coursework - http://www.coursework.info/ - Redistribution Prohibitedu>Downloaded from Coursework.Info - http://www.coursework.info/is Normal.dotfalexl.d2exMicrosoft Word [email protected]@��w��@��w��@��w����M�� ��Õ.��+,��D��Õ.��+,��`���H����� ���� � ��UCoursework.Info Coursework - http://www.coursework.info/ - Redistribution ProhibitedoUCoursework.Info Coursework - http://www.coursework.info/ - Redistribution ProhibitedoUCoursework.Info Coursework - http://www.coursework.info/ - Redistribution ProhibitedoB\�S�[A [email protected]���+K_PID_LINKBASE CopyrightDownloaded FromCan RedistributeOwner�A4http://www.coursework.comcoursework.comehttp://www.coursework.com -No, do not redistributecoursework.com/ !"#$%&'()*+,-./0123456789:;<=����[email protected]����GHIJKLM����OPQRSTU��������X����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������Root Entry�������� �F�֥w��Z�1Table��������>WordDocument��������(zSummaryInformation(����FDocumentSummaryInformation8������������NCompObj������������j������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ ���� �FMicrosoft Word Document MSWordDocWord.Document.8�9�q ...read more.

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