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Self, God and ImmortalityA Jamesian Investigation$
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Eugene Fontinell

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780823220700

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823220700.001.0001

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James: Toward a Field-Self

James: Toward a Field-Self

Chapter:
(p.60) Chapter 3 James: Toward a Field-Self
Source:
Self, God and Immortality
Author(s):

Eugene Fontinell

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823220700.003.0004

This chapter explores how William James' doctrine of the self seemed to have developed through three stages. Beginning with a methodological dualism in his Principles of Psychology, James apparently moved to a “no-self” doctrine in the Essays on Radical Empiricism, and finally to the affirmation of a substantive self in A Pluralistic Universe. This three-stage view is basically sound and helpful as long as it is not understood as suggesting any clear, linear, and unequivocal development. The chapter then shows that throughout, James is much less clear and confident about his positive affirmations and solutions than he is in describing the problems and what he wishes to avoid.

Keywords:   William James, self, dualism, Principles of Psychology, no-self doctrine, Essays on Radical Empiricism, substantive self, A Pluralistic Universe

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