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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: Personal Identity

James: Personal Identity

Chapter:
(p.81) Chapter 4 James: Personal Identity
Source:
Self, God and Immortality
Author(s):

Eugene Fontinell

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823220700.003.0005

This chapter looks at how William James, having had his say concerning the empirical self and its constituent selves (material, social, spiritual), declares that the decks are “cleared for the struggle with that pure principle of personal identity.” Throughout the Principles, James insists that he is concerned only with the psychological, not the metaphysical, dimensions of the various problems under consideration. Again and again, however, he merges the two, and later realized that they cannot be kept completely apart regardless of one's methodological intentions. The chapter suggests that the deeper thrust and significance of James' position on such specific questions as truth, self, and God can be grasped only by surfacing the metaphysical presuppositions that permeate his more particularized responses.

Keywords:   William James, empirical self, personal identity, metaphysics, methodological intentions, truth, God

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