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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: Full Self and Wider Fields

James: Full Self and Wider Fields

(p.101) Chapter 5 James: Full Self and Wider Fields
Self, God and Immortality

Eugene Fontinell

Fordham University Press

This chapter argues that the relation between the person and God must be such that a belief in personal immortality has experiential grounds—not grounds in the sense of offering a compelling necessity to infer immortality, but in the softer sense of being basically consistent with and open to such belief. In keeping with this experiential methodology, there must be some “justifying” evidence for the extrapolated belief in a divine—human relationship. The principal grounds for such extrapolated belief are found in the view of the self that emerges in James' later writings. The chapter draws mainly upon material from The Varieties of Religious Experience, Essays in Radical Empiricism, and A Pluralistic Universe, without dealing with important differences of concern and context among these works.

Keywords:   person, God, immortality, experiential methodology, divine-human relationship, William James

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