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Publication Details

On the Philosophy of William James

(Original title: K filosofickému myšlení Wiliama Jamese)
Filozofia, 63 (2008), 2, 144-154.
Type of work: Papers
Publication language: Czech

The article deals with the development of the philosophical thought of W. James. Its first part is devoted to James’s conception of mind and consciousness. In James’ view every mind tends to become a part of personal consciousness and though it changes permanently, it is also obviously continuous. W. James influenced E. Husserl by his view that consciousness has a fringe as well as a focus and therefore it is able to grasp the sliding stream of impressions. The article gives also an analysis of James’s theory of the selective interest as determining the experience. The next part of the article shows James’s efforts to overcome the British empiricism (J. Locke, G. Berkeley, D. Hume) founding experience only on sense data and on the processes of mere seeing and mirroring the world. Attention is paid also to James’s processual conception of truth. The last part of the essay shows that by legitimating the existence of a subconscious Self and the psychic processes outside the primary consciousness, W. James anticipated the psychoanalytical conceptions of human knowing as well as C. G. Jung’s paradigm of the primary archetypes of Selbst and individuation.


Consciousness, Experience, Sensibility, Truth, Belief, Faith

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