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This book offers a new perspective on the philosopher, psychologist, and religious thinker William James. Using biographical materials, manuscripts, and analysis, the author develops the first systematic reading of James' world-view of radical empiricism, which sought to take concrete, immediate experience as the basis for understanding the world. The book offers close readings of key works by James. Lamberth argues that religion and philosophy themselves are intimately related conceptually for James; and concludes by relating James' conceptions to present debates concerning truth, religious experience, and theological understandings of the divine.
William James is frequently considered one of America's most important philosophers, as well as a foundational thinker for the study of religion. Despite his reputation as the founder of pragmatism, he is rarely considered a serious philosopher or religious thinker. In this interpretation, David Lamberth argues that James's major contribution was to develop a systematic metaphysics of experience integrally related to his developing pluralistic and social religious ideas. Lamberth systematically interprets James's radically empiricist world-view and argues for an early dating (1895) for his commitment to the metaphysics of radical empiricism. He offers a close reading of Varieties of Religious Experience and concludes by connecting James's ideas about experience, pluralism, and truth to late-1990s debates in philosophy, the philosophy of religion, and theology, suggesting James's functional, experiential metaphysics as a conceptual aide in bridging the social and interpretive with the immediate and concrete while avoiding naive realism.
Buy William James and the Metaphysics of Experience (Cambridge Studies in Religion and Critical Thought) by David C. Lamberth from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780521581639 & 052158163X
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