The Blackwell Guide to American Philosophy (review)
- Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society: A Quarterly Journal in American Philosophy
- Indiana University Press
- Volume 43, Number 2, Spring 2007
- pp. 250-275
- Additional Information
The essay consists of two somewhat independent parts. In the first, I recount some of my experiences as editor, reflecting on interpretative contexts as a source of error, the role of chance, and dependence upon the work of others, especially the arrangement and cataloguing of libraries and archives. I note some of the changes libraries have undergone, including computerization, and sketch out some likely effects on scholarship. In the second part, I report some of my idle thoughts about William James. Emphasis is on the surprising absence of evidence, given the large number of surviving documents, giving insight into the private core of his personality, as distinct from the public—and at times politically motivated—presentation of himself. I make some guesses about his personal religious beliefs, his reasons for engaging in psychical research, and his social views. I conclude with reflections upon his contributions to philosophy and the consequences for myself of such an extensive association with a single person.