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William James, Lecture 7: Pragmatism and Humanism hat is true of it seems from first to last to be largely a matter of our own creation. Sources: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, William James by Bernard P. Brennan Copyright © 2018 Course Hero, Inc. Pragmatism Knowledge is a learned adaptation valued for its usefulness. Empiricism All knowledge comes from the senses and must be tested. Rationalism All knowledge comes from reason and can be inferred logically. Key Charles Sanders Peirce American founder of the school of pragmatism; championed the scientific method as a means for finding true knowledge John Dewey American pragmatist and psychologist; used a pragmatic approach for educational reform that emphasized practical and democratic education Ferdinand C.S. Schiller Humanist, pragmatist, and friend of James; believed truth and morality are not fixed but depend on their usefulness for individuals Key Figures First trained in medicine, James taught psychology and philosophy at Harvard University, where he wrote the first modern textbook of psychology. His study of spiritual experiences broke new ground in the study of religion. In his final years, James outlined a vision of the American philosophy of pragmatism. WILLIAM JAMES1842–1910 Author People’s beliefs are adaptations to reality, not fixed truths. Instrumental Theories Reality is continuously being shaped by people’s perceptions and beliefs. A Becoming World Scientific empiricism can be harmonized with religion. Nondogmatic Approach Ideas are meaningful when they have practical consequences in people’s lives. Pragmatists do not have to choose between tough-minded scientific empiricism and tender-minded religious belief. Rather, they steer a path between extremes and live by what adds to the world’s good. A Sensible Philosophy for Everyday Life MAIN IDEAS English Original Language 1907 Year Published William James Author Pragmatism Philosophy Nonfiction

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