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William James and the Transatlantic Conversation focuses on the American philosopher and psychologist William James (1842-1910) and his engagements with European thought, together with the multidisciplinary reception of his work on both sides of the Atlantic since his death. James's encounters with European thinkers and ideas ran throughout his early life and across his distinguished international career, in which he participated in a number of transatlantic conversations in science, philosophy, psychology, religion, ethics, and literature. This volume explores and extends these conversations by drawing together twelve scholars from a range of disciplines on both sides of the Atlantic to assess James's work in all its variety, to trace his multidisciplinary reception across the twentieth century, and to evaluate his legacy in the twenty-first century. The first half of the book considers James's many intellectual influences and the second half focuses on A Pluralistic Universe (1909), the published text of his 1908 Hibbert Lectures at Oxford University, as a key text for assessing James's transatlantic conversations. The pluralistic transatlantic currents addressed in the first part of the volume enable a fuller understanding of James's philosophy of pluralism that forms the explicit focus for the second part. Taken as a collection, the volume is unique in scholarship on James in generating transatlantic, interdisciplinary, and cross-generational dialogues, and it repositions James as an important international thinker and arguably the most distinctive American intellectual figure of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Martin Halliwell is Professor of American Studies at the University of Leicester.
Joel D. S. Rasmussen is University Lecturer in Nineteenth-Century Christian Thought and Fellow of Mansfield College at the University of Oxford.
Table of Contents
Introduction: William James and the Transatlantic Conversation, Martin Halliwell and Joel D. S. Rasmussen
I: James's Intellectual Contexts
1. The Reception of William James in Continental Europe, Jaime Nubiola
2. William James, Ecumenical Protestantism, and the Dynamics of Secularization, David A. Hollinger
3. Religion, Sociology, and Psychology: William James and the Re-enchantment of the World, Richard H. King
4. William James, the French Tradition, and the Incomplete Transposition of the Spiritual into the Aesthetic, Barbara Loerzer
5. Vastations and Prosthetics: Henry James Sr. and the Transatlantic Education of William and Henry James, Peter Kuryla
6. Morbid and Positive Thinking: William James, Psychology, and Illness, Martin Halliwell
7. Encountering the Smashing Projectile: William James on John Stuart Mill and the Woman Question, Leslie Butler
II: The Philosophy of Pluralism
8. A Pluralistic Universe a Century Later: Rationality, Pluralism, and Religion, David C. Lamberth
9. William James, A Pluralistic Universe, and the Ancient Quarrel Between Philosophy and Poetry, Joel D. S. Rasmussen
10. James's Critique of Monistic Idealism in A Pluralistic Universe, Michael R. Slater
11. Jamesian Pragmatic Pluralism and the Problem of God, Sami Pihlstrom
12. Growing Up Zigzag: Reassessing the Transatlantic Legacy of William James, Jeremy Carrette