William James has long been recognized as a central figure in the American philosophic tradition, and his ideas continue to play a significant role in contemporary thinking. Yet there has never been a comprehensive exploration of the thought of this seminal philosopher and psychologist. In Experiencing William James, renowned scholar James Campbell provides the fuller and more complete analysis that James scholarship has long needed.

Commentators typically address only pieces of James’s thought or aspects of his vision, often in an attempt to make the task of understanding James seem easier than it is or else to dismiss him as a philosophically unprepared if well-meaning amateur. The isolated nature of these examinations, too often divorced from the original contexts, badly hinders and even distorts their conclusions. Focusing on James’s own ideas rather than his critiques of others, and drawing from a wealth of scholarship that includes the completed editions of his writings and correspondence, Experiencing William James provides an invaluable, comprehensive view of James as he participates in and advances the pragmatic spirit that is at the core of American philosophy. Taking the whole of the man’s thinking into account, this book offers the richest perspective so far on this great but not fully comprehended intellectual.

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