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American Philosophy

William James

What were William James’ main pragmatic interests?

James attributed his pragmatic maxim to Charles Sanders Peirce (1839–1914): “To attain perfect clearness in our thoughts of an object … we need only consider what conceivable effects of a practical kind the object may involve—what sensations we are to expect from it, and what reactions we must prepare.” James applied pragmatism to epistemology, ethics, religious theory, and free will.



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