Download e-book for kindle: A Stroll With William James by Jacques Barzun

By Jacques Barzun

ISBN-10: 0226038661

ISBN-13: 9780226038667

With this booklet, Jacques Barzun can pay what he describes as an "intellectual debt" to William James—psychologist, thinker, and, for Barzun, advisor and mentor. Commenting on James's existence, proposal, and legacy, Barzun leaves us with a smart and civilized distillation of the nice thinker's work.

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Sample text

He concludes that not even C&D perceptions get a free pass in this regard. It is possible, at the end of the First Meditation, to doubt anything retrospectively. This is consistent with maintaining that we cannot—and ought not—doubt what we currently C&D perceive. II. The Circle and the Two-Level Solution Descartes depicts two moments: one in which the possibility of a deceiving nature raises retrospective doubts about C&D perceptions, and another in which the self-evidence of the clear perceptions themselves rules out the possibility that we are being deceived.

What is the scope of the doubt? Let us suppose for a moment that he doubts (2), but not (1). On this reading, he worries that his original argument for the truth rule makes an illicit leap from particular to general. This is a plausible worry. There is big difference between knowing that one particular C&D proposition is true, and knowing that every C&D proposition is true. Perhaps Descartes is toying here with the Humean thought that no matter how many particular C&D propositions he is certain of, he can never know the universal truth rule for certain.

Looks around in all directions in order to extend its knowledge further. First of all, it finds within itself ideas of many things; and so long as it merely contemplates these ideas and does not affirm or deny the existence outside itself of anything resembling them, it cannot be mistaken. Next, it finds certain common notions for which it constructs This strategy is very similar the one that Van Cleve (1979) attributes to Descartes, and which I rejected above. There are two principal differences between our interpretations.

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A Stroll With William James by Jacques Barzun

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