|(We have made some minor text changes. We eliminated all end of line hyphens from two word pairs and hyphenated words. We moved some footnotes to permit contiguous non page-broken paragraphs. That entailed some renumbering of footnotes. We modernized some punctuation, essentially order of quote marks vis-à-vis semicolons, spaces in front of punctuation, etc. (Although we intuit James' and perhaps Durant's uses ? with space(s) in front of them carry much potential n¤n classical semantic which may have been lost to moderns.) We left out a whole unnumbered page with Dewey's picture on it. We include James' picture from an unnumbered page twixt pp. 560-561.)
(Most quotes verbatim Will Durant, some paraphrased.)
(Relevant to William James, Peirce, Pirsig,
William James, William James Sidis, and
Quantonics Thinking Modes.)
|"The reader will not need to be reminded that the philosophy which we have just summarized [Santayana] is a European philosophy in everything but the place of its composition. It has the nuances and polish and mellow resignation characteristic of an old culture; one could tell from any paragraph in the Life of Reason that this is no native American voice."
Number I, Santayana precedes James as II in Durant's The Story of Philosophy, under American philosophers.
|"In William James the voice and the speech and the very turn of phrase are American. He pounced eagerly upon such characteristic expressions as 'cash value,' and 'results,' and 'profits,' in order to bring his thought within the ken of the 'man in the street;' he spoke not with the aristocratic reserve of a Santayana or a Henry James, but in a racy vernacular and with a force and directness, which made his philosophy of 'pragmatism' and 'reserve energy' the mental correlate of the 'practical' and 'strenuous' Roosevelt. And at the same time he phrased for the common man that 'tender-minded' trust in the essentials of the old theology which lives side by side, in the American soul, with the realistic spirit of commerce and finance, and with the tough persistent courage that turned a wilderness into the promised land."
Durant offers a novel view of James which is not apparent to us after our (only) review of James' Some Problems of Philosophy. It is clear to us now that we need to read and perhaps review James' other works...a mammoth effort, at least for us, it would be. FYE those who are interested: we acquired a 1st ed. copy of James' Varieties of Religious Experience during July, 2003.
Prior reading this we had not made a nexus of pragmatism and 'reserve energy.' Durant's interpretation of Peirce's pragmatism is just incredibly quantum, as you may choose to read below.
|"William James was born in New York City in 1842. His father was a Swedenborgian mystic, whose mysticism did no damage to his wit and humor; and the son was not lacking in any of the three. After some seasons in American private schools, William was sent with his brother Henry (one year his junior) to private schools in France. There they fell in with the work of Charcot and other psychopathologists, and took, both of them, a turn to psychology; one of them, to repeat an old phrase, proceeded to write fiction like psychology, while the other wrote psychology like fiction. Henry spent most of his life abroad, and finally became a British citizen. Through his more continuous contact with European culture he acquired a maturity of thought which his brother missed; but William, returning to live in America, felt the stimulation of a nation young in heart and rich in opportunity and hope, and caught so well the spirit of his age and place that he was lifted on the wings of the Zeitgeist to a lonely pinnacle of popularity such as no other American philosopher had ever known."
|"He took his M. D. at Harvard in 1870, and taught there from 1872, to his death in 1910, at first anatomy and physiology, and then psychology, and at last philosophy. His greatest achievement was almost his firstThe Principles of Psychology (1890); a fascinating mixture of anatomy, philosophy and analysis; for in James psychology still drips from the foetal membranes of its mother, metaphysics. Yet the book remains the most instructive, and easily the most absorbing, summary of its subject; something of the subtlety which Henry put into his clauses helped William James to the keenest introspection which psychology had witnessed since the uncanny clarity of David Hume."
We have only read and reviewed James' Some Problems of Philosophy, as of quarter one, 2004.
We did a quick perusal of James' Varieties of Religious Experience for our comprehensive review of Clifford Geertz' Available Light.
|"This passion for illuminating analysis was bound to lead James from psychology to philosophy, and at last back to metaphysics itself; he argued (against his own positivist inclinations) that metaphysics is merely an effort to think things out clearly; and he defined philosophy, in his simple and pellucid manner, as 'only thinking about things in the most comprehensive possible way.'1 So, after 1900, his publications were almost all in the field of philosophy. He began with The Will to Believe (1897); then, after a masterpiece of psychological interpretationVarieties of Religious Experience (1902)he passed on to his famous books on Pragmatism (1907), A Pluralistic Universe (1909), and The Meaning of Truth (1909). A year after his death came Some Problems of Philosophy (1911); and later, an important volume of Essays in Radical Empiricism (1912). We must begin our study with this last book, because it was in these essays that James formulated most clearly the bases of his philosophy.2"
See Logical Positivism.
James did not become a pluralist until his middle age, and then under philosophical influences of Charles Renouvier and Henri Louis Bergson. During his years after 1870, James also began to emphasize reality's apparent animacy, what he calls "flux."
Durant's views of James are similar to our views of Pirsig. Pirsig admires James, to put it lightly.
"1 Some Problems of Philosophy, p. 25.
"2 The reader who has leisure for but one book of James should go directly to Pragmatism. which he will find a fountain of clarity as compared with most philosophy. If he has more time, he will derive abundant profit from the brilliant pages of the (unabbreviated) Psychology. Henry James has written two volumes of autobiography, in which there is much delightful gossip about William. Flournoy has a good volume of exposition, and Schinzs Anti-Pragmatism is a vigorous criticism."
|"The direction of his thought is always to things; and if he begins with psychology it is not as a metaphysician who loves to lose himself in ethereal obscurities, but as a realist to whom thought, however distinct it may be from matter, is essentially a mirror of external and physical reality. And it is a better mirror than some have believed; it perceives and reflects not merely separate things, as Hume supposed, but their relations too; it sees everything in a context; and the context is as immediately given in perception as the shape and touch and odor of the thing. Hence the meaninglessness of Kants 'problem of knowledge' (how do we put sense and order into our sensations?)the sense and the order, in outline at least, are already there. The old atomistic psychology of the English school, which conceived thought as a series of separate ideas mechanically associated, is a misleading copy of physics and chemistry; thought is not a series, it is a stream, a continuity of perception and feeling, in which ideas are passing nodules like corpuscles in the blood. We have mental 'states' (though this is again a misleadingly static term) that correspond to prepositions, verbs, adverbs and conjunctions, as well as 'states' that reflect the nouns and pronouns of our speech; we have feelings of for and to and against and because and behind and after as well as of matter and men. It is these 'transitive' elements in the flow of thought that constitute the thread of our mental life, and give us some measure of the continuity of things."
(Our bold and violet.)
James, however, and in our view, decried monist-statist objectivism,
'Transitive' implies action, but it carries a potential stigma of classical Bergson's highly-criticized Aristotelian "movement by immobilities:" state, event, state, event... Too, our view of quantum realihty, which is a Quantonics' quantum pærspæctive, emerges as vast ihnterrelating ensehmbles ¤f least 'acti¤n' Planck quanta which aræ energy quantized while c¤mcurrently ihn EIMA pærpætual flux, semper flux.
|"Consciousness is not an entity, not a thing, but a flux and system of relations; it is a point at which the sequence and relationship of thoughts coincide illuminatingly with the sequence of events and the relationship of things. In such moments it is reality itself, and no mere 'phenomenon,' that flashes into thought; for beyond phenomena and 'appearances' there is nothing. Nor is there any need of going beyond the experience-process to a soul; the soul is merely the sum of our mental life, as the 'Noumenon' is simply the total of all phenomena, and the 'Absolute' the web of the relationships of the world."
(Our bold and red.)
Now we hear Durant quote a quantum James. Our bold is an analogue of Bergson's prescient:
We would say, "...an ensemble of EIMAs." Durant's description of these aspects of James' philosophy show us that James' "nothing" probably denies quantum reality's self-cloaking, negentropic isoflux, "Nature loves to hide," as real phenomena. James probably bought into Michelson's and Morley's 1887 'proof' that (due absence of detectable 'drift') ether does 'not' exist.
|"It is this same passion for the immediate and actual and real that led James to pragmatism. Brought up in the school of French clarity, he abominated the obscurities and pedantic terminology of German metaphysics; and when Harris and others began to import a moribund Hegelianism into America, James reacted like a quarantine officer who has detected an immigrant infection. He was convinced that both the terms and the problems of German metaphysics were unreal; and he cast about him for some test of meaning which would show, to every candid mind, the emptiness of these abstractions."
|"He found the weapon which he sought when, in 1878, he came upon an essay by Charles Peirce, in the Popular Science _ Monthly, on "How to Make Our Ideas Clear." To find the meaning of an idea, said Peirce, we must examine the consequences to which it leads in action; otherwise dispute about it may be without end, and will surely be without fruit. This was a lead which James was glad to follow; he tried the problems and ideas of the old metaphysics by this test, and they fell to pieces at its touch like chemical compounds suddenly shot through with a current of electricity. And such problems as had meaning took on a clearness and a reality as if, in Platos famous figure, they had passed out of the shadows of a cave into the brilliance of a sun-lit noon." [Doug's main issue here is that consequences viewed classically as determinate, causal-causation and 1-1 correspondent is a shameful classical notion. Consequences viewed as affectational valuation is a real quantum memeo. Doug - 11Jan2005]
If one views Quantonics' insistence on quantum absolute flux as essence of reality as analogous Peirce's pragmatism as absolute action, then one may claim that Peirce's pragmatism is kin of Quantonics. Elsewhere and previously we have not made this nexus and even argued otherwise. Durant puts Peirce's pragmatics in n¤vel lighting for us. It appears well executed and good. Similar remarks follow below... A fabulous example is how we showed classical reality's analysis of a pendulum's motion in a static reference frame is bogus. We did it by showing how Nature's absolute 'action' denies any classical notions of 'rest,' 'stoppability,' 'zero momentum,' 'state,' 'static frames of reference,' etc.
Our big complaint with this paragraph's text is Durant's apparent paraphrasing of Peirce using "consequences." For us this semantic carries a tenor of classical role-playing encumbant notions of predicability, predication, predictability, induction, cause-effect, historical evidence, what happens next as extrapolation, looking backward to decide what happens forward.
Of course quantum reality and Pirsig's MoQ demand that we look at now(ings) and choose-select "whatings happenings nextings" look better to us now(ings), n¤t what was 'better' pastistically. Quantum bætter is quantum nowings-istic free-choice will. Classical 'better' is retroflectively anchored pastistic decidability. Latter is usually based upon immutably-static-stux-sux classical social 'memories' and rules. Readers may comprehend that quantum ihndihvihduals are intrinsically capable of quantum better, and that classical societies are capable of classical 'better' and innately incapable (due their retroflective group relative viscosity) of quantum better. If this is n¤t obvious to you, call Doug and try explicating why you cann¤t understand it. (Quantonics: 1-317-THOUGHT.)
A couple of fine points are that quantum better moves closer to nowings when a quantum ihndihvihdual's sensory bandwidth is higher; bandwidth center (higher/lower) is affective here also with affects varying with both width and center. Lower bandwidth (e.g., husb) and center reduces sensory-quantum-measurement range and measurement response latency: quantum pr¤cesses are happening too fast to measure and thus to a naïvely 'local' classicist those processes are ignored as 'non' 'exist'ent since they are 'insensible.' To any classicist what is 'real' is only what can be 'sensed' and 'measured.' To a classicist that which 'could be sensed' but currently isn't due classical measurement limitations, does 'not' 'exist.' That dumbfounding classical view is what 'defines' classical 'reality,' 'really!' Just ask any classical 'scientist' or 'physicist.'
Again, we offer Pirsigean caveats: our discussion above is a stindyanic quantum BAWAM, n¤t a classical EOOO! Classicists attempt to rationally and analytically theorize dichon('better,' 'better'). Students of Quantonics, MoQites and quantumists try to bæihngs quantons(better,'better'). Note latter's similarity to quantons(DQ,SQ).
Other similar comparisons include:
(Our bold and brackets.)
See our Bases of Judgment.
Sææ ¤ur quantum jihudgmænt.
'The true. . . is only the expedient in the way of our thinking, just as "the right" is only the expedient in the way of our behaving. Expedient is almost any fashion; and expedient in the long run and on the whole, of course; for what meets expediently all the experiences in sight wont necessarily meet all further experiences equally satisfactorily.'
Durant quotes James.
This is superb! Iht agrees with ¤ur view that realihty issi quantum hermeneutic acr¤ss vast ensehmblings ¤f heter¤gene¤us ihnterpretati¤ns. We say more colloquially, "Many truths." Of course, nowings we are k-nowings it is much more complex than that, due quantum phenomena such as: tunneling, ihncluded-mihddle, EIMA, abs¤lutely anihmatæ-unstoppability, entanglement, spatially arbitrary correlation, quantization, lisr, n¤ncommutativity (primarily due anihmatæ EIMA), n¤ndistributivity (ditto), recursihve (i.e., quantum fractal) emergence-immergence ontologies, etc.
'. . . Truth is one species of good, and not, as is usually supposed, a [Platonic] category distinct from good, and coordinate with it. The true is the name of whatever [quantum tentatively] proves itself to be good in the way of belief.1'
Durant quotes James. (Our Brackets.)
Subsequently, Aristotle demoted Platonic good-as-peer-with-truth to good-beneath-truth. Hamann, Bergson, Pirsig, Quantonics, et al., are attempting to put good back in its proper role above truth.
|"Truth is a process, and 'happens to an idea;' verity is verification. Instead of asking whence an idea is derived, or what are its premises, pragmatism examines its results; it 'shifts the emphasis and looks forward;' it is 'the attitude of looking away from first things, principles, categories, supposed necessities, and of looking towards last things, fruits, consequences, facts.'2 Scholasticism asked, What is the thing, and lost itself in 'quiddities;' Darwinism asked, 'What is its origin?' and lost itself in nebulas; pragmatism asks, 'What are its consequences?' and turns the face of thought to action and the future."
(Our bold and red.)
Essence of Richard Dawkins' meme. Most philosophers miss this cogent point: verification depends upon a notion of ideal Parmenidean stability-stoppability. Nature is unstoppable, though. Bergson says, "One may analyze a thing, but not a process." In Quantonics we agree that truth is (i.e., quantum truthings aræ) process, and as such, to us, it is non [classically] verifiable. That is a crucial point!
Students of Quantonics should compare these James-Peirce pragmatics to Pirsigs "B Values preconditions A," and to Bergson on non analytic process, Geertz on absolutism and relativism vis-à-vis judgment, and Quantonics very recent affectation. Crux: reality is "ensemble processings of choosings-selectings whatings happenings nowings affectings whatings happenings nextings based upon an ensemble of most recent outcomings." Reality issi ridings-straddlings "edgings of nowings," and "direct experiencings" as they are happenings. Pirsig calls this "the leading edge of the train." What Peirce appears to us to be saying, via hearsay from Durant, jibes well with these other views. Our interpretation is that Peirce says essentially "pragma never look back; they look predominately at now(ings) and forward and try to select good-better affectors for futurings." To us this is very quantum, indeed.
"1 Pragmatism, pp. 222, 75, 33, 43.
"2 Ibid., p. 54."
|"Let us apply this method to the oldest problem in philosophythe existence and nature of God. The Scholastic philosophers described the deity as "Ens a se extra et supra omne genus, necessarium, unum, infinite, perfectum, simplex, immutabile, immensum, eternum, intelligens."1 [Small, Ah! Nay. God is above all men, and of necessity, Omnipotent Oneness, infinite, perfect, simple, unchangeable, huge, eternal, with omniscient intelligence. Doug's weak Latin transcription.] This is magnificent; what deity would not be proud of such a definition? But what does it mean?what are its consequences for mankind? If God is omniscient and omnipotent, we are puppets; there is nothing that we can do to change the course of destiny which His will has from the beginning delineated and decreed; Calvinism and fatalism are the logical corollaries of such a definition. The same test applied to mechanistic determinism issues in the same results: if we really believed in determinism we would become Hindu mystics and abandon ourselves at once to the immense fatality which uses us as marionettes. Of course we do not accept these sombre philosophies; the human intellect repeatedly proposes them because of their logical simplicity and symmetry, but life ignores and overflows them, and passes on. [Of course this is ubiquitous fundamental Babel which persists in a kind of bogus spiritual agency of classicism. It shall become extinct during Millennium III. . Aquinas destroyed Christian metaphysical spirituality when he used Aristotle's 'physics' to objectify it. Doug's opinions]"
|(Our brackets and bold.)
|"1 Ibid., p. 121."
Durant quotes James. (Our bold.)
We agree with James, however, quantum reality and thus quantum philosophy and metaphysics are incredibly non trivial.
But there are simple descriptions which everyone may grasp:
If one grasps those ~simplifications as tiny tips of immenser, under-water icebergs of potentia, and one can compare them using QTMs to their classical analogues, one is on one's way to building quantum stage meme¤ry palaces of standingunder.
Those classical analogues illustrate James' impetus, "That is why [classical] materialism will always fail of universal adoption."
Doug - 9Jan2004.
|"Men accept or reject philosophies, then, according to their needs and their temperaments, not according to 'objective truth;' they do not ask, 'Is this logical?' they ask, 'What will the actual practice of this philosophy mean for our lives and our interests?' Arguments for and against may serve to illuminate, but they never prove."
From a quantum perspective classical proof is inviable, invalid, due:
'Logic and sermons never convince;
|Durant quotes Whitman.
|"We know that [quantum~individual] arguments are dictated by our needs, and that our needs cannot be dictated to by [classically social] arguments."
Here is a list of what Doug believes those are, from his own quantum complementarospectives:
Founded, perhaps foundering in our 'belief' remarks above, you may wish to see our QELR of understand.
Doug - 8Sep2006.
'The history of philosophy is to a great extent that of a certain clash of human temperaments. . . . Of whatever temperament a professional philosopher is, he tries, when philosophizing, to sink the fact of his temperament. Temperament is no conventionally recognized reason, so he urges impersonal reasons only for his conclusions. Yet his temperament really gives him a stronger bias than any of his more strictly objective premises.3 [Value, Quality, and reality are more subjective, qualitative, and emotional (i.e., more quantum) than they are classically material and objective.]'
Durant quotes James. (Our brackets.)
And here, gentle reader, lover of philosophy, lover of love of wisdom, we see James struggling, as do we with social dogma vav individual temperament. Wethinks he is more leaning gn¤stic than social. So did Essene Jesus as portrayed in Thomas (Jesus' twin) and Philip Gn¤stic Gospels. Doug - 8Sep2006.
"1 Principles of Psychology, New York, 1890, vol. ii, p. 312.
"2 Whitman, Leaves of Grass, Philadelphia, 1900, pp. 61, 172.
"3 Pragmatism, p. 6."
|"These temperaments which select and dictate philosophies may be divided into the tender-minded and the tough-minded. The tender-minded temperament is religious, it likes to have definite and unchanging dogmas and à priori truths; it takes naturally to free will, idealism, monism, and optimism. The tough-minded temperament is materialistic, irreligious, empiricist (going only on 'facts'), sensationalistic (tracing all knowledge to sensation), fatalistic, pluralistic, pessimistic, sceptical. In each group there are gaping contradictions; and no doubt there are temperaments that select their theories partly from one group and partly from the other [MoQites, quantumists, quantum hermeneuticists, etc.]. There are people (William James, for example) who are 'tough-minded' in their addiction to facts and in their reliance on the senses, and yet 'tender-minded' in their horror of determinism and their need for religious belief. Can a philosophy be found that will harmonize these apparently contradictory demands [We believe it is quantum philosophy, MoQ style: what Quantonics teaches.]?"
|(Our bold and brackets.)
|"James believes that pluralistic theism affords us such a synthesis [If synthesis is classical objective integration, that is what a pluralistic theism will do: objectively synthesize its concepts.]. He offers a finite God, not an Olympian thunderer sitting aloof on a cloud, 'but one helper, primus inter pares, in the midst of all the shapers of the great worlds fate.'1 The cosmos is not a closed and harmonious system; it is a battleground of cross-currents and conflicting purposes; it shows itself, with pathetic obviousness, as not a uni- but a multi-verse. It is useless to say that this chaos in which we live and move is the result of one consistent will; it gives every sign of contradiction and division within itself [Indeed, quantum reality, to a classical mind, is paradice.]. Perhaps the ancients were wiser than we, and polytheism [objective, synthetic heterogeneity; today we call it "Cultural Relativism"] may be truer than monotheism to the astonishing diversity of the world. Such [objectively polylogical] polytheism 'has always been the real religion of common people, and is so still today.'2The people are right, and the philosophers are wrong [Actually, in Quantonics, we see both as wrong as long as they adhere legacy teachings of Parmenides, Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Buridan, Bacon, Descartes, Newton, Kant, Einstein, etc.]. Monism is the natural disease of [classical] philosophers, who hunger and thirst not (as they think) for truth, but for unity. 'The world is One!' the formula may become a sort of number-worship. 'Three' and 'seven' have, it is true, been reckoned as sacred numbers; but abstractly taken, why is 'one' more excellent than 'forty-three,' or than 'two million and ten?'3"
|(Our bold and brackets.)
"1 Ibid., p. 298.
"2 Varieties of Religious Experience, New York, 1902, p. 526.
"3 Pragmatism, p. 312. The answer, of course, is that unity, or one system of laws holding throughout the universe, facilitates explanation, prediction, and control."
Green bold added 26Oct2006 - Doug.
Update comment links. 17Apr2007 - Doug.
|"The value of a multiverse, as compared with a universe, lies in this, that where there are cross-currents and warring forces our own strength and will may count and help decide the issue; it is a world where nothing is irrevocably settled, and all action matters. A monistic world is for us a dead world; in such a universe we carry out, willy-nilly, the parts assigned to us by an omnipotent deity or a primeval nebula; and not all our tears can wipe out one word of the eternal script. In a finished universe individuality is a delusion; 'in reality,' the monist assures us, we are all bits of one mosaic substance. But in an unfinished world we can write some lines of the parts we play, and our choices mould in some measure the future in which we have to live. In such a world we can be free; it is a world of chance, and not of fate; everything is 'not quite;' and what we are or do may alter everything. If Cleopatra's nose, said Pascal, had been an inch longer or shorter, all history would have been changed. [As it turns out quantum reality is a BAWAM of monism and pluralism, quantons(monism,apparent_pluralism).]"
(Our bold and brackets.)
Durant paraphrases James' fabulous original words
Update - 18-19Nov2014: Doug is reproducing that James reference here in toto from his first edition copy of William James' Varieties of Religious Experience, pp. 526-7, Longmans, Green, and Co., New York, London, and Bombay, 1902, 534 total pages including index:
"Upholders of the monist view will say to such a polytheism (which, by the way, has always been the real religion of common people, and is so still to-day) that unless there be one all-inclusive God, our guarantee of security is left imperfect. In the Absolute, and in the Absolute only, all is saved. If there be different gods, each caring for his part, some portion of some of us might not be covered with divine protection, and our religious consolation would thus fail to be complete. It goes back to what was said on pages 131-133, about the possibility of there being portions of the universe that may irretrievably be lost. Common sense is less sweeping in its demands than philosophy or mysticism have been wont to be, and can suffer the notion of this world being partly saved and partly lost. The ordinary moralistic state of mind makes the salvation of the world conditional upon the success with which each unit does its part. Partial and conditional salvation is in fact a most familiar notion when taken in the abstract, the only difficulty being to determine the details. Some men are even disinterested enough to be willing to be in the unsaved remnant as far as their persons go, if only they can be persuaded that their cause will prevail--all of us are willing, whenever our activity-excitement rises sufficiently high. I think, in fact, that a final philosophy of religion will have to consider the pluralistic hypothesis more seriously than it has hitherto been willing to consider it. For practical life at any rate, the chance of salvation is enough. No fact in human nature is more characteristic than its willingness to live on a chance. The existence of the chance makes the difference, as Edmund Gurney says, between a life which the keynote is resignation and a life of which the keynote is hope [Tertium Quid, 1887, p. 99. See also pp. 148, 149.]. But all these statements are unsatisfactory from their brevity, and I can only say that I hope to return to the same questions in another book."
Doug embedded James' footnote in bracketed text.
James' parenthetical, to Doug, says, "When it comes to religion, 'One Size Doesn't Fit All.'"
See Doug's QELR of chance., which emphasizes quantum~pluralism as better, i.e., hyper, classical-monism as worse.
Compare this text to William James Durant's paraphrasing of it in his Story of Philosophy, p. 561, paragraph 22. I.e., this page above left.
Note that James does a back reference to pages 131-133. It seems apparent that we need those pages to grasp James' fuller semasiology of a Multiverse hyper a Universe, so Doug will transcript those pages here for your edification:
To set those pages and their local quantum~con(m)texts up, allow Doug a partial quote from page 130.
Doug here transcribes most of James' pp. 131-133:
A way of minimizing evil in self is, to view minimizing evil as an antinomial~complement of maximizing evil...
"...a way of minimizing evil, if you please to so call it, based on the persuasion that the evil aspects of our life are of its very essence, and that the world's meaning most comes home to us when we lay them most to heart. We have now to address ourselves to this more morbid way of looking at the situation. But as I closed our last hour with a general philosophical reflection of the healthy-minded way of taking life, I should like at this point to make another philosophical reflection upon it before turning to that heavier task. You will excuse the brief delay.
"If we admit that evil is an essential part of our being and the key to interpretation of our life, we load our selves down with a difficulty that has always proved burdensome in philosophies of religion. Theism, whenever it has erected itself into a systematic philosophy of the universe, has shown a reluctance to let God be anything less than All-in-All. [Doug takes this as saying a 'universal religion' forms itself as a OSFA religion, what Doug refers, 'a classical-religion.' Doug - 19Nov2014.] In other words, philosophic theism has always shown a tendency to become pantheistic and monistic, and to consider the world as one unit of absolute fact; and this has been at variance with popular or practical theism, which latter has ever been more or less frankly pluralistic, not to say polytheistic, and shown itself perfectly well satisfied with a universe composed of many original principles, provided we be only allowed to believe that the divine principle remains supreme, and that the others are subordinate. In this latter case God is not necessarily responsible for the existence of evil; he would only be responsible if it were not finally overcome. But on the monistic or pantheistic view, evil, like everything else, must have its foundation in God; and the difficulty is to see how this can possibly be the case if God be absolutely good. This difficulty faces us in every form of philosophy in which the world appears one flawless unit of fact."
"Such a unit is an individual, and in it the worst parts must be as essential as the best, must be as necessary to make the individual what he is; since if any part whatever in an individual were to vanish or alter [I.e., "evolve" - Doug - 19Nov2014], it would no longer be that individual at all. [For Doug, James here has entered an absolutely changing, evolving, plural, n¤t monistic, quantum~reality. Doug - 19Nov2014.] The philosophy of absolute [static, dead, Platonic] idealism, so vigorously represented both in Scotland and America to-day, has to struggle with this difficulty quite as much as scholastic theism struggled in its time; and although it would be premature to say that there is no speculative issue whatever from the puzzle, it is perfectly clear to say that there is no clear or easy issue, and that the only obvious escape from paradox here is to cut loose from the monistic assumption altogether, and to allow the world to have existed from its origin in pluralistic form [rather, "...pluralistic, absolutely changing and evolving emerqancyings..." Doug - 19Nov2014.], as an aggregate or collection of higher [hyper] and lower [hypo] things and principles, rather than an absolutely unitary [and dead classical] fact. For then evil would not need to be essential; it might be, and may always have been, an independent portion that had no rational or absolute right to live with the rest, and which we might conceivably hope to see got rid of at last.
"Now the gospel of healthy-mindedness, as we have described it, casts its vote distinctly for this pluralistic view. Whereas the monistic philosopher finds himself more or less bound to say, as Hegel said, that everything actual is rational, and that evil, as an element dialectically required, must be pinned in and kept and consecrated and have a function awarded to it in the final system of truth, healthy-mindedness refuses to say anything of the sort." Doug's red bold.
"Evil, it says, is emphatically irrational, and not to be pinned in, or preserved, or consecrated in any final system of truth. It is a pure abomination to the Lord, an alien unreality, a waste element, to be sloughed off and negated, and the very memory of it, if possible, wiped out and forgotten. The ideal, so far from being co-extensive with the whole actual, is a mere extract from the actual, marked by its deliverance from all contact with this diseased, inferior, and excrementious stuff.
"Here we have the interesting notion fairly and squarely presented to us, of there being elements of the universe which may make no rational whole in conjunction with the other elements, and which, from the point of view of any system which those other elements make up, can only be considered so much irrelevance and accident--so much 'dirt,' as it were, and matter out of place. I ask you now not to forget this notion; for although most philosophers seem either to forget it or to disdain it too much ever to mention it, I believe that we shall have to admit it ourselves in the end as containing an element of truth. The mind-cure gospel thus once more appears to us as having dignity and importance. We have seen it to be a genuine religion, and no mere silly appeal to imagination to cure disease; we have seen its method of experimental verification to be not unlike the method of all science; and now here we find mind-cure as the champion of a perfectly definite conception of the metaphysical structure of the world. I hope that, in view of all this you will not regret my having pressed it upon your attention at such length. "
For Doug, and thinkqing (btwsdingq~) quantumly, maximizing and minimizing evil is akin maximizing and minimizing dialectic, which James subtly and tacitly implies.
End Doug Update - 18-19Nov2014.
|"The theoretical evidence for such free will, or such a multiverse, or such a finite God, is as lacking as for the opposite philosophies. Even the practical evidence may vary from person to person; it is conceivable that some may find better results, for their lives, from a deterministic than from a libertarian philosophy. But where the evidence is indecisive, our vital and moral [individual] interests should make the choice."
Evidence is always hermeneutic. Classical 'science' says evidence is never hermeneutic.
'If there be any life that it is really better that we should lead, and if there be any idea which, if believed in, would help us to lead that life, then it would be really better for us to believe in that idea, unless, indeed, belief in it incidentally clashed with other greater vital benefits.'1
Durant quotes James.
QTMs are better than CTMs.
|"Now the persistence of the belief in God is the best proof of its almost universal vital and moral value. James was amazed and attracted by the endless varieties of religious experience and belief; he described them with an artists sympathy, even where he most disagreed from them. He saw some truth in every one of them, and demanded an open mind toward every new hope. He did not hesitate to affiliate himself with the Society for Psychical Research; why should not such phenomena, as well as others, be the object of patient examination? In the end, James was convinced of the reality of another a spiritual world."
Strictly Doug's opinions: We agree that belief in God is fine as long as finite intellect does not try to define God and tell other finite intellects what 'God' wants them to do. No finite intellect knows what God wants, nor can any finite intellect interpret what God wants. Believings in Godings is hermeneutic and entirely individual. To make belief in God a social practice, and thus ESQ, destroys God's Quality by eliminating it. Earth and he-r multiverses are God's edifices, not churches and organizations. What we find disreputable about fundamentalists is that they believe they know what God wants and then they proselytize it and market it and sell it and missionize it. Ugh! Not to sound like Usama, but that's Satanic! Ultimate fundamental Bobbi Streisand arrogance. Doug's opinions. (If you quote this, quote it in its entire context.)
'I firmly disbelieve, myself, that our human experience is the highest form of experience extant in the universe. [Agree.] I believe rather that we stand in much the same relation to the whole of the universe as our canine and feline pets do to the whole of human life. They inhabit our drawing rooms and libraries. They take part in scenes of whose significance they have no inkling. They are merely tangent to curves of history, the beginnings and ends and forms of which pass wholly beyond their ken. So we are tangent to the wider life of things.2'
|Durant quotes James. (Our brackets.)
|"Nevertheless he did not think of philosophy as a meditation on death; no problems had value for him unless they could guide and stimulate our terrestrial career. 'It was with the excellencies, not the duration, of our natures, that he occupied himself.'3 He did not live in his study so much as in the current of life; he was an active worker in a hundred efforts for human betterment; he was always helping somebody, lifting men up with the contagion of his courage. He believed that in every individual there were 'reserve energies' which the occasional midwifery of circumstance would bring forth; and his constant sermon, to the individual and to society, was a plea that these resources should be entirely used. He was horrified at the waste of human energy in war; and he suggested that these mighty impulses of combat and mastery could find a better outlet in a 'war against nature.' Why should not every man, rich or poor, give two years of his life to the state, not for the purpose of killing other people, but to conquer the plagues, and drain the marshes, and irrigate the deserts, and dig the canals, and democratically do the physical and social engineering which builds up so slowly and painfully what war so quickly destroys? [We believe that taking nature on as an adversary is a lose-lose-lose classical approach. We believe that nature, ultimately, is our friend; indeed, s-he created us. We are in agency of nature and nature is in agency of all he-r creation. When we wear those pince-nez, we see Quantum Lightings.]"
|(Our bold and brackets.)
"1 Ibid., p. 78.
"2 Ibid., p. 299.
"3 Kallen, William James and Henri Bergson, p. 240."
|"He sympathized with socialism, but he disliked its deprecation of the individual and the genius. Taine's formula, which reduced all cultural manifestations to 'race, environment, and time,' was inadequate precisely because it left out the individual. But only the individual has value; everything else is a meanseven philosophy. And so we need on the one hand a state which shall understand that it is the trustee and servant of the interests of individual men and women; and on the other a philosophy and a faith which shall 'offer the universe as an adventure rather than a scheme,'1 and shall stimulate every energy by holding up the world as a place where, though there are many defeats, there are also victories waiting to be won."
Yes! This is just what our Quantonics 2003-2004 feuilleton Chautauqua is about.
'Full many a gallant bark, when we were lost,
"2 Quoted by James (Pragmatism, p. 297) from the Greek Anthology."
|"Certainly, as everyone has pointed out, the manner, if not the substance, of James's thinking was specifically and uniquely American. The American lust for movement and acquisition fills the sails of his style and thought, and gives them a buoyant and almost aerial motility. Huneker calls it 'a philosophy for philistines,' and indeed there is something that smacks of salesmanship in it: James talks of God as of an article to be sold to a materialistically-minded consumer by every device of optimistic advertising; and he counsels us to believe as if he were recommending long-term investments, with high dividends, in which there was nothing to lose, and all the (other) world to win. It was young Americas defense-reaction against European metaphysics and European science."
|"The new test of truth was of course an ancient one; and the honest philosopher described pragmatism modestly as 'a new name for old ways of thinking.' If the new test means that truth is that which has been tried, by experience and experiment, the answer is, 'Of course.' If it means that personal utility is a test of truth, the answer is, 'Of course not;' personal utility is merely personal utility; only universal permanent utility would constitute truth [and latter does 'not' 'exist']. When some pragmatists speak of a belief having been true once because then useful (though now disproved), they utter nonsense learnedly; it was a useful error, not a truth. [Classical, practical, utilitarian, conventional, convenient, SOM-blindered] Pragmatism is correct only if it is a platitude."
Our reinvigorated view, given Durant's fabulous effort here, is that classical pragmatism is a platitude. But quantum pragmatism is real and understanding that meme is essential to grasping quintessences of quantum nature.
Again, we remind our readers to ponder Doug's remarks above re: social vis-à-vis individual under Peirce's Pragmatics. Doug - 19Sep2006.
"What James meant to do, however, was to dispel the cobwebs that had entangled philosophy; he wished to reiterate in a new and startling way the old English attitude towards theory and ideology. He was but carrying on the work of Bacon in turning the face of philosophy once more towards the inescapable world of things. [Ugh!] He will be remembered for this empirical emphasis, this new realism, rather than for his theory of truth; and he will be honored perhaps more as a psychologist than as a philosopher. He knew that he had found no solution for the old questions; he frankly admitted that he had expressed only another guess, another faith. On his desk, when he died, there lay a paper on which he had written his last, and perhaps his most characteristic, sentences:
'There is no conclusion. What has concluded that we might conclude in regard to it? There are no fortunes to be told and there is no advice to be given. Farewell.'"
(Our bold and brackets.)
We view James as entirely unlike Bacon, especially during James' years as a pluralist.
We believe (QELR'd: wæ aræ bælievings) there are quantum descriptions which evolve with nature. Vastly empowering descriptions! That is what we mean in Quantonics when we say quantum~pragmatism!
Doug - 9Jan2004. Add bold red text comment extension 20Dec2004 - Doug.