By Joan Richardson
Joan Richardson presents a desirable and compelling account of the emergence of the critical American philosophy: pragmatism. She demonstrates pragmatism's engagement with numerous branches of the traditional sciences and lines the advance of Jamesian pragmatism from the overdue 19th century via modernism, following its pointings into the current. Richardson combines strands from America's spiritual event with medical details to supply interpretations that holiday new floor in literary and cultural heritage. This booklet exemplifies the worth of interdisciplinary methods to generating literary feedback. In a chain of hugely unique readings of Edwards, Emerson, William and Henry James, Stevens, and Stein, A average heritage of Pragmatism tracks the interaction of spiritual reason, clinical hypothesis, and literature in shaping an American aesthetic. Wide-ranging and ambitious, this groundbreaking publication should be crucial studying for all scholars and students of yankee literature.
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Extra resources for A Natural History of Pragmatism: The Fact of Feeling from Jonathan Edwards to Gertrude Stein
For, methinks, the understanding is not much unlike a closet wholly shut from light, with only some little opening left . . to let in external visible resemblances, or some ideas of things without; would the pictures coming into such a dark room but stay there and lie so orderly as to be found upon occasion it would very much resemble the understanding of a man. John Locke, An Essay concerning Human Understanding the mind f eels when it thinks 1 In 1948 Perry Miller published an essay entitled “Jonathan Edwards on ‘The Sense of the Heart’” around the text of one of Edwards’s “Miscellanies,” no.
Chapter 20, on Space-perception, is a terrible thing, which, unless written with all that detail, could not be fairly treated at all. An abridgment of it, called “The Spatial Quale,” which appeared in the Journal of Speculative Philosophy, vol. XIII, p. 54 While in our post-post-modern moment we have become comfortable deploying random access modes in our habits of mind, James’s offering Introduction: frontier instances 17 to an 1890 audience remains a stunningly prescient achievement, marking him as one of the priests of the invisible following in the line of Edwards and Emerson.
Jefferson” Campbell speaks the thought-language of the eighteenth century paradigmatically represented by his eponymous forebear. In Jefferson Campbell, genetic inheritor of a group in fact more congenial to the native environment of American nature, the oxymoronic aspect of taking on the habit of mind fashioned from centuries of Old World experience displays itself most poignantly and painfully: until his contact with Melanctha, he is unable to feel outside the parameters allowed by his rational, Enlightenment-educated sensibility.