A Natural History of Pragmatism by Joan Richardson

By Joan Richardson

Joan Richardson offers a desirable and compelling account of the emergence of the critical American philosophy: pragmatism. She demonstrates pragmatism's engagement with a number of branches of the common sciences and strains the improvement of Jamesian pragmatism from the overdue 19th century via modernism, following its pointings into the current. Richardson combines strands from America's non secular event with clinical details to supply interpretations that holiday new floor in literary and cultural historical past. This publication exemplifies the price of interdisciplinary techniques to generating literary feedback. In a sequence of hugely unique readings of Edwards, Emerson, William and Henry James, Stevens, and Stein, A ordinary heritage of Pragmatism tracks the interaction of non secular cause, clinical hypothesis, and literature in shaping an American aesthetic. Wide-ranging and ambitious, this groundbreaking e-book may be crucial interpreting for all scholars and students of yank literature.

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13 This first step in understanding the infinity of wave frequencies constituting light, which Newton further theorized based on his continuing experiments, was “crucial” in the same sense for Edwards in his understanding of God as Light. Before going on to measure the imaginative dimensions of the room of the idea that Newton’s descriptions of light and its behavior helped In Jonathan Edwards’s room of the idea 27 Edwards construct, two preliminary observations will give a sense necessary to realizing Edwards’s particular sensitivity to language and habit of mind.

His most immediate and direct heir was Gertrude Stein, who, as we know, had been directly involved in psychological experiments with William James and Hugo Munsterberg 20 A Natural History of Pragmatism having to do with language and perception. While the chapter on Stein closes this volume, its outline is presented here, before that of the Stevens chapter, because of the transitional position her early work – translating the Jamesian project into her strange demotic – occupies in the development of America’s high modernism during the years in which Stevens began to publish.

20 Edwards’s process, then, of following and coming to be able to project imaginatively Newton’s delineations in Latin of light’s properties would have both stimulated “the thrill of satisfaction” accompanying the activation of the earlier paths set down from his having learned Latin and provided the “feelings of successful achievement” attendant on his increasing fluency in Newton’s language of description. Following Lombard and James, the “heat” excited by Edwards’s silent practice in this doubly reinforced “attention to the mind in thinking” in fact grounded his “sense of the heart” in the “room of the idea” of light, the most excellent language and being of God.

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