Pragmatism in the 21st century

Pragmatism in the 21st century

Wesley Cooper

    James’s legacy has left pragmatism poised between the phenomenological and analytic traditions. The celebrated introspective descriptions in The Principles of Psychology and the doctrine of pure experience in Essays in Radical Empiricism have lent themselves to appropriation by the phenomenological school, whereas his instrumentalist philosophy of science in Principles has interested analytic philosophy of science, and his ideas about meaning in Pragmatism have drawn the attention of analytic philosophy of language. Ralph Pred’s recent book, Onflow: Dynamics of Consciousness and Experience, interprets James’s radical empiricism as a major first step in the direction of Whiteheadian phenomenology, deprecating linguistically mediated experience in preference for the pre–linguistic “buds” that are everywhere in nature. Robert Brandom’s philosophy of language as developed in Making It Explicit, Articulating Reasons, and his recent John Locke lectures, Between Saying and Doing: Towards an Analytic Pragmatism takes a radically different tack, associating James with a semantic theory, which he calls Wittgensteinian pragmatism, that is intended to complement and under-gird the Fregean semantics that is orthodox in mainstream analytic philosophy.
     James anticipated that his radical empiricism and his pragmatism might diverge, remarking in the Preface to Pragmatism,

To avoid one misunderstanding at least, let me say that there is no logical connexion between pragmatism, as I understand it, and a doctrine which I have recently set forth as ‘radical empiricism.’ The latter stands on its own feet. One may entirely reject it and still be a pragmatist. (William James, Pragmatism, 1907)1

As this quotation suggests, pragmatism and radical empiricism might take different and incompatible directions. No ‘logical connexion’ precludes that. A case in point is the contrast between Pred and Brandom. Brandom issues a severe challenge to any phenomenological turn like Pred’s. He argues, following his teacher Wilfred Sellars, that appearances do not constitute an autonomous domain, but rather are dependent on the external things they are primarily appearances of. In an instance, we can experience an appearance of yellow because we experience yellow lemons. The phenomenological turn needs urgently to address this issue, because the argument seems destructive of the claim that a world of pure experience is fundamental, and that, as James writes in the essay “Does ‘Consciousness’ Exist?,” “If you ask what any one bit of pure experience is made of, the answer is always the same: ‘It is made of that, of just what appears, of space, of intensity, of flatness, brownness, heaviness, or what not.”’2 Either the Sellars/Brandom argument must be refuted, or a case must be made for a fallacy of ambiguity, according to which Brandom is attacking a conception of appearance that is irrelevant to the conception that’s at play in the doctrine of pure experience.
    Without an argument, there is literally nothing for the phenomenological turn to be about, for Brandom wants to understand experience as arising in a context of public following of rules in language games. Experience then is non–detachable from such contexts, whereas it must be detachable on the Whitehead/Pred account of panexperientialism, which posits experience in all sorts of contexts in which no such games are played. (Brandom’s problem is quite different. His semantics calls into question the experience of animals incapable of language, though he struggles to accommodate it as ‘parasitic’ upon the experience of language users.) Pred suggests that he would adopt Searle’s account of rules and rule–following, but that account bottoms out in brute physical facts, so there is a lingering question whether it can be detached from Searle’s version of naturalism and put to service in a monism of pure experience. 4
    Pred structures his book around four figures: William James, John Searle, Alfred North Whitehead, and Gerald Edelman. James’s conception in The Principles of Psychology of the stream of thought provides his point of departure. Like Wilshire (1969), Pred interprets James as a protophenomenologist, but his treatment is different from Wilshire’s in three respects. First, it views James’s phenomenological insights as best continued and deepened by Whitehead; second, it allows a limited rapprochement with analytic philosophy, specifically with John Searle’s philosophy of mind, in order to remedy weaknesses in James’s account of intentionality by showing how James’s stream is imbued with propositional content; and third, it makes a case for compatibility between phenomenology and natural–scientific accounts of the brain by proposing cerebral–phenomenological correlations inspired by Gerald Edelman’s neural Darwinism. However, there are reasons to be wary of the Searle and Edelman connections. For one thing, both philosophers are materialists in the minimal sense that objective physical facts are basic. Pred doesn’t share this commitment, since the James/Whitehead world of pure experience is presumed to be more fundamental. Second, Searle’s account of intentionality is a logic of intentionality, although it also has phenomenological elements. Phenomenology in this subsidiary sense is innocuous and devoid of Pred’s special commitments. It pertains to subjective facts or facts with first–person ontology, for Searle, and these are high–level physical facts about the brain. There is no special problem about imbedding phenomenology in this sense into a logic of intentionality that goes beyond phenomenology to a background provided by the brain and the objectively physical environment. But neither the logic nor the background is available to Pred, apparently. Perhaps the background that Searle’s logic requires can be provided on a pure–experiential reduction of brain and environment, but the logic poses an intractable problem. It will require rules that must be spelled out with resources other than those disclosed by phenomenology. Especially on Brandom’s account of such rules, as noted above, they will be inseparable from discursive commitments that requires linguistic and behavioral resources that don’t seem available to radical empiricism as Pred understands it. 5
    Pred theorizes James’s account of the stream of thought as continuous with his later radical–empiricist metaphysics. Whitehead takes that metaphysics further, insofar as his panexperientialism (Pred 2005, 137) “keeps in intimate touch with the way things are in raw experience, before the advent of reflection or analysis, although it applies nonetheless to reflective and analytic experience.” (Pred 2005, 302) Whitehead fully accepts Descartes’ problematic, according to which subjective experience is, as Whitehead writes, the “primary metaphysical situation….apart from experiences of subjects there is nothing, nothing, nothing, bare nothingness.” (Pred 2005, 138) In effect, this makes the contrast with Brandom’s approach as dramatic and extreme as it can be, for on the latter’s view there is nothing one can say or do without a discursive context of language and behavior.
    Searle is also understood as a radical empiricist “by Jamesian standards”, because he recognizes Jamesian conjunctive relations between experiences (in the form of experienced connections between intentional states); because Searle recognizes the importance of distinguishing mental phenomena from their description; and because he appreciates the first–person mode of access of mental life, inaccessible to ‘third–person’ observers.(Pred 2005, 55) Pred is quite selective at such points, evidently setting aside Searle’s naturalism, in which objective physical facts are basic, as well as Edelman’s view that all consciousness must be based on a materialist metaphysics. He presents Edelman as a mind–body parallelist. The parallel facts are grounded in a monism of pure experience. In this sense then Edelman too is a radical empiricist, malgré lui. Although Whitehead’s philosophy is the heart of the book, Pred is selective here too, doing without the central role of God in Whitehead’s system,(Pred 2005, 158) and more generally it “naturalizes” or “de–supernaturalizes” several Whiteheadian notions, in the sense that it eliminates anything in the system that is “not occurrent in ‘natural’ experience.”(Pred 2005, 170) (But see pages 174ff, where Pred writes about the optional benefits of thinking about possible contact with God.) 7
    Brandom’s lectures are organized around themes rather than figures, though he acknowledges debts to Kant, Frege, Wittgenstein, and Sellars, among others. His Wittgensteinian or analytic pragmatism offers a new way of thinking about (Fregean) meaning and (Wittgensteinian) use, including a logic of the relations between meaning and use. There is no need to choose between (1) an anthropological, natural–historical, social–practice inquiry, and (2) a formal, mathematically inspired, model–theoretic semantics. What’s rejected is only the semantic logicist idea that logical vocabulary has a privileged role, and more specifically the conceit that philosophical analysis exhibits the meaning of one vocabulary as revealed by another, more logically perspicuous vocabulary. Brandom replaces the conceit by grounding meaning in use, especially practices in which score is kept of participants’ status in a network of inferences characteristic of the practices.
    Brandom’s methodological pragmatism holds that the point of a semantic theory is to make sense of pragmatics. Meanings are theoretical entities postulated to explain or codify properties of use. This is supplemented by a semantic pragmatism that tells us that only meaning’s use can explain the association of meaning with a vocabulary. His illustrative case calls upon automaton theory to specify the abilities needed to deploy syntactically characterized vocabularies. Automata are not only syntactic engines but also practical embodiments of algorithms, and as such they say how some set of primitive abilities can be so exercised as to constitute more complex abilities. Whether vocabularies are simple syntactical ones or semantically complex vehicles for intentional or modal assertions, they are grounded in ‘practices or abilities’, a formulation that allows Brandom to move freely between social and individual/psychological considerations, though the emphasis is predominantly on the social. Brandom’s pragmatism take practices–or–abilities to be privileged with respect to the capacity to say, mean, or believe (hence to know) anything discursively. The normativity that arises in a social context of rule following is central, making possible a game of giving and evaluating reasons, and associated ‘score-keeping’ of what inferences people have committed themselves to and what inferences they are entitled to. The sentence’s use in such language–games is basic, even more basic than the role of singular terms in referring to objects in the world. Indeed, Brandom offers an account of this role (having to do with the function of singular terms in inference and substitution) that does not depend on what objects there are. Not only does he not assume that ‘buds’ of pure experience are ontologically fundamental, but the very intelligibility of such items of pure experience is called into question by his Wittgensteinian and Sellarsian commitments. The way things seem or appear to the individual presupposes the way things are, as understood in a social context. 9
    Returning to Pred: Experience is embodied but not merely physical, and it involves awareness but is not merely mental. Rather, the physical and mental are “aspects” of experience; they are “within” experience; they are indeed “aspects together within” it. As for experience itself, Pred treats it as bedrock: “Experience is what it is.”(Pred 2005, 2) Brandom’s Wittgensteinian response would probably be a request for the rule that determines the identity of the experience in question. That request can’t be honored without going beyond phenomenology to its background logic, supplied in this case by a linguistic and behavioral context. Pred hopes to supplement his Whiteheadian metaphysics with John Searle’s notion of ‘the background’, which would address these issues. But this employment is problematic because that notion causally reduces to facts about the central nervous system and the environment: brute, objectively physical facts.(Pred 2005, 64–65) 10
     As deepened by Whitehead in Process and Reality, James’s doctrine of pure experience is the thought that “all final individual actualities have the metaphysical character of occasions of experience.”(Pred 2005, 138) This is a challenge to physics as normally understood, interpreting its fundamental notions, such as energy, within the Whiteheadian system. Energy is an abstraction from the emotional and purposeful energy in the “subjective form of the final synthesis in which each occasion completes itself.”(Pred 2005, 179) The challenge extends upwards to biology as well, in the form of a Whiteheadian vitalism. The term ‘actual’ in the phrase “the actual receptor neurons in the actual nose [that are] passed along the actual relevant nerves to the actual brain” is used by Pred to emphasize the distinction between “the merely material entities of traditional scientific observation and the actual living cells.”(Pred 2005, 185) Although Pred credits James with appreciating the importance of the ‘transitive’ as well as the ‘substantive’ parts of experience — its flights as well as its perchings — he finds James deficient for neglecting the genesis and constitution of the transitive buds, whereas Whitehead attends to these matters: “For Whitehead, the growth of a bud is the process of formation of a concrete experience.”(Pred 2005, 10) This concrescence is fundamental, and only conceptual withdrawal from its actuality makes us think that the material world is paradigmatically concrete. Whitehead overcomes the limitations of the ‘stream’ metaphor: “Whitehead goes ‘into’ the moment.”(Pred 2005, 11) He extends the scope of radical empiricism to include a broader stream of buds not limited to streams of consciousness.(Pred 2005, 11) This is Whitehead’s panexperientialism, a form of panpsychism that James only hinted at.

Whitehead applies the notion of buds not only to human moments of experience but also, more broadly, to actual entities or occasions — the final real things of which the world is made up.(Pred 2005, 11)

    By bringing philosophical analysis into the bud, “Whitehead secures access to a post–Cartesian/Humean basis for ontology,” which constructs consciousness “as it arises from pre–conscious phases of synthesis”. (Pred 2005, 11) Pred quotes Whitehead as writing, “The process of concrescence is divisible into an initial stage of many feelings, and a succession of subsequent phases of more complex feelings integrating the earlier simpler feelings, up to the satisfaction which is one complex unity of feeling.”(Pred 2005, 122) Concrescual approximation enables “stealing up on unverbalized propositions as they take form,” suggesting “how much closer to experience and more concrete the concrescual approximation is than the intentional and processual approximations.”(Pred 2005, 124) 12
   Wittgensteinian pragmatics might suggest that the concrescual approximation actually employs linguistic categories from beginning to end: in the division into stages, their integration and satisfaction, and their stealing up to unverbalized propositions. It might suggest further that these categories arise in a context of rule–governed behavior that gives them determinate sense. Language use reveals the network of inferences that underpins meaning; this is Brandom’s inferentialism. This use is inseparable from language–games of tracing paths of inference that reveal commitments, defenses, and other moves in the games; this is Brandom’s ‘scorekeeping’ model of language–games. 13
    Pred counts his project a success if he puts you “in mind of what it is like to be you as you live through your embodied moments,” which requires getting ‘beneath’ language and waking the reader from “the bewitchment of our intelligence by the subject–verb–object form of discourse.”(Pred 2005, 17) I don’t read Pred as recommending an alternative, less distorting grammatical form of discourse. Rather, the bewitchment of language is censured in favor of a relationship to experience that isn’t distorted by language of any form. The distortion that language wreaks on pure experience is a fundamental theme for Pred’s Whiteheadian radical empiricism. If it crumbles, Pred’s attempt to re–invent radical empiricism fails. His readers will have to decide for themselves about this. Brandom’s semantics suggests that removal of distortion is always itself a language–imbued activity, apart from the ‘parasitic’ cases of infant and animal experience. For instance, Wittgenstein recommended reminding philosophers of the ordinary use of language in language–games. 14
    Pred understands James’s conception of the self as a “congeries of habits,” subject to development and change, such that an “I–me dialectic” is generated. Each moment in the history of the self “involves an I arising out of a me and subsequently transforming the me, however slightly…”.(Pred 2005, 24) However, this process is to be compatible with free will.(Pred 2005, 26) Whitehead regards this as “the final contrast between a philosophy of substance and a philosophy of organism,” as quoted by Pred, inverting the Cartesian idea that the ego creates its thoughts into the idea that the thought is a constituent operation in the creation of the momentary thinker.(Pred 2005, 129) However, it is arguable that this isn’t a helpful contrast, since ‘a philosophy of substance’ has been replaced in the theory of personal identity by closest–continuer (best approximation, etc.) accounts of personal identity that do without reference to any substance at all, Cartesian or physical. Rejection of the Cartesian idea was novel when James dismissed the “soul pellet” theory of the self in The Principles of Psychology, but it is not fresh news. 15
     Turning again to Brandom’s Locke lectures: He interprets artificial intelligence as the claim that a computer could do what is needed to deploy an autonomous discursive vocabulary (ADP), that is, a vocabulary whose use does not depend on some other vocabulary. A computer language that passes the Turing test, according to his meaning–use analysis, is VP-sufficient (a vocabulary’s sufficiency to specify a set of practices-or-abilities) to specify abilities that are PV-sufficient (sufficiency of some set of practices-or-abilities to deploy a vocabulary) to deploy an autonomous vocabulary. This is expressive bootstrapping from a non–autonomous vocabulary of computation into an autonomous vocabulary (of the English language, or whatever). He is especially interested in automaton functionalism about sapience or mental content (as opposed to sentience or consciousness/qualia), and the algorithmic, pragmatic–elaboration version of AI–functionalism, which he calls pragmatic AI. This latter is the claim that there is a set of practices–or–abilities meeting two conditions:

1. It can be algorithmically elaborated into the ability to engage in an autonomous discursive practice.

2. Every element in that set of primitive practices–or–abilities can intelligibly be understood to be engaged in, possessed, exercised, or exhibited by something that does not engage in any ADP.

    These practices–or–abilities pertain to PP-necessity and sufficiency relations: the kinds of relations that obtains when the capacity to engage in one sort of practice or exercise one sort of ability is in principle necessary or sufficient for the capacity to engage in other practices, or exercise other abilities. So the fundamental question for AI is not about symbol manipulation but rather about what PP–necessities and sufficiencies are out there: whether a practice–or–ability admits of a substantive practical algorithmic decomposition. It contributes to the pragmatist program of explaining knowing–that in terms of knowing–how, and sidesteps intellectualist traps surrounding symbolic AI. He does not think however that that discursive practice is substantively algorithmically decomposable into non–discursive practices–or–abilities, because there is another sort of PP–sufficiency relation besides algorithmic elaboration, namely, practical elaboration by training, of the sort that Wittgenstein attended to in Philosophical Investigations when he focused on how learners of a language–game are taught to participate in it. 17
    Although an extensional possible–worlds semantics for intensional logics encouraged philosophers to overcome empiricist scruples about these logics and employ them in their analyses, epistemological questions about how we can know these possible worlds remain pressing. Brandom thinks that what helped legitimate modal idioms was the attack on the semantic atomism of empiricism, in favor of tying meaning to inferential role, in the fashion of Quine. Even more helpful is the “Kant–Sellars thesis about modality”, which addresses Humean skepticism about rules and rule-following. Brandom emphasizes: “The ability to use ordinary empirical descriptive terms such as ‘green,’ ‘rigid,’ and ‘mass’ already presupposes grasp of the kind of properties and relations made explicit by modal vocabulary.”3 The Kant–Sellars thesis vindicates Ryle’s treatment of modal expressions as inference licenses. Sellars’s gnomic saying, “the language of modality is a ‘transposed’ language of norms,”4 means that normative vocabulary codifying rules of inference is a pragmatic meta-vocabulary for modal vocabulary. His ‘transposition’ is just this pragmatically mediated semantic relation between deontic normative and alethic modal vocabulary. The expressive role characteristic of alethic modal vocabulary is to make explicit semantic, conceptual connections and commitments that are already implicit in the use of ordinary empirical vocabulary. To relate this discussion quickly back to Pred: If these commitments are indeed already implicit in any radical–empiricist vocabulary, that vocabulary will be tainted for Pred’s purposes. It will be shot through with features of language games that the phenomenologist attempts to burrow under. 18
    To the normative Kant–Sellars thesis, Brandom adds a modal one, as follows: In order to deploy ordinary, empirical, descriptive vocabulary, one must already be able to do everything needed to introduce normative vocabulary. In terms of meaning–use analysis, there are PV–necessary practices for engaging in any ADP, and these are PP–sufficient for practices that are PV–sufficient to deploy moral vocabulary. Brandom understands normative vocabulary to be a pragmatic metavocabulary for alethic modal vocabulary, in particular for logical vocabulary (including modal vocabulary). As such, it is a metavocabulary for semantic vocabulary more generally. 19
Understanding incompatibility between p and q in pragmatic terms (If S is entitled to p, then S is not entitled to q), he argues that incompatibility–entailments generalize “counterfactual–supporting, modally robust inferential relations.”5 He concludes, “On the semantic side, incompatibility is an implicitly modal notion. On the pragmatic side, the normative concepts of commitment and entitlement provide a pragmatic meta-vocabulary VP–sufficient to specify practices PV–sufficient to deploy that modal notion.”6 Accordingly, he proposes that the propositional content of a sentence should be understood as the set of sentences that express propositions incompatible with it. The point about compatibility can be related to Pred’s phenomenological project, since that project must describe discursive processes of analysis of pre–linguistic experience, as noted above. If these descriptions have any content, they must figure in incompatibility relations that are ultimately spelled out in terms of the normative concepts of commitment and entitlement that arise in rule–governed language–games. In a word, the phenomenological project is incoherent. 20
    Brandom turns to logical vocabulary, following the ‘incompatibility’ strategy as follows: Start with a material incompatibility–and–consequence inference–structure that articulates the contents of non–logical vocabulary, and on that basis introduce logical vocabulary whose content is derived from that of the non–logical vocabulary on which it is based. Material inference, the practical sense of what constitutes good or bad reasoning, is basic; logical inference is derived. This turns on its head the classical project of philosophical analysis. But also that ‘practical sense’ is a feature of language–games, as just noted, that implicitly reveal the phenomenological project to be incoherent. 21
    One of the big ideas that traditional pragmatism brings to philosophical thought about semantics, according to Brandom, is, “don’t look to begin with to the relation between representings and and representeds, but to the nature of the doing, of the process, that institutes that relation.”7 He associates this idea with Dewey and Wittgenstein. Intentionality as practical involvement with objects expresses itself in TOTE (test–operate–test–exit) activity that is ‘thick’ in the sense of essentially involving objects, events, and worldly states of affairs. Such activity is developed in the special case of semantic intentionality displayed in language use. One must start with understanding the thick practices, “dissecting” out of them the two poles of the semantic intentional relations. The poles are “knowing and acting subjects and the objects they know of and act on, their representing activities and the objects and objective states of affairs they represent.”8 The thick practices “institute” or “establish” those poles. It is commitment to this order of semantic explanation that is most characteristic of the pragmatic tradition. This order of explanation generates Brandom’s Sellarsian critique of Pred–style radical empiricism, as in the following passage, in which he is summarizing Sellars’ position. 22
    Because he [Sellars] thinks part of what one is doing in saying how things merely appear is withholding a commitment to their actually being that way, and because one cannot be understood as withholding a commitment that one cannot undertake, Sellars concludes that one cannot have the ability to say or think how things seem or appear unless one also has the ability to make claims about how things actually are. In effect, this Sellarsian pragmatist critique of the phenomenalist form of empiricism consists in the claim that the practices that are PV–sufficient for ‘is’– talk are PP–necessary for the practices that are PV–sufficient for ‘looks’– talk. That pragmatic dependence of practices–or–abilities then induces a resultant pragmatically mediated semantic relation between the vocabularies.9 23
The radical empiricist might reply that one must distinguish (1) the epistemic sense of ‘appears’, which withholds a commitment, from (2) the phenomenological sense of ‘appears’, which refers to a first-person-accessible particular, a pure–experiential appearance. The Wittgensteinian element of Brandom’s Wittgensteinian pragmatism addresses this question, answering it with an argument modeled after Wittgenstein’s rejection of private languages. The alleged phenomenological particulars can be referred to only within public rules of an autonomous language game that includes rules about committing and withholding. So the radical–empiricist project of generating a publicly accessible world from a privately accessible world of pure experience isn’t going to work. The latter won’t be autonomous, but rather it will be parasitic upon the autonomous, rule–governed language–game of committing and withholding, etc., in a public context. 24
Brandom is recommending a meaning–use analysis in which inferential use underpins representational meaning, a marriage so to speak of Frege and the later Wittgenstein. So radical empiricism isn’t liable to criticism because it represents phenomenological processes of analysis, integration, and satisfaction of experience. It is vulnerable rather because it portrays those processes, incoherently, as prior to the doings that institute them. These doings must be set out in a normative, rule–governed context of commitment and entitlement from which a radical–empiricist metaphysics struggles to be free. 25
To conclude: Whether the phenomenologist’s struggle is in vain or not depends on whether the dependence on public norms of the concept of mind, according to Brandom’s tracing–out of the implications of Wittgenstein’s private–language argument, leaves open any space for the kind of reports that phenomenology trades in. There might be such space, although the norm–dependency would seem to rule out radical empiricism’s doctrine of pure experience. Contrary to Pred’s hope, phenomenology won’t go that deep, if Brandom is right. Putting aside that hope, Pred might salvage an important domain for phenomenology by developing the Searlean element of his theory. For although Searle criticizes phenomenology for being blind to the logical structure of consciousness, which requires non–conscious background features (for example, the functioning central nervous system), he endorses phenomenology insofar as it reports ontologically subjective facts, facts with first–person ontology.(Searle 1996) Contrarily, Brandom follows those like Dennett and Davidson who restrict themselves to third–person ontology, as in Dennett’s notions of heterophenomenology and the Intentional Stance. The former notion is that everything that phenomenologists might want to say by reporting subjective facts, can be described and explained by reference to objective facts (facts with third–person ontology). The latter implies that facts about the mind are stance–dependent, relative to the purposes of those who adopt intentional descriptions because of their predictive value. Brandom’s emphasis is different from Dennett’s, drawing attention to norms and rules more than predictive success,(Brandom 1994, 58) but the orientation towards third–person facts is shared. If this is the major issue between pure–experience phenomenology and Brandom’s Wittgensteinian pragmatism, James’s doctrine of pure experience and Whitehead’s panexperientialism would not be relevant to its resolution. Much would depend on a Searlean defense of phenomenology as just sketched, and on whether Pred can legitimately employ Searle’s ideas about rule–following and background, which Searle presents as elements of a naturalistic worldview, in which objective physical facts are fundamental. 26
Department of Philosophy
University of Alberta


Brandom, R. (1994), Making It Explicit: Reasoning, Representing, & Discursive Commitment, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA..

James, W. Pragmatism (1975), The Works of William James, eds. Frederick H. Burkhardt, Fredson Bowers, and Ignas K. Skrupskelis, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA..

James, W. Essays in Radical Empiricism (1977), The Works of William James, eds. Frederick H. Burkhardt, Fredson Bowers, and Ignas K. Skrupskelis, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA .

Pred, R. (2005), Onflow: Dynamics of Consciousness and Experience, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA..

Searle, J. (1996), ‘The phenomenological illusion’, Website.

Wilshire, B. (1969), ‘Protophenomenology in the psychology of william james’, Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society, vol. 5, 25-43.


1        William James, Pragmatism, p. 6

2       William James, Essays in Radical Empiricism, p. 14-15.

3, p. 7

4, p. 11

5, p. 15

6, p. 7

7, p. 3

8, p. 5

9, p. 15

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