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View Diary: Why read William James? Part 2 (21 comments)

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  •  Question (2+ / 0-)
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    Timaeus, Portlaw

    What's your source for this?

    Imagine growing up with Ralph Waldo Emerson as your godfather; Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne and Mehlville coming over for dinner.
    My understanding of Concord and Boston during this period (when the James family was mostly in Europe) is that Emerson as godfather makes sense based on Henry James Sr.'s interests, and Emerson in the 1850s (William James's teenage years) generally meant Thoreau, but I have serious doubts about Melville at the James dinner table ever.

    You really didn't even need a teaser paragraph. That's why I ask.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 03:08:02 PM PST

    •  At the dinner table (2+ / 0-)
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      Portlaw, Dave in Northridge

      Melville didn't live in Boston for very long, I think just a few years. Because the point is peripheral it oversimplifies. Emerson and Thoreau were common visitors; Hawthorne less so, Melville perhaps only a time or two. I came across this years ago when active on the James Family List and then the William James List. Between those and the reading about James I was doing at that time, I'm not sure where the Melville reference came from. I didn't try to source it because the point was simply that William and Henry grew up with some of the cutting edge thinkers and writers of their time. The European trips and schooling goes further in that direction, but in trying to get folks interested in reading WJ, these teasers are very simple.

      Our reason is quite satisfied ... if we can find a few arguments that will do to recite in case our credulity is criticized... Our faith is faith in someone else's faith, and in the greatest matters this is most the case. - William James

      by radical empiricist on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 03:47:53 PM PST

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