William James: The Late Phase

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1998, Vol 43(11), 760-761. Taylor's title (see record 1996-98472-000) captures the central element in James's approach; he was particularly concerned with developing a psychology that dealt with phenomena that were beyond the boundary of normal consciousness. Taylor believes that James, as an intrinsic part of his later philosophical writing, continued to develop his alternative vision for psychological science. For example, his philosophy of pragmatism was intended to counter premature closure and a reliance on “fixed principles, closed systems, and pretended absolutes and origins” (p. 133). One of the central features of this book is that Taylor is closely identified with James. This has both an advantage and a disadvantage. The advantage is he is able to portray James's point of view with unusual faithfulness. The disadvantage is that he virtually never separates himself from James sufficiently to offer critical commentary. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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