Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6 x 9
978-1-4422-2304-2 • Hardback • March 2013 • $101.00 • (£78.00)
978-1-4422-2305-9 • eBook • March 2013 • $96.00 • (£74.00)
This explanation and defense of James's Essays in Radical Empiricism focuses on his concepts of "pure" experience, the self and its relations to the world, and his materialistic metaphysics. Crosby (emer., Colorado State Univ.), author of several other books, sympathetically discusses James's empiricism and philosophy of mind clearly and without intrusive opinions. James is known as the American pioneer in psychology, and for his religious and pragmatic philosophies. Toward the end of his career, he developed a "radical empiricism" (which critics say is ambiguous and unrigorous) that complements his famous The Principles of Psychology. Crosby connects James's ideas to those of numerous philosophers of the past, such as Richard Rorty, and the present; however, some of these names are omitted from the selective index. This book will help graduate students with their papers; undergraduates typically do not study this aspect of James's thought. This reviewer finds Crosby's own view that all matter "is awesomely creative, suffused with value, and deeply spiritual" strange and baffling. Overall, Crosby's book, which incorporates current research, is more specialized than John Wild's The Radical Empiricism of William James (CH, Dec'69). Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students and philosophy faculty.
— Choice Reviews
Overall, the engagement of James’s thought in the book bears the marks of the many years that Crosby has spent studying James. The series of relatively brief chapters succeeds in making James’s often difficult positions surprisingly accessible without caricaturing them. There is much to be said as well for the broad materialism proposed in the final chapter, which draws upon the fullness of pure experience as depicted by James.
— Review of Metaphysics