Monday, December 19, 2005

On William James

"James's is the first effective American voice raised not only against the genteel tradition of the Victorians, but against the long dominance of Platonic Idealism and its later, even more insidious Renaissance formulation--Cartesian dualism. James argues--and here he is the first American voice of phenomenology and of existentialism--for the primacy of actual human experience, by which he meant the real world is the world we experience. Our experience is all we can know, but no experience--of our own or of others--can be left out. Reality is not a fixed theory or a fixed place. It is not an abstract, eternal ideal either, but a process, the process of something or someone becoming real, just as truth is not a fixed thing, but the process of trueing, of becoming true. Reality and Truth are verbs, just as Mary Daly says God is a verb. Every day is the day of creation, every day is the day of judgment, and each step we take is a step on our own true path. So watch where you put your feet."

-Bob Richardson


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