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James Web Paper 3

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Philosophy and Recipes

What to do with William James? william james His writings on psychology formed the primary textbook for that discipline.  The school of philosophy he developed, pragmatism appeals to philosophers and scientists alike.  Jacques Barzun identifies him as an American hero.  So it would seem that the works of William James have been assimilated into American culture and intellectual life.  If this is true, then what is the point of reading his original writings?  Or why should one use “The Writings of William James: A Comprehensive

kkazan's picture

A Guide to William James

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An Exercise in Reading Gertrude Stein, or...

An Exercise in Reading Gertrude Stein




 How does Gertrude Stein, in her limitless capacity to confound the reader, imbue her texts with the philosophies of William James?

 Although this essay centers on a tiny excerpt from “Objects” from Tender Buttons, I believe that an attentive reader can extrapolate characteristics of William James that resonate throughout the entirety of Tender Buttons.


Calamity's picture

A Sunday Kind of Love

For this paper, I chose to represent William James and two other persons from our discussion in comics. Comics bring a different, more humorous, mentality to “reading” James. Working with this paper gave me more respect for cartoonists; comics are, in some ways, easy to think up—the tricky part is translating what’s visually in my head to the paper. They also take a significant amount of time to draw. 

“Metaphors for Sale”









kjmason's picture

Society and Soccer Teams



So I started thinking about life. About jobs and respect. About responsibility to self and to society. About the student who goes to class everyday getting good grades because she has been told that is right and good of children to do that. About her little brother who goes to school and gets into fights and gets detention because that’s what his best bud does. How much of our actions, habitual and unrevised, are even our own?



Let me try to make this point slightly more clear. I won’t do William James’s squirrel is to metaphysical disputes analogy justice but I will try to be as creative as possible…


aseidman's picture

Captain Walter Arnold, Subjectively Realized


For this project, I took one of what Gertrude Stein calls her “plays,” and considered what would happen if I were to try to stage and direct it. After reading through it, I attempted to break it down into characters, lines, and to imagine a setting in which it would logically take place.

But first, let’s look at “Captain Walter Arnold” just the way Gertrude Stein wrote it, without any additional directions from me.


Captain Walter Arnold

By Gertrude Stein


Do you mean to please me.

I do.

Do you have any doubt of the value of food and water.

I have not.

Can you recollect any example of easy repetition.

Penguins's picture

Getting in the Habit of Better Explaining Written Thoughts

 As some of you from our class know, I had originally planned to write a more ‘Choose-your-own-adventure’ style narrative as a conversation with William James, with several different choices leading to different outcomes, depending upon which philosophical direction the readers’ conversations with him took. However, due to my own difficulty grappling with and understanding his texts, I (and our Professor Anne) decided that this was perhaps too ambitious a project for me to successfully complete, so I scaled back quite a bit, and ended up with a one-way conversation with Mr. William James (yes, not quite as exciting as three-way, I know…).

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