Michel Foucault (Theoretical traditions in the social - download pdf or read online

By Mark Cousins

ISBN-10: 0333286510

ISBN-13: 9780333286517

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Extra info for Michel Foucault (Theoretical traditions in the social sciences)

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Even as we learn new facts and rearrange or revolutionize our theories of things, “we are all extreme conservatives” in regard to certain beliefs. James calls these long and fondly held beliefs those of “common sense,” and devotes an entire chapter of Pragmatism to them. ” James’s chapter on “Pragmatism and Common Sense” changes the metaphor but repeats the vision of a tried and true system of knowledge, which grows only at certain points. Our knowledge, he now writes, grows only “in spots” (P, 82).

There is one more source, however, for Wittgenstein’s acquaintance with pragmatism: a book by a founding pragmatist writer that we know Wittgenstein to have read again and again. This is James’s Principles of Psychology, a book that, unlike Pragmatism, met with much favor in Britain. It was required reading for the psychology course at Cambridge, and Benjamin Ward’s long article on psychology in the 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica makes extensive use of James’s work. Wittgenstein refers to the book in his journals and typescripts, from the early 1930s until the end of his life; and in such works as Philosophical Grammar, The Brown Book, the two volumes of Remarks on the Philosophy of Psychology, Last Writings on the Philosophy of Psychology, and the Philosophical Investigations.

The tour guide reveals something of himself. A main distinction of the book is between “the religion of healthy-mindedness” – practiced by those who “look on everything and see that it is good” – and the religion of the “sick souls” – those who find a fundamental terror, emptiness, or evil at the heart of existence. ” Even before this distinction is officially introduced, however, James suggests that he sees himself among these sick souls. Discussing the “psychopathic” origins of many religious states, he argues that simply because these states are in some way abnormal, it does not follow that they fail to inform us about the world.

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Michel Foucault (Theoretical traditions in the social sciences) by Mark Cousins


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