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Pragmatism by William James
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A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking

By William James (1907)

To the Memory of John Stuart Mill

from whom I first learned the pragmatic openness of mind and whom my
fancy likes to picture as our leader were he alive to-day.


The lectures that follow were delivered at the Lowell Institute in
Boston in November and December, 1906, and in January, 1907, at
Columbia University, in New York. They are printed as delivered,
without developments or notes. The pragmatic movement, so-called--I
do not like the name, but apparently it is too late to change it--
seems to have rather suddenly precipitated itself out of the air. A
number of tendencies that have always existed in philosophy have all
at once become conscious of themselves collectively, and of their
combined mission; and this has occurred in so many countries, and
from so many different points of view, that much unconcerted
statement has resulted. I have sought to unify the picture as it
presents itself to my own eyes, dealing in broad strokes, and
avoiding minute controversy. Much futile controversy might have been
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