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date: 20 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

When William James uses one of his schemes, such as tough- and tender-minded (in Pragmatism) or the once- and twice-born (in Varieties of Religious Experience), he is more interested in what these terms can do in confronting certain problems or conceptualizing a subject than in how they all fit together. This chapter considers James’s pragmatic and pluralistic use of language from some perspectives offered by the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson, who used different schemes in different essays, and whose thought is part of James’s intellectual formation. I pay particular attention to anticipations of James’s scheme of the tough- and tender-minded in Emerson’s “Nominalist and Realist” and “Montaigne, or the Skeptic.” The last section of the chapter considers ways in which James’s scheme of the tough- and tender-minded is designed to make room for religion in his pragmatist pictures.

Keywords: William James, pragmatism, pluralistic, religion, Ralph Waldo Emerson, terms

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