Metaphysics and Radical Empiricism in William James: Setting Up a Pluralistic Principle of Toleration
This lecture is an attempt to explain elements of the first chapter of a new book I am writing on religious toleration. I articulate a view to defend the toleration of religious beliefs out of what William James called his radical empiricism. Since his radical empiricism originates in a critique of representational metaphysics that arises how James employed the term "metaphysics", I propose to show how we might draw some preliminary conclusions from those efforts concerning what James meant by metaphysics and how those efforts would set up my encounter both with his religious thought and what results in James's metaphysical pluralism. Attending to these difficulties then demands that we understand the term "metaphysics" in Psychology: Briefer Course (1892), The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy (1897), how that understanding develops in his Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking, and the relationship Pragmatism has with Essays in Radical Empiricism he was delivering as lectures between 1904-1906.