Delve Spring 2020: William James: Inventing an American Philosophy


Delve Spring 2020: William James: Inventing an American Philosophy


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Sundays, April  19–May 24, 2020
5:00 – 7:00 p.m. (six sessions)
Guide: Bennett Gilbert

The philosophy of William James (1842–1910) has had world-wide influence, and yet it is in many ways an essentially American view of the nature and humanity. James was a psychologist by training. This study led him to develop his unique view of human experience, out of which grew his profound concept of the nature of knowledge and reality as the way in which we act in the world and experience life. In this seminar, we will discuss a few of James’s most important essays in general philosophy, ethics, psychology, and religion in order to grasp the force of his simple but revolutionary ideas.

The Will to Believe by William James
Essays in Radical Empiricism by William James


Bennett Gilbert  teaches at history and philosophy Portland State University. He has written A Personalist Philosophy of History (Routledge, 2019); academic papers on the history of ideas, philosophy of history, and the history of the book; and other essays.

Delve Access Program
We want Delve seminars to be accessible to everyone, regardless of income and background. We understand that our tuition structure can present obstacles for some people. We are happy to offer an Access Program which provides reduced tuition to qualifying participants. Our Access Program offers Delve seminar registrations at a sliding scale amount of $45-$100 per registration.Contact Susan Moore at if you would like to take a Delve at the Access Rate.