William James and Education is a dynamic collection of original
essays spotlighting William James as a role model for bringing
philosophy to bear on the persistent issues of life and education.
Using James's philosophical ideas, the contributors evade the
polarization and superficiality that permeate the debate around
such educational issues as standards versus diversity, cultural
consensus versus multiculturalism, religion versus science, and
individual freedom versus social determinism. The result is a
synthetic collection of essays offering original, unique, and
One of the most influential of American philosophers, William
James is relevant today because he provides a way of understanding
human behavior that is both rigorous and humane. James shows how we
may soften and sometimes harmonize rigid ideological divisions,
such as those plaguing contemporary education, with a pragmatic
approach to issues of theory and practice. By reconsidering some of
the roots of American thought in James's work, this volume points
the way to valuing both uniqueness and universality, among other
seemingly opposing concerns. The result is a lively weave of
historical and contemporary thought, providing philosophical
perspectives on the critical issues facing educators today.
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