On the Experience of Activity: William James's Late Metaphysics and the Influence of Nineteenth-Century French Spiritualism

Journal of the History of Philosophy 58 (2):267-291 (2020)
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Abstract

is it possible to have a first-person experience of our own agency? In nineteenth-century France, this question was subject to intense philosophical debate. The two figures primarily associated with each side of the debate were Maine de Biran and Charles Renouvier. Biran developed powerful objections to Hume's arguments that purported to prove the impossibility of the experience of one's inner causal force. These objections were the match that lit this philosophical fire, and formed the foundation of the philosophy of the French spiritualist school; a school that included Félix Ravaisson, Jules Lachelier, Émile Boutroux, and Henri Bergson.1...

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Jeremy William Dunham
Durham University

Citations of this work

Habit, contingency, love: on Félix Ravaisson and Charles S. Peirce.Tullio Viola - 2020 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 28 (5):966-986.
Panpsychism in Bergson and James.Joel Dolbeault - 2022 - Bergsoniana 2:155-176.
On effort and causal power: Maine de Biran’s critique of Hume revisited.Mark Sinclair - 2020 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 28 (5):903-922.

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