the final synthesis
James's striking image of an unfinished pluralistic universe is perhaps the most adequate symbolic expression of his own philosophy. He makes no apologies for his eclecticism, and deliberately refuses to reduce the divergent tendencies of his thought to a unified system of meaning. As a result of his mistrust of the "… pseudo-rationality of the supposed absolute point of view," he never fully resolved those tensions within his philosophy which result from his openness to a variety of perspectives.1 For example, despite the later rejection of his original psycho-physical dualism, James never fully emancipated himself from the viewpoint of mechanistic psychology. It is not without reason, therefore, that behaviorists find James's functional view of consciousness similar to their own. Moreover, his hesitation with regard to the possible validity of a determinist interpretation of attention betrays his inability to repudiate definitively views basically incompatible with his own. The same excessive tolerance may account for his occasional sympathetic treatment of naive realism, despite his emphatic contention that the absolutely given sphere of pure experience needs no trans-experiential support.
Cobb-Stevens, R. (1974). Conclusion action: the final synthesis, in James and Husserl, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 174-180.
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