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Damn Great Empires! – William James and the Politics of Pragmatism - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Damn Great Empires!: William James and the Politics of Pragmatism

Alexander Livingston


Damn Great Empires! provides a new perspective on the works of William James by placing his encounter with American imperialism at the center of his philosophical vision. This book reconstructs his overlooked political thought by treating James’s anti-imperialist Nachlass—his speeches, essays, notes, and correspondence on the United States’ annexation of the Philippines—as the key to the political significance of his celebrated writings on psychology, religion, and philosophy. It shows how James located a craving for authority at the heart of empire as a way of life, a craving he diagnosed and ... More

Keywords: William James, pragmatism, imperialism, authority, pluralism, agency, faith, contingency

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780190237158
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190237158.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Alexander Livingston, author
Assistant Professor of Government, Cornell University