By William James
An excerpt from the beginning:
'Thoughts' and 'things' are names for 2 different types of item, which logic will constantly locate contrasted and may continually essentially oppose to one another. Philosophy, reflecting at the distinction, has diversified long ago in her motives of it, and should be anticipated to change sooner or later. in the beginning, 'spirit and matter,' 'soul and body,' stood for a couple of equipollent components fairly on a par in weight and curiosity. yet at some point Kant undermined the soul and taken within the transcendental ego, and ever considering then the bipolar relation has been greatly off its stability. The transcendental ego turns out these days in rationalist quarters to face for every thing, in empiricist quarters for nearly not anything. within the arms of such writers as Schuppe, Rehmke, Natorp, Munsterberg -- at any cost in his prior writings, Schubert-Soldern and others, the religious precept attenuates itself to a completely ghostly , being just a identify for the truth that the 'content' of expertise is understood. It loses own shape and job - those passing over to the content material -- and turns into a naked Bewusstheit or Bewusstsein ?berhaupt of which in its personal correct totally not anything might be said.
I think that 'consciousness,' whilst as soon as it has evaporated to this property of natural diaphaneity, is near to disappearing altogether. it's the identify of a nonentity, and has no correct to a spot between first ideas. those that nonetheless grasp to it are clinging to a trifling echo, the faint rumor left at the back of by means of the disappearing 'soul' upon the air of philosophy. up to now yr, i've got learn a couple of articles whose authors appeared simply close to forsaking the thought of consciousness, and substituting for it that of an absolute adventure no longer as a result of components. yet they weren't fairly radical adequate, now not really bold sufficient of their negations. For 20 years previous i've got mistrusted 'consciousness' as an entity; for seven or 8 years previous i've got prompt its non-existence to my scholars, and attempted to offer them its pragmatic similar in realities of expertise. it sort of feels to me that the hour is ripe for it to be brazenly and universally discarded.