Some Problems of Philosophy, William James’s last book, was published after his death in 1910. For years he had talked of rounding out his philosophical work with a treatise on metaphysics. Characteristically, he chose to do so in the form of an introduction to the problems of philosophy, because writing for beginners would force him to be nontechnical and readable. The result is that, although this is James’s most systematic and abstract work, it has all the lucidity of his other, more popular writings. Step by step the reader is introduced, through analysis of the fundamental problems of Being, the relation of thoughts to things, novelty, causation, and the Infinite, to the original philosophical synthesis that James called radical empiricism.
This is the seventh volume to be published in The Works of William James, an authoritative edition sponsored by the American Council of Learned Societies.