Sur le pragmatisme de William James

Abstract : This edition includes all the texts Bergson published on James and pragmatism. It has been made according to the principles of the first complete critical and annotated edition of Bergson's works directed by Frédéric Worms for the Presses Universitaires de France: general presentation of the whole book, distinct introduction to each essay or group of texts, notes, anthology of texts in relation to Bergson's ideas, index of names, concepts, images and examples, general and special bibliographies - for a total of more than 165 000 signs (Bergson's texts not included). From the original gathering of all these texts (beyond the preface Bergson wrote for the French translation of James's Pragmatism) we can deduce two main aspects of Bergson's interpretation of pragmatism which he identifies with James's theory of truth. Firstly, we show that Bergson is one of the first to have proposed a systematic analysis of James's thought, by pointing the dependence of his theory of truth on his conceptions of reality, religion and psychology. He sees the misunderstandings about James's theory as originating from the absence of its contextualization in his whole works. He can thus defend the thesis that James is a realist despite the constructivist strains of his theory. Secondly, we underline the convergences as well as the divergences between the two thinkers. If both agree on the rejection of intellectualism in philosophy, we show that there are two potentially opposed ways to do it: by the primacy of action or of intuition. We thus deconstruct Bergson's way of enlisting James's pragmatism into his own project of positive metaphysics by pointing out two very eloquent silences of Bergson's interpretation despite of his systematic pretentions. On the one hand, he omits pragmatism as a critical method of metaphysics in order to identify experience with intuition as the mean of metaphysical knowledge; on the other hand, he passes over James's naturalistic biological psychology in order to better stress the metaphysical importance of his introspective psychology.
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Contributor : Stéphane Madelrieux <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, December 18, 2013 - 12:05:34 PM
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Stéphane Madelrieux, Bergson Henri. Sur le pragmatisme de William James. PUF. Presses Universitaires de France, pp.167, 2011, Quadrige/PUF, 978-2-13-05812-2. ⟨hal-00920371⟩

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