William James's Theories of Anarchy and of Law. Introducing Pragmatism and Anarchism

Wim Van Moer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingMeeting abstract (Book)


In this small introductory lecture, I would like to emphasize some radical elements in William James's philosophy. While Deborah J. Coon stresses the last decade of James's life as a period of radicalization (which is true), I will tend to show that these radical elements have always been present in his thinking.
I will also present more quotes (mainly taken from his letters and Pragmatism), in order to show that we should not only consider James as a tolerant and generous philosopher, but also as an inspired and quite radical and anarchistic thinker.
Given the fact that two of his main works (The Varieties of Religious Experience and Pragmatism) were published during these infamous last ten years, this certainly calls for a reconsideration of these works.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown
PublisherAnarchism Past and Present Reading Group, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Publication statusPublished - May 2011
EventUnknown -
Duration: 1 May 2011 → …


Period1/05/11 → …


  • William James
  • Anarchism
  • Meliorism
  • Anti-imperialism
  • Pragmatism
  • Morrison Isaac Swift
  • Henry B. Brewster
  • Ernest Howard Crosby
  • Damn the Absolute!


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