Sharing William James’ conviction that “no one of us can get along without the far-reaching beams of light [philosophy] sends over the world’s perspectives” (qtd. on xi), Richard Mullin’s new book seeks to communicate the ethical and spiritual insights of William James, Josiah Royce, and Charles Sanders Peirce to a non-specialist audience. Mullin follows the pragmatists he studies by dropping the traditional, dualistic notion of “soul” while insisting upon the importance of carefully attending to the following issues classically treated as pertaining thereto: the self, free will, moral values, community, and our relationship with the Transcendent (xi). With the pragmatic conviction that “the only propositions that we really believe are those that we are willing to act upon” (xii), Mullin shows his readers how classical pragmatism offers resources for teaching us how to believe in these things by acting freely to construct communal relations that exceed our economic interests in order to provide our lives with meaning.
Stehn, A.V. (2008). [Review of the book The Soul of Classical American Philosophy: The Ethical and Spiritual Insights of William James, Josiah Royce, and Charles Sanders Peirce]. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society: A Quarterly Journal in American Philosophy 44(2), 367-371. https://www.muse.jhu.edu/article/240810.
Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society