The Reilly Center Program in History and Philosophy of Science, The Notre Dame Department of Psychology, and the Program of Liberal Studies presents:
“What’s Schopenhauer Got to Do with It? New Revelations about William James’s Life and Work”
Though he was one of the prominent thinkers of the mid-to-late nineteenth century, and made a difference at one point or another in the lives of such diverse twentieth-century figures as Albert Einstein, Max Horkheimer, Karl Popper, and Ludwig Wittgenstein, the work of the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) fell into general neglect during the past hundred years. In recent decades, however, there has been renewed interest in his work, and in recent few years discoveries have been made (by the speaker) about the previously unknown influence of that work upon William James (1842-1910). This presentation will review some of these discoveries and the new light they cast upon key incidents in James’s personal life as well as significant aspects of his professional work, including its literary style, moral tone, and substantive doctrines.