Richard Rorty (review date 9 May 1983)
SOURCE: “The Pragmatist,” in New Republic, May 9, 1983, pp. 32-4.
[In the following review of A Stroll with William James, Rorty discusses contradictions in James's philosophical positions and Barzun's inability to reconcile such fundamental oppositions.]
Everybody who reads William James's letters falls in love with the man. He seems the companion nobody ever had: the one who never gets depressed or angry or bored, is always honest and open, always thinks you interesting. Somehow James, in his early thirties, managed to shuck off all his neuroses, all those fantasies that lead the rest of us to distort and manipulate other people for our own...
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