I originally wrote this book for the series, “Philosophes de tous les temps,” published by Editions Seghers in Paris under the general editorship of André Robinet. Volumes in the series are addressed to a broad audience. The selected bibliography has been revised for the American reader.
The preparation of this book presented me with the opportunity to reassess the work of Willam James. James was a singular figure who belonged to two worlds, Europe and America. His philosophy testifies to the Franco-American amity in ideas and values which once was and which, hopefully, may come into being again.
I did much of my work on this book in France, where James’s reputation has always been high, and I sought to see James as the French see him. The more I investigated my topic, the more I appreciated the masterly scholarship of Ralph Barton Perry, whose work grasps James in all perspectives. My book is mainly derived from Perry’s work, with some modest remarks of my own concerning James’s contemporary relevance.
I wish to acknowledge my indebtedness to M. Pierre Seghers, who encouraged me to continue the work; to Mr. Bernard B. Perry, whose initiative made possible the English language edition; to Mrs. Doris M. Tennyson, who carefully edited the English typescript; and to my wife, who tirelessly assisted me with the French materials. Special thanks are also due the Tulane University Research Council for a grant to defray part of the costs for preparing the typescript.
ANDREW J. RECK
New Orleans, Louisiana