Pragmatism Applied: William James and the Challenges of Contemporary Life

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 Illustrates how William James’s philosophical pragmatism can help to resolve issues in everyday contemporary life.
William James, one of America’s most original philosophers and psychologists, was concerned above all with the manner in which philosophy might help people to cope with the vicissitudes of daily life. Writing around the turn of the twentieth century, James experienced firsthand, much as we do now, the impact upon individuals and communities of rapid changes in extant values, technologies, economic realities, and ways of understanding the world. He presented an enormous range of practical recommendations for coping and thriving in such circumstances, arguing consistently that prospects for richer lives and improved communities rested not upon trust in spiritual or material prescriptions, but rather on clear thinking in the cause of action. This volume seeks to demonstrate how James’s astonishingly rich corpus can be used to address contemporary issues and to establish better ways for thinking about the moral and practical challenges of our time. In the first part, James’s theories are applied directly to issues ranging from gun control to disability, and the ethics of livestock farming to the meaning of “progress” in race relations. The second part shows how James’s theories of ethics, experience, and the self can be used to “clear away” theoretical matters that have inhibited philosophy’s deployment to real-world issues. Finally, part three shows how individuals might apply ideas from James in their personal lives, whether at work, contemplating nature, or considering the implications of their own habits of thought and action.

“This book is the first sustained attempt to take James’s call for a lived philosophy at face value, both exploring the extent of James’s own philosophical project and furthering it in ever new directions. As is clear from the reading of the various contributions, we are given a taste of what Jamesian philosophy might or should achieve rather than merely presenting what it promises to deliver. And this is clearly novel and extremely intriguing.” — Sarin Marchetti, author of Ethics and Philosophical Critique in William James
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About the author

 Clifford S. Stagoll is Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame Australia. Michael P. Levine is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Western Australia. His books include Thinking through Film: Doing Philosophy, Watching Movies (coauthored with Damian Cox).

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Mar 25, 2019
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Pages
292
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ISBN
9781438473383
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Language
English
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Genres
PHILOSOPHY / Movements / Humanism
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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This is the first authored volume to offer a detailed, integrated analysis of the field of eating problems and disorders with theory, research, and practical experience from community and developmental psychology, public health, psychiatry, and dietetics. The book highlights connections between the prevention of eating problems and disorders and theory and research in the areas of prevention and health promotion; theoretical models of risk development and prevention (e.g., developmental psychopathology, social cognitive theory, feminist theory, ecological approaches); and related research on the prevention of smoking and alcohol use. It is the most comprehensive book available on the study of prevention programs, especially for children and adolescents.

The authors review the spectrum of eating problems and disorders, the related risk and protective factors, the models that have guided prevention efforts to date, the literature on the studies of prevention, and suggestions for curriculum and program development and evaluation. The book concludes with a new prevention program based on the Feminist Ecological Developmental model. The 800 + references highlight work done around the world.

The Prevention of Eating Problems and Eating Disorders addresses:
* methodologies for assessing and establishing prevention;
* the implications of neuroscience for prevention;
* dramatic increases in the incidence of obesity;
* the role of boys, men, and the media on body image;
* prevention programming for minority groups; and
* whether to focus on primary or secondary prevention.

Intended for clinicians and academicians from disciplines such as health, clinical, developmental, and community psychology; social work; medicine; and public health; this book is also an ideal text for advanced courses on eating disorders.
Although eating problems--ranging from body dissatisfaction and dieting to anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa--can begin and typically have their roots in childhood, theory and research in developmental psychopathology and developmental psychology have not received substantial attention in eating disorders research. This book provides crucial background material from both fields, and then makes direct applications to numerous aspects of the field of eating disorders including theory, research, treatment, and primary prevention.

This book was born out of a transaction between frustration and optimism. The frustrations reflected the limitations of current knowledge about eating problems and disorders. Etiological "causes" which are sensitive and specific to eating disorders have been elusive. Although there is some understanding of risk factors, little is known about protective factors. This has made prevention, among other things, difficult. Furthermore, the mechanisms underlying the association between risk factors and disordered eating are poorly understood. For example, it is known that women are at greater risk than men are, but clinicians are hard- pressed to get beyond gender-based speculations and demonstrate why this is true.

The optimism grows from familiarity with the field of developmental psychopathology. It seems evident that this approach has much to offer the field of eating disorders. This book is an early step in the integration of developmental psychopathology into theorizing, research, treatment, and prevention of eating disorders. It addresses four specific goals:
* to introduce the principles and methodologies of developmental psychopathology,
* to review the work of developmental psychologists in several major areas of behavior relevant to understanding the causes, treatment, and prevention of eating disorders,
* to apply developmental psychopathology principles to the area of eating disorders, both in the form of theoretical models and in specific areas/issues raised by developmental psychopathology, and
* to discuss the implications of developmental approaches for prevention programs and treatments.
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