Excerpt from a Letter to William James, March 1903

Chicago, March 1903]

[My dear James, — ]

. . . [I walked] on air for a long time after getting such a letter from you. Moore . . . has taught here since about '95.The flexibility and freedom of his mental operations I need n't speak of, — his articles do that. He has n't had fair play, he has been so loaded with "sections". . . but probably has gained maturity from his enforced inhibitions. . . . I am tremendously glad that you liked his article, and very appreciative of the fact that, liking it, you expressed your satisfaction so generously. As for the standpoint, — we have all been at work at it for about twelve years. Lloyd and Mead were both at it in Ann Arbor ten years ago. Did you ever read Lloyd's Dynamic Idealism? I can't see much difference between his monism and your pluralism, — barring a little exaggeration of the plural on its own account, if I may venture. Mead has difficulty of articulation in written discourse, as you know; but I suppose he is more effective than any man in our Department in giving capable advanced students independent method. He works himself (and it) out mainly in biological terms. "Life-process" is his terminology for the developing reality. We have turned out some doctors who are beginning to do more or less. . . . They are all young, all busy with teaching; and I think on the whole it speaks well for them (and for their standpoint) that they have been fairly conservative in publishing. . . .

As for myself, — I don't know whether you ever read my psychological articles on "Emotion" and the "Reflex Arc Concept," — the one on "Effort" I know you read because you were good enough to write me. The "Savage Mind" article (thank you for your good word which I did n't acknowledge but appreciated) does n't appear very near (even less perhaps than the others referred to), but I have evolved them all from the same standpoint. The articles on "Evolution Applied to Morality"ought to bore you, and are not sent for you to read, except . . . the criticism of both empiricism and rationalism as non-genetic and hence absolutistic.[1](I think you

( 521) must state your plurality as a matter of historic significance, and hence of relativity). . . .

I am sending you, herewith, some proof from a forthcoming Decennial volume, Studies in Logical Theory, written by [A. W.] Moore, [S. F.] McLennan, [H. B.] Thompson, [H. W.] Stuart, one or two others and myself as Editor. You may not have time nor inclination to read, but I wish you would glance the pages over enough to see whether you could stand for a dedication to yourself. Unfortunately my own things come first and are the only ones in page proof yet. (Overlook the disrespectful allusion to your pluralism in a foot-note, — I can but feel that your plurality as it now stands is ęsthetic rather than logical.) But so far as I am concerned your Psychology is the spiritual progenitor of the whole industry; and while we won't attempt to father you with all the weak kidlets which are crying in the volume to be born, it would afford us all (and me in particular, if that does n't reflect on the pleasure of others) very much satisfaction if you will permit us to dedicate the volume to you.

We hope to get to East Hill[2] soon after the middle of June; — we have been congratulating ourselves much ever since we learned that you were coming up. . . . Faithfully yours,



  1. These articles appeared in Psychol. Rev., I (1894), II (1895), IX (1902) ; Univ. of Chicago Contributions to Philos., I (1896); Philos. Rev., VI (1897), XI (1902). Of the "Savage Mind" article James had already written to Dewey : "I cannot refrain from thanking you for a thing so 'concrete' and full of veracious psychological imagination. Also humane, and calculated to dampen the conceit of our all-destroying 'Civilization.' Pray keep up that line of study" (Sept. 28, 1902)
  2. At Hurricane, N. Y., the place of Thomas Davidson's "Summer School for Cultural Sciences."

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