This article explores the qualities and nature of the “religious” or mystical experience according to James and pragmatic philosophy in general. The author initially provides an overview of James’ philosophy of religion, which includes his pragmatic commitments, understanding of experience, and emphasis on cognitive relations. Then there arises a question: How can I know that others have mystical experience, too? James’s push to make the mystical experience scientific misjudges the utility of his quasi-chaos idea, which can be shown to support inter-subjective knowledge and position religion within what the author deems “pluralistic knowledge.” In the end, Rorty and Bruce Wilshire are employed in order to demonstrate the high importance and greatness of such pluralistic knowledge, particularly with regard to the supersensible.
Trice, Brittany G.
"Religious Experience, Pluralistic Knowledge and William James,"
Episteme: Vol. 14
, Article 5.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.denison.edu/episteme/vol14/iss1/5