James transferred the knowledge gained from empiricism from private mental experience to a knowledge system geared purely to solve problems. To James, if an idea made no difference to everyday life, then that idea was unimportant.
Only the practical could be important and worthy. Even faith only had value if it was useful to the believer.
We can see, here, a total rejection of metaphysics and the holism fundamental to it. To James, not only were the sciences to be specialized, not only was society to be compartmentalized, but knowledge itself was only to have practical application. To think further – to attempt higher concepts – was anathema. Knowledge was simply a tool to assist society. End of story.
Click link, below, to return