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The Great Apostasy?: William James's 1904 denial of the existence of consciousness

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This is an exegetical essay that traces the extraordinary journey made by William James, whereby from being regarded as one of the great nineteenth century psychological explorers of consciousness, he arrived in 1904 at a state of mind where, at least prima facie, he denied the very existence of consciousness. Along the way it examines the stages of this journey and investigates whether or not James actually came to deny the existence of consciousness. Then it reflects on the significance of that 1904 essay.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Dept. of Philosophy, Arts Building, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland., Email:

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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