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Goodson Book Efforts Stem From SC Introductory Course

A Southwestern College faculty member has edited a book on Williams James, and credits a new general education requirement at SC for the effort. 

Jacob Goodson, assistant professor of philosophy, was given responsibility for the Ethics and Society course and says this prompted his exploration of James and Lexington Books’ publication of “William James, Moral Philosophy, and the Ethical Life.” 
 
“This edited volume demonstrates that a virtue-centered approach to the ethical life is a consistent feature of William James’s moral reasoning from the 1880s up until his death in 1910,” Goodson says.  “Little else, however, seems constant within James’s writings on moral philosophy and the ethical life. This lack of constancy is what makes James still so interesting to read with surprising bits of wisdom over 100 years after his death.”
 
Goodson wrote two chapters in the book:
“Love and Sex in William James's Principles of Psychology”: This chapter offers the first account of how James, a philosopher working and writing during the Victorian period, accounts for love and sex in his 1,400-page textbook on philosophical psychology, Goodson says. 
“Horny Hands and Dirty Skin: Courage, Humility, Patience, and Tolerance in William James's Ethics”: Goodson examines the complexity of tolerance as a particular kind of virtue and how James thinks that, for tolerance to be considered a moral virtue, it must involve the other virtues of courage, humility, and patience. 
 
The book was favorably reviewed by two prominent academicians. 
 
“Jacob L. Goodson's sure sense of two distinct periods of James's ethics makes this volume more than a collection of disparate essays--it guides the reader through the variety of ways James challenges and goes beyond contemporary theories,” wrote Charlene Haddock Seigfried, professor of philosophy at Purdue University.  “I highly recommend it for anyone interested in the most up-to-date scholarship on James's moral theory.” 
 
“William James remains at once one of the most insightful and profound philosophers in recent times, so we are indebted to Goodson for assembling this book because, at the very least, the critical conversations [started] in this book should return readers to James himself,” said Stanley Hauerwas, a longtime professor and ethicist at Duke University.
 
Part of a new series on American philosophy published by Lexington Books, the 23-chapter “William James, Moral Philosophy, and the Ethical Life" was written for an undergraduate audience.
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