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Aug 30, 2011           

me+ME: Still PEM-ed + some about James and Peirce

As I wrote earlier today, at the start of an quotation of a recent letter by professor Hooper, with some introductory comments by me, I am still PEM-ed (or PENEd), though a bit better - less bad - than yesterday and the day before.

So... I don't know how much I will write the coming weeks, in which I also have to do other things.

Then again, I did write some, the last two weeks, that I do want to put on line once it has been finished, notably about professor Wessely's sadistic bullshit, and about philosophy, for I did produce a good edition of William James's "The Will to Believe", and I also did write a series of good comments on these, indeed to the effect that I totally disagree with what James says in that essay, that in logical effect is in support of all religious fanatics, for professor James told them that religious feelings are so important that they have the right to believe all manner of religious things and act upon them, while knowing these things have no rational evidence, and being able to know their own strong belief in it is - therefore - irrational, and quite possibly harmful to themselves or others (e.g. in the manner of 9/11).

But I finished none of these things, though I did write most of them, and so you have to wait and see, if you are interested. And in case you are interested in James's
and about philosophy, for I did produce a good edition of William James's "The Will to Believe", and want to make up your own mind before reading my comments, here is a link to it at Gutenberg: This is a good edition (with a few typos) and it is the first essay in the book.

In fact, James' text is directed against William Clifford's

and in particular against its main thesis

I think James is quite mistaken, and not quite honest, but this is probably the best he could do to save religious belief, which he had and was a proponent of, apparently because he believed - irrationally, I think - it helped men to lead better lives, also in case of religions he did not believe in.

I also think that my comments show quite clearly why James is mistaken about the will or the rational right to believe what has no rational evidence, but then you'll have to wait till I put them on line to rationally agree or disagree. (If you're religious, at least, from what James wrote it follows you may believe nevertheless I am totally mistaken ).

Finally, this is something I wanted to do long ago, which is why I did it and will put it on line, and it also has been clear to me for a long time that William James was a great writer and a great psychologist, but a far less great philosopher than his friend, the philosopher and logician
Peirce seems to me to be the greatest philosopher the US has had and like F.P. Ramsey I also consider him to be one of the greatest philosophers there has been, excluding none.

But this is an aside, inspired by the fact that Peirce, who was a true genius and a difficult man, was a good friend of William James, who helped him in quite a lot of ways, and also dedicated the Essays in Popular Philosophy to him.

Indeed, I have read sufficient of William James's philosophy to say that by far the best thing James did in philosophy was being a staunch friend and helper of Peirce, and that indeed - as Peirce also insisted - he did not understand Peirce's philosophy, mostly because James had far less of a head for logical and mathematical reasoning than Peirce did.

In any case, if you are really interested in philosophy there are very few things you could do better than reading Peirce. Unfortunately, he was not a great writer, and there is no really good edition of his collected works, but there are useful entry-points on the net:

P.S. Corrections, if any are necessary, have to be made later.

As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):

1.  Anthony Komaroff Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS (pdf)
3.  Hillary Johnson The Why
4.  Consensus of M.D.s Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf)
5.   Eleanor Stein Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)
6.  William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
7.  Paul Lutus

Is Psychology a Science?

8.  Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
 Maarten Maartensz
ME in Amsterdam - surviving in Amsterdam with ME (Dutch)
 Maarten Maartensz Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Short descriptions of the above:                

1. Ten reasons why ME/CFS is a real disease by a professor of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative journalist.
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understands ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:

7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.
9. I tell my story of surviving (so far) in Amsterdam with ME.
10. The directory on my site about ME.

See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources
The last has many files, all on my site to keep them accessible.

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