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My Interview with William James on the New Atheists

      Ok , I begin with a disclaimer. This is not an actual interview in the technical sense. Since William James passed from this world in 1910, many decades before I was even born, it is not possible that I interviewed him. However, here is what really did happen. After spending the last few months pouring over key books by Professor James, it caught up with my unconscious mind and I did indeed dream that I met him and we talked. The following is an imagined conversation based on significant engagement with some of his writings and an unusual dream.  Robert Woods: This is a most unexpected honor to meet you Dr. James and be able to ask you some questions about some things you have written. William James: My pleasure. I am glad to discover that some are still reading my writings. Woods: I think what most impresses me about your education is that you are a philosopher and psychologist, but were trained as a physician which gives you an extraordinary advantage over some who
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Accepting the Invitation to the Great Conversation Extended by Mortimer Adler and Robert Hutchins

     If I think about it, I am saddened that I received the invitation later in life.  I wish I had received and accepted the invitation in High School, or college, or certainly graduate school.  It was not all my fault, I was not told about the invitation until about twelve years ago.  Since that time, I have invited hundreds and hope to invite many more.      What is The Great Conversation ? The actual wording I am most familiar with comes through the writings and lives of Mortimer Adler and Robert Hutchins.  Since the 1960's those two men and a handful of others fought valiantly against social and cultural trends that would all but be the end of the Great Tradition, the Great Books, and the Great Conversation.  While things have gotten considerably worse since these intellectual warriors declared a strategy of intellectual health, there are loving resistance fighters and pockets of resistance found here and there.         Robert Hutchins, "Until lately the west has rega