I compare William James’ and Friedrich Nietzsche’s construals of consciousness and will, two of the core notions in both philosophy and psychology. I delineate the elements significant in their respective accounts of the two notions, and show that there are significant parallels in their views. An appreciation of the affinities in James’ and Nietzsche’s construals of consciousness and will facilitates an appreciation of their remarkably parallel contributions in both philosophy and psychology. It also enhances an appreciation of James as a philosopher with a rich background and expertise in psychology, and an appreciation of Nietzsche as an original, important philosopher-psychologist. Furthermore, the parallels I will have drawn between their views may provide materials with which to appreciate and substantiate the construal of a strand in contemporary psychology that is philosophically informed, and which embraces a radical version of empiricism that is rid of the dogmas found in traditional empiricism.
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Thesis advisor: Andersen, Holly
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