William James (1842 - 1910) was a psychologist and a philosopher of note. For James, pragmatism meant an emphasis on radical empiricism and the concept that the meaning of any idea is valid only in terms of its experiential and practical consequences. He tests competing systems of thought in the marketplace of actual experience to determine their validity. The intent is to see whether a particular philosophical theory or way of looking at the world makes an actual difference in individual conduct. James succeeds in making a strong case for pragmatism, while attacking transcendentalism and rationalism.