Quotations From WILLIAM JAMES

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  • Faith is synonymous with working hypothesis.
    William James (1842-1910), U.S. philosopher, psychologist. Originally published in Princeton Review (1882). "The Sentiment of Rationality," repr. In Essays in Pragmatism, Hafner Publishing (1948).

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  • A man has as many social selves as there are individuals who recognize him.
    William James (1842-1910), U.S. psychologist, philosopher. The Principles of Psychology, vol. 1, ch. 10 (1890).
  • Our esteem for facts has not neutralized in us all religiousness. It is itself almost religious. Our scientific temper is devout.
    William James (1842-1910), U.S. psychologist, philosopher. "The Present Dilemma in Philosophy," lecture 1, Pragmatism (1907).
  • 'Pure experience' is the name I gave to the immediate flux of life which furnishes the material to our later reflection with its conceptual categories.
    William James (1842-1910), U.S. philosopher, psychologist. Originally published in Journal of Philosophy (1905). "The Thing and Its Relations," Essays in Radical Empiricism (1912).

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  • To be a real philosopher all that is necessary is to hate some one else's type of thinking.
    William James (1842-1910), U.S. psychologist, philosopher. Letter, January 29, 1909. The Letters of William James, vol. 2 (1920).

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  • Would martyrs have sung in the flames for a mere inference, however inevitable it might be?
    William James (1842-1910), U.S. philosopher, psychologist. Originally published 1903. Varieties of Religious Experience, lecture 20, New York (1961).
  • Time itself comes in drops.
    William James (1842-1910), U.S. philosopher, psychologist. Originally published 1909. A Pluralistic Universe, lecture 6, Peter Smith (1967).

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  • When you have broken the reality into concepts you never can reconstruct it in its wholeness.
    William James (1842-1910), U.S. philosopher, psychologist. Originally published 1909. A Pluralistic Universe, lecture 6, Peter Smith (1967).

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  • It seems the natural thing for us to listen whilst the Europeans talk.
    William James (1842-1910), U.S. psychologist, philosopher. The Varieties of Religious Experience, lecture 1 (1902).
  • There is ... an organic affinity between joyousness and tenderness, and their companionship in the saintly life need in no way occasion surprise.
    William James (1842-1910), U.S. philosopher, psychologist. Originally published 1903. Varieties of Religious Experience, lectures 11, 12, and 13, New York (1961).

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