The Will to Believe, Human Immortality and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy

The Will to Believe Human Immortality and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy The work of William James contributed greatly to the burgeoning fields of psychology particularly in the areas of education religion mysticism and pragmatism The brother of novelist Henry James and
  • Title: The Will to Believe, Human Immortality and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy
  • Author: William James
  • ISBN: 9780486202914
  • Page: 403
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Will to Believe, Human Immortality and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy
    The work of William James contributed greatly to the burgeoning fields of psychology, particularly in the areas of education, religion, mysticism and pragmatism The brother of novelist Henry James and of diarist Alice James, William wrote several powerful essays expressing his ideas on the pragmatic theory of truth, sentience, and human beings right to believe In The WThe work of William James contributed greatly to the burgeoning fields of psychology, particularly in the areas of education, religion, mysticism and pragmatism The brother of novelist Henry James and of diarist Alice James, William wrote several powerful essays expressing his ideas on the pragmatic theory of truth, sentience, and human beings right to believe In The Will to Believe , James suggests that what a person holds to be true or attainable may exist through that person s belief in them, regardless of a lack of physical evidence In a sense, he advocates the theory of self fulfilling prophesies Human Immortality was a speech delivered during the annual Ingersoll Lectureship, given in memory of George Goldthwait Ingersoll, in 1897 at Harvard University These works are a prime example of the powerful influence William James has had on modern psychology, and are still recognized today for their brilliance and revolutionary impacts on the field.
    The Will to Believe, Human Immortality and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy By William James,

    The Will Feb , Directed by Louise Alston With Megan Dodds, Chris McKenna, Caroline Mixon, Trey Murphy Early in her life, Josephine Malone learned the hard way that there was only one person she Will and testament Will to power Nietzsche s Concept of the Will to Power Jan , The will to power is a central concept in the philosophy of th century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche It is best understood as an irrational force, found in all individuals,

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    About " William James "

  • William James

    William James January 11, 1842 August 26, 1910 was an American philosopher and psychologist who was also trained as a physician The first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States, James was one of the leading thinkers of the late nineteenth century and is believed by many to be one of the most influential philosophers the United States has ever produced, while others have labelled him the Father of American psychology Along with Charles Sanders Peirce and John Dewey, he is considered to be one of the greatest figures associated with the philosophical school known as pragmatism, and is also cited as one of the founders of the functional psychology He also developed the philosophical perspective known as radical empiricism James work has influenced intellectuals such as mile Durkheim, W E B Du Bois, Edmund Husserl, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Hilary Putnam, and Richard Rorty.Born into a wealthy family, James was the son of the Swedenborgian theologian Henry James Sr and the brother of both the prominent novelist Henry James, and the diarist Alice James James wrote widely on many topics, including epistemology, education, metaphysics, psychology, religion, and mysticism Among his most influential books are Principles of Psychology, which was a groundbreaking text in the field of psychology, Essays in Radical Empiricism, an important text in philosophy, and The Varieties of Religious Experience, which investigated different forms of religious experience.William James was born at the Astor House in New York City He was the son of Henry James Sr a noted and independently wealthy Swedenborgian theologian well acquainted with the literary and intellectual elites of his day The intellectual brilliance of the James family milieu and the remarkable epistolary talents of several of its members have made them a subject of continuing interest to historians, biographers, and critics.James interacted with a wide array of writers and scholars throughout his life, including his godfather Ralph Waldo Emerson, his godson William James Sidis, as well as Charles Sanders Peirce, Bertrand Russell, Josiah Royce, Ernst Mach, John Dewey, Macedonio Fern ndez, Walter Lippmann, Mark Twain, Horatio Alger, Jr Henri Bergson and Sigmund Freud.William James received an eclectic trans Atlantic education, developing fluency in both German and French Education in the James household encouraged cosmopolitanism The family made two trips to Europe while William James was still a child, setting a pattern that resulted in thirteen European journeys during his life His early artistic bent led to an apprenticeship in the studio of William Morris Hunt in Newport, Rhode Island, but he switched in 1861 to scientific studies at the Lawrence Scientific School of Harvard University.In his early adulthood, James suffered from a variety of physical ailments, including those of the eyes, back, stomach, and skin He was also tone deaf He was subject to a variety of psychological symptoms which were diagnosed at the time as neurasthenia, and which included periods of depression during which he contemplated suicide for months on end Two younger brothers, Garth Wilkinson Wilky and Robertson Bob , fought in the Civil War The other three siblings William, Henry, and Alice James all suffered from periods of invalidism.He took up medical studies at Harvard Medical School in 1864 He took a break in the spring of 1865 to join naturalist Louis Agassiz on a scientific expedition up the River, but aborted his trip after eight months, as he suffered bouts of severe seasickness and mild smallpox His studies were interrupted once again due to illness in April 1867 He traveled to Germany in search of a cure and remained there until November 1868 at that time he was 26 years old During this period, he began to publish reviews of his works appeared in literary periodicals such as the North America

  • 147 Comments

  • A difference that does not make a difference does not make a differencee squirrel said as he dashed around the tree.



  • I really loved this essay the first time I read it, but now I see several problems with the epistemology he sets forth So did he, as he refined it with time and truly shows it in both The Varieties of Religious Experience, and Pragmatism The Will to Believe still holds a special place in my heart though, and still makes many valid points A perfect introduction for any irreligious person seeking to understand what s going inside the head of a religious person, quickly followed by the Varieties Qu [...]



  • William James And ReligionThroughout his writings as a psychologist and philosopher, William James was preoccupied with questions of religion Put simply, James wrestled with questions about whether Darwin s theory of evolution and mechanistic, physiologically based psychology which he himself had done much to develop in his Principles of Psychology were inconsistent with a spiritual view of life These questions came to the fore for James in the mid 1890s In 1896, James wrote to a friend I am in [...]


  • This collection contains two essays of keen interest to this reader The Will to Believe , Is Life worth Living , while the other essays may be tabled for future read The Will to Believe sets up the question of belief first in the question of what kind of question that faith asks As a hypothesis worthy of discussion in the question of faith, James set up the following way 1 liveness in relation to the individual thinker, and such liveness is directly proportion to his willingness to act, 2 hence, [...]


  • Rating is just for The Will to Believe will update if I read of the essays.James states in his Pragmatism that abstract arguments are only important if choosing one or the other leads to a real difference If no real difference is discernible, than there s no real difference in the arguments just a difference in terminology In this essay he begins with the notion of Hypothesis A hypothesis is anything that may be proposed to our belief this is in accordance with the standard public school notio [...]


  • William James And The Right To BelieveWilliam James s The Will to Believe and other Essays in Popular Philosophy is a collection of nine essays written over a course of seventeen years from 1879 1896 together with a Preface The last of the essays is the controversial essay for which the collection is named, The Will to Believe which, James admitted, might better have been called The Right to Believe The essays originated as lectures which James delivered to philosophical or theological clubs at [...]


  • William James is that great thinker who seems to possess a common sense that reveals what utter BS the received common sense of day to day life is His positions are sane, reasonable, and at the same time utterly revolutionary in their minimal tolerance for preconceived notions Namely, those of the proto logical positivists of his day on one side, and the Hegelians and British empiricists on the other And William James, by and large, wrote these essays not as philosophical monographs but as lectu [...]


  • I am reading and rereading these essays.I find myself very drawn to this turn of the century American philosopher psychologist I need to think about why I find his thoughts appealing and then I can say .Here is a quote from the last paragraph of the first essay, which the collection is titled from If a man chooses to turn his back altogether on God and the future,no one can prevent him no one can show beyond reasonable doubt that he is mistaken If a man thinks otherwise and acts as he thinks, I [...]


  • Bound in these pages is some of the most thought provoking and informative lectures the William James ever gave From The Will to Believe, delivered at both Yale and Brown Universities, in the late 1890s, through Human Immortality, delivered as part of the Ingersoll Lectureship at Harvard, James ability to capture the mood of the subject is riveting.At the twilight of the 19th century, scientific theories, Hegelianism, and Materialism were the de facto topics for discussion and argument satiating [...]


  • What is most interesting about this book is that it was written than a century ago, an apt reminder that the oft dismissive debate between scientists, theologians, and mystics has been with us for a long time It seems that James sound rationality for tolerance and philosophical inclusion gained little traction, however, judging from the current academic and professional pre occupation with the STEM subjects at the expense of philosophy and the liberal arts.James was the consummate and rare advo [...]



  • That 2 star rating is very generous Here are the essays contained within and a few short comments The Will to BelieveIs Life Worth LivingThese two essays are a desperate and failed attempt to justify the notion of faith.The Sentiment of RationalityReflex Action and TheismSome poor psychologism as to what constitutues rationality, and psychologism as to the supposed necessity of accepting theism.The Dilemma of DeterminismUnilluminating discussion as to the supposed necessary acceptance of indete [...]


  • I would say the first three essays the will to believe, is life worth living and the sentiment of rationality are his best In the will to believe, James gives a practical justification for having faith in God, even in the mist of no evidence He cleverly argues how agnostics are the real fools who think they are being wise for, waiting it out by showing their hypocrisy they too act upon their emotions, like the theists He carries this idea of faith into his next essay, by dealing with the questio [...]


  • The Will to Believe is a collection of essays and talks by William James I disagree with James frequently although there is a fair amount I agreed with too That said, he made me think James reasoning is thorough enough that it takes real effort to justify your own disagreement This effort is healthy.If I had to sum up my criticisms of James general reasoning, I would say that 1 He lacks many of the insights from the relatively recent studies showing the connection between psychology, neurology, [...]


  • Faith from a psychological perspective, pragmatism, some bits on the old rationalism versus epiricism debate, a kind of ontological approach to the question of free will, evolution, and what have you Going through my notes, I find it hard to give a concise review because this is not a coherent book but a collection of essays that have something to do with belief or religion in a very general sense I think this book might give you a good broad overview over James universe of thought but it I don [...]


  • Our passional nature not only lawfully may, but must decide upon an option between propositions, whenever it is a genuine option that cannot by its nature be decided on intellectual grounds, for to say, under such circumstances, Do not decide, but leave the question open, is itself a passional decision, just like deciding yes or no, and is attended with the same risk of losing the truth In my world there are three philosophers who sum up the world views of humanity Plato, Aristotle, and James Th [...]


  • There is a very broad spectrum of topic here, ranging from those familiar with James concepts of empiricism and pragmatism to topics a little out there the paranormal, ESP, etc As with all James writings, peppered with poetry and terminology that makes for a good study of prose and antiquarian vocabulary It s always enlightening to me to see the context of his times play out in the rhetoric of his works, while many of our contemporary notions have significantly evolved, many haven t.Personally [...]


  • Too prolix Varieties of Religious Experience is a great and stimulating read its advantage over this volume is that it s on a single unified theme.I read a couple of the essays but after a while, frankly, I got bored.I might have had staying power with it in the slower and less book overloaded world in which its essays were written Having not truly read it I can t presume to judge it definitively, but I can say that I have the impression that much of it has aged less well than Varieties , which [...]


  • In the midst of an explosion of philosophies and a questioning of almost everything in existence, both ourselves and the surrounding universe William James charts a course of thought that challenged the foundations of them all Whether it was Evolution, Determinism, Empiricism, Agnosticism, Atheism or branches of them all, he adroitly works through their reasonings and bring us back to the basics It will take some time and focus to read this remarkable book, but it will be well worth your time.


  • These words analyze every notion in the the will to believe essay If we stand still we shall be frozen to death If we take the wrong road we shall be dashed to pieces We don t certainly know whether there is any right one What must we do be strong and of a good courage Act for the best, hope for the best and take what comes If death ends all, we cannot meet death better.


  • Scepticism, then, is not avoidance of opinion it is option of a certain particular kind of risk Better risk loss of truth than chance of error, that is your faith vetoer s exact position Sometimes staid, sometimes ebullient But a lucid and cogent treatment of philosophic dogmatism from the point of view of radical empiricism.


  • Wow, where was I when I decided to buy this book Thank god it was only 3.99.Don t get me wrong, I m not saying this is a bad book All I m saying is I don t give a fuck about philosophical discussions about religion Well, maybe I do, but definitely not in the form of a book.


  • I may have read this collection while taking a philosophy course with Christopher Morse at Union Theological Seminary in New York Of the essays, The Will to Believe impressed me most with its arguments for the ontologically constituative nature of certain beliefs.


  • James essays, while certainly dated, are thoroughly worth engaging, especially if you re interested in the intersections of philosophy, theology, and science It s one of those classics which, once read, you wonder why you hadn t read before.



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