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

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

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    One thought on “The Will to Believe, Human Immortality and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy

    1. Ross on said:

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

    2. Jake Hawken on said:

      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 [...]

    3. Robin Friedman on said:

      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 [...]

    4. Ci on said:

      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, [...]

    5. Andrew on said:

      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 [...]

    6. Robin Friedman on said:

      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 [...]

    7. Andrew on said:

      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 [...]

    8. Jeff Sulik on said:

      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 [...]

    9. Brandt on said:

      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 [...]

    10. Gary Moreau on said:

      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 [...]

    11. Timmy on said:

      Excellent writings from William James Must read as someone who is looking for an explanation of belief faith.

    12. Tom on said:

      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 [...]

    13. Alex Kartelias on said:

      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 [...]

    14. Erika RS on said:

      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, [...]

    15. Armin on said:

      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 [...]

    16. Dan Johnson on said:

      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 [...]

    17. Geoff on said:

      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 [...]

    18. Tim on said:

      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 [...]

    19. Thurman Faison on said:

      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.

    20. Arzaq Al-najjar on said:

      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.

    21. Ollie Austin on said:

      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.

    22. Kurt Gielen on said:

      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.

    23. Erik Graff on said:

      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.

    24. JH on said:

      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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