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Quotes by William James (Page 2 of 2)

Quote: It never occurs to most of us .. that the question 'what is the truth' is no real question (being irrelative to all conditions) and that the whole notion of the truth is an abstraction from the fact of truths in the plural, a mere useful summarizing phrase like the Latin language or the Law. by author William James overlaid on photo of William James quote: It never occurs to most of us .. that the question 'what is the truth' is no real question (being irrelative to all conditions) and that the whole notion of the truth is an abstraction from the fact of truths in the plural, a mere useful summarizing phrase like the Latin language or the Law.- black text on quotes background

It never occurs to most of us .. that the question 'what is the truth' is no real question (being irrelative to all conditions) and that the whole notion of the truth is an abstraction from the fact of truths in the plural, a mere useful summarizing phrase like the Latin language or the Law.


Quote: I myself believe that the evidence for God lies primarily in inner personal experiences. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

I myself believe that the evidence for God lies primarily in inner personal experiences.


Quote: Common sense is better for one sphere of life, science for another, philosophic criticism for a third; but whether either be truer absolutely, heaven only knows. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Common sense is better for one sphere of life, science for another, philosophic criticism for a third; but whether either be truer absolutely, heaven only knows.


Quote: In the practical use of our intellect, forgetting is as important a function as recollecting. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

In the practical use of our intellect, forgetting is as important a function as recollecting.


Quote: Theories thus become instruments, not answers to enigmas, in which we can rest.
We don't lie back upon them, we move forward, and, on occasion, make nature
again over by their aid. Pragmatism unstiffens all our theories, limbers them up
and sets each one at work. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Theories thus become instruments, not answers to enigmas, in which we can rest.
We don't lie back upon them, we move forward, and, on occasion, make nature
again over by their aid. Pragmatism unstiffens all our theories, limbers them up
and sets each one at work.


Quote: If my inborn faculties are good, I am a prophet; if poor, I am a failure: nature spews me out of her mouth, and there is an end of me. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

If my inborn faculties are good, I am a prophet; if poor, I am a failure: nature spews me out of her mouth, and there is an end of me.


Quote: Pluralism lets things really exist in the each-form or distributively. Monism thinks that the all-form or collective-unit form is the only form that is rational. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Pluralism lets things really exist in the each-form or distributively. Monism thinks that the all-form or collective-unit form is the only form that is rational.


Quote: Religious experience, as we have studied it, cannot be cited as unequivocally supporting the infinitist belief. The only thingthat it unequivocally testifies to is that we can experience union with something larger than ourselves and in that union find our greatest peace. by author William James overlaid on photo of William James quote; white text on black background

Religious experience, as we have studied it, cannot be cited as unequivocally supporting the infinitist belief. The only thingthat it unequivocally testifies to is that we can experience union with something larger than ourselves and in that union find our greatest peace.


Quote: The lunatic's visions of horror are all drawn from the material of daily fact. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

The lunatic's visions of horror are all drawn from the material of daily fact.


Quote: Religion ... shall mean for us the feelings, acts and experiences of individual men in their solitude. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Religion ... shall mean for us the feelings, acts and experiences of individual men in their solitude.


Quote: Every sort of energy and endurance, of courage and capacity for handling life's evils, is set free in those who have religious faith. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Every sort of energy and endurance, of courage and capacity for handling life's evils, is set free in those who have religious faith.


Quote: If there is aught of good in the style, it is the result of ceaseless toil in rewriting. Everything comes out wrong with me at first; but when once objectified in a crude shape, I can torture and poke and scrape and pat it till it offends me no more. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

If there is aught of good in the style, it is the result of ceaseless toil in rewriting. Everything comes out wrong with me at first; but when once objectified in a crude shape, I can torture and poke and scrape and pat it till it offends me no more.


Quote: The suspicion is in the air nowadays that the superiority of one of our formulas to another may not consist so much in its literal 'objectivity,' as in subjective qualities like its usefulness, its 'elegance,' or its congruity with our residual beliefs. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

The suspicion is in the air nowadays that the superiority of one of our formulas to another may not consist so much in its literal 'objectivity,' as in subjective qualities like its usefulness, its 'elegance,' or its congruity with our residual beliefs.


Quote: A good hypothesis in science must have other properties than those of the phenomenon it is immediately invoked to explain, otherwise it is not prolific enough. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

A good hypothesis in science must have other properties than those of the phenomenon it is immediately invoked to explain, otherwise it is not prolific enough.




Quote: No reception without reaction, no impression without correlative expression, -this is the great maxim which the teacher ought never to forget. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

No reception without reaction, no impression without correlative expression, -this is the great maxim which the teacher ought never to forget.


Quote: Don't preach too much to your pupils or abound in good talk in the abstract. Lie in wait rather for the practical opportunities, be prompt to seize those as they pass, and thus at one operation get your pupils both to think, to feel, and to do. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Don't preach too much to your pupils or abound in good talk in the abstract. Lie in wait rather for the practical opportunities, be prompt to seize those as they pass, and thus at one operation get your pupils both to think, to feel, and to do.


Quote: All our scientific and philosophic ideals are altars to unknown gods. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

All our scientific and philosophic ideals are altars to unknown gods.


Quote: I originally studied medicine in order to be a physiologist, but I drifted into psychology and philosophy from a sort of fatality. I never had any philosophic instruction, the first lecture on psychology I ever heard being the first I ever gave. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

I originally studied medicine in order to be a physiologist, but I drifted into psychology and philosophy from a sort of fatality. I never had any philosophic instruction, the first lecture on psychology I ever heard being the first I ever gave.




Quote: Good-humor is a philosophic state of mind; it seems to say to Nature that we take her no more seriously than she takes us. I maintain that one should always talk of philosophy with a smile. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Good-humor is a philosophic state of mind; it seems to say to Nature that we take her no more seriously than she takes us. I maintain that one should always talk of philosophy with a smile.


Quote: As long as there are postmen, life will have zest. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

As long as there are postmen, life will have zest.


Quote: We are not only gregarious animals, liking to be in sight of our fellows, but we have an innate propensity to get ourselves noticed, and noticed favorably, by our kind. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

We are not only gregarious animals, liking to be in sight of our fellows, but we have an innate propensity to get ourselves noticed, and noticed favorably, by our kind.


Quote: The instinct of ownership is fundamental in man's nature. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

The instinct of ownership is fundamental in man's nature.


Quote: Neither moral relations nor the moral law can swing in vacuo. Their only habitat can be a mind which feels them; and no world composed of merely physical facts can possibly be a world to which ethical propositions apply. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Neither moral relations nor the moral law can swing in vacuo. Their only habitat can be a mind which feels them; and no world composed of merely physical facts can possibly be a world to which ethical propositions apply.


Quote: When a thing is new, people say: It is not true. Later, when its truth becomes obvious, they say: It is not important. Finally, when its importance cannot be denied, they say: Anyway, it is not new. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

When a thing is new, people say: It is not true. Later, when its truth becomes obvious, they say: It is not important. Finally, when its importance cannot be denied, they say: Anyway, it is not new.


Quote: Human beings are born into this little span of life of which the best thing is its friendships and intimacies … and yet they leave their friendships and intimacies with no cultivation, to grow as they will by the roadside, expecting them to keep by force of mere inertia. by author William James overlaid on photo of William James quote; white text on black background

Human beings are born into this little span of life of which the best thing is its friendships and intimacies … and yet they leave their friendships and intimacies with no cultivation, to grow as they will by the roadside, expecting them to keep by force of mere inertia.








Quote: Smitten as we are with the vision of social righteousness, a God indifferent to everything but adulation, and full of partiality for his individual favorites, lacks an essential element of largeness. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Smitten as we are with the vision of social righteousness, a God indifferent to everything but adulation, and full of partiality for his individual favorites, lacks an essential element of largeness.


Quote: The perfect stillness of the night was thrilled by a more solemn silence. The darkness held a presence that was all the more felt because it was not seen. I could not any more have doubted that HE was there than that I was. Indeed, I felt myself to be, if possible, the less real of the two. by author William James overlaid on photo of William James quote: The perfect stillness of the night was thrilled by a more solemn silence. The darkness held a presence that was all the more felt because it was not seen. I could not any more have doubted that HE was there than that I was. Indeed, I felt myself to be, if possible, the less real of the two.- black text on quotes background

The perfect stillness of the night was thrilled by a more solemn silence. The darkness held a presence that was all the more felt because it was not seen. I could not any more have doubted that HE was there than that I was. Indeed, I felt myself to be, if possible, the less real of the two.


Quote: The simplest rudiment of mystical experience would seem to be that deepened sense of the significance of a maxim or formula which occasionally sweeps over one. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

The simplest rudiment of mystical experience would seem to be that deepened sense of the significance of a maxim or formula which occasionally sweeps over one.


Quote: Habit simplifies our movements, makes them accurate, and diminishes fatigue. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Habit simplifies our movements, makes them accurate, and diminishes fatigue.


Quote: The study a posteriori of the distribution of consciousness shows it to be exactly such as we might expect in an organ added for the sake of steering a nervous system grown too complex to regulate itself. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

The study a posteriori of the distribution of consciousness shows it to be exactly such as we might expect in an organ added for the sake of steering a nervous system grown too complex to regulate itself.


Quote: General scepticism is the live mental attitude of refusing to conclude. It is a permanent torpor of the will, renewing itself in detail towards each successive thesis that offers, and you can no more kill it off by logic than you can kill off obstinacy or practical joking. by author William James overlaid on photo of William James quote; white text on black background

General scepticism is the live mental attitude of refusing to conclude. It is a permanent torpor of the will, renewing itself in detail towards each successive thesis that offers, and you can no more kill it off by logic than you can kill off obstinacy or practical joking.


Quote: There is but one indefectibly certain truth , and that is the truth that pyrrhonistic scepticism itself leaves standing, the truth that the present phenomenon of consciousness exists. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

There is but one indefectibly certain truth , and that is the truth that pyrrhonistic scepticism itself leaves standing, the truth that the present phenomenon of consciousness exists.


Quote: The work that leads to a doctor's degree is a constant temptation to sacrifice one's growth as a man to one's growth as a specialist. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

The work that leads to a doctor's degree is a constant temptation to sacrifice one's growth as a man to one's growth as a specialist.


Quote: You make a great, very great mistake, if you think that psychology, being the science of the mind's laws, is something from which you can deduce definite programmes and schemes and methods of instruction for immediate schoolroom use. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

You make a great, very great mistake, if you think that psychology, being the science of the mind's laws, is something from which you can deduce definite programmes and schemes and methods of instruction for immediate schoolroom use.


Quote: How pleasant is the day when we give up striving to be young-or slender. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

How pleasant is the day when we give up striving to be young-or slender.




Quote: If theological ideas prove to have a value for concrete life, they will be true, for pragmatism, in the sense of being good for so much. How much more they are true, will depend entirely on their relations to the other truths that also have to be acknowledged. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

If theological ideas prove to have a value for concrete life, they will be true, for pragmatism, in the sense of being good for so much. How much more they are true, will depend entirely on their relations to the other truths that also have to be acknowledged.


Quote: Humanism ... is not a single hypothesis or theorem, and it dwells on no new facts. It is rather a slow shifting in the philosophic perspective, making things appear as from a new centre of interest or point of sight. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Humanism ... is not a single hypothesis or theorem, and it dwells on no new facts. It is rather a slow shifting in the philosophic perspective, making things appear as from a new centre of interest or point of sight.


Quote: As we take, in fact, a general view of the wonderful stream of our consciousness, what strikes us first is this different pace of its parts. Like a bird 's life, it seems to be made of an alternation of flights and perchings. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

As we take, in fact, a general view of the wonderful stream of our consciousness, what strikes us first is this different pace of its parts. Like a bird 's life, it seems to be made of an alternation of flights and perchings.




Quote: The intellectual life of man consists almost wholly in his substitution of conceptual order for the perceptual order in which his experience originally comes. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

The intellectual life of man consists almost wholly in his substitution of conceptual order for the perceptual order in which his experience originally comes.


Quote: The one who thinks over his experiences most, and weaves them into systematic relations with each other, will be the one with the best memory. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

The one who thinks over his experiences most, and weaves them into systematic relations with each other, will be the one with the best memory.




Quote: Materialism means simply the denial that the moral order is eternal, and the cutting off of ultimate hopes; spiritualism means theaffirmation of an eternal moral order and the letting loose of hope. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Materialism means simply the denial that the moral order is eternal, and the cutting off of ultimate hopes; spiritualism means theaffirmation of an eternal moral order and the letting loose of hope.


Quote: Since belief is measured by action, he who forbids us to believe religion to be true, necessarily also forbids us to act as we should if we did believe it to be true. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Since belief is measured by action, he who forbids us to believe religion to be true, necessarily also forbids us to act as we should if we did believe it to be true.


Quote: Men are now proud of belonging to a conquering nation, and without a murmur they lay down their persons and their wealth, if by so doing they may fend off subjection. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Men are now proud of belonging to a conquering nation, and without a murmur they lay down their persons and their wealth, if by so doing they may fend off subjection.


Quote: So with the man who has daily inured himself to habits of concentrated attention, energetic volition, and self-denial in unnecessary things. He will stand like a tower when everything rocks around him, and when his softer fellow-mortals are winnowed like chaff in the blast. by author William James overlaid on photo of William James quote; white text on black background

So with the man who has daily inured himself to habits of concentrated attention, energetic volition, and self-denial in unnecessary things. He will stand like a tower when everything rocks around him, and when his softer fellow-mortals are winnowed like chaff in the blast.




Quote: The impulse to take life strivingly is indestructible in the race. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

The impulse to take life strivingly is indestructible in the race.


Quote: The unrest which keeps the never stopping clock of metaphysics going is the thought that the nonexistence of this world is just as possible as its existence. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

The unrest which keeps the never stopping clock of metaphysics going is the thought that the nonexistence of this world is just as possible as its existence.




Quote: Religion must be considered vindicated in a certain way from the attacks of her critics. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Religion must be considered vindicated in a certain way from the attacks of her critics.


Quote: He who refuses to embrace a unique opportunity loses the prize as surely as if he had failed. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

He who refuses to embrace a unique opportunity loses the prize as surely as if he had failed.


Quote: As the brain-changes are continuous, so do all these consciousnesses melt into each other like dissolving views. Properly they are but one protracted consciousness, one unbroken stream. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

As the brain-changes are continuous, so do all these consciousnesses melt into each other like dissolving views. Properly they are but one protracted consciousness, one unbroken stream.


Quote: Habit is thus the enormous fly-wheel of society, its most precious conservative agent. It alone is what keeps us all within the bounds of ordinance. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Habit is thus the enormous fly-wheel of society, its most precious conservative agent. It alone is what keeps us all within the bounds of ordinance.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

Habit is thus the enormous flywheel of society, its most precious conservative agent. It alone is what keeps us all within the bounds of ordinance, and saves the children of fortune from the envious uprisings of the poor.


Quote: True is the name for whatever idea starts the verification process, useful is the name for its completed function in experience. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

True is the name for whatever idea starts the verification process, useful is the name for its completed function in experience.


Quote: Truth for us is simply a collective name for verification processes. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Truth for us is simply a collective name for verification processes.


Quote: When you have broken the reality into concepts you never can reconstruct it in its wholeness. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

When you have broken the reality into concepts you never can reconstruct it in its wholeness.


Quote: The god whom science recognizes must be a God of universal laws exclusively, a God who does a wholesale, not a retail business. He cannot accommodate his processes to the convenience of individuals. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

The god whom science recognizes must be a God of universal laws exclusively, a God who does a wholesale, not a retail business. He cannot accommodate his processes to the convenience of individuals.


Quote: Our belief at the beginning of a doubtful undertaking is the one thing that assures the successful outcome of any venture. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Our belief at the beginning of a doubtful undertaking is the one thing that assures the successful outcome of any venture.


Quote: The difference between an interesting and a tedious teacher consists in little more than the inventiveness by which the one is able to mediate these associations and connections, and in the dullness in discovering such transitions which the other shows. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

The difference between an interesting and a tedious teacher consists in little more than the inventiveness by which the one is able to mediate these associations and connections, and in the dullness in discovering such transitions which the other shows.


Quote: A sense of humor is just common sense dancing. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

A sense of humor is just common sense dancing.


Quote: Psychology is a science, and teaching is an art; and sciences never generate arts directly out of themselves. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Psychology is a science, and teaching is an art; and sciences never generate arts directly out of themselves.


Quote: We need only in cold blood to act as if the thing in question were real and it will infallibly end by growing into such a connection with our life that it will become real. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

We need only in cold blood to act as if the thing in question were real and it will infallibly end by growing into such a connection with our life that it will become real.




Quote: The union of the mathematician with the poet, fervor with measure, passion with correctness, this surely is the ideal. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

The union of the mathematician with the poet, fervor with measure, passion with correctness, this surely is the ideal.




Quote: Whenever two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Whenever two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is.


Quote: All religions and spiritual traditions begin with the cry Help! by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

All religions and spiritual traditions begin with the cry Help!


Quote: The war against war is going to be no holiday excursion or camping party. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

The war against war is going to be no holiday excursion or camping party.


Quote: When once a decision is reached and execution is the order of the day, dismiss absolutely all responsibility and care about the outcome. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

When once a decision is reached and execution is the order of the day, dismiss absolutely all responsibility and care about the outcome.


Quote: We have grown literally afraid to be poor. We despise anyone who elects to be poor in order to simplify and save his inner life. If he does not join the general scramble and pant with the money-making street, we deem him spiritless and lacking in ambition. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

We have grown literally afraid to be poor. We despise anyone who elects to be poor in order to simplify and save his inner life. If he does not join the general scramble and pant with the money-making street, we deem him spiritless and lacking in ambition.


Quote: Why may we not be in the universe, as our dogs and cats are in our drawingrooms and libraries? by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Why may we not be in the universe, as our dogs and cats are in our drawingrooms and libraries?


Quote: Tell him to live by yes and no -- yes to everything good, no to everything bad. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Tell him to live by yes and no -- yes to everything good, no to everything bad.


Quote: Individuality is founded in feeling. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Individuality is founded in feeling.


Quote: It is your friends who make your world. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

It is your friends who make your world.


Quote: History is a bath of blood. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

History is a bath of blood.


Quote: It makes a tremendous emotional and practical difference to one whether one accepts the universe in the drab discolored way of stoic resignation to necessity, or with the passionate happiness of Christian saints. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

It makes a tremendous emotional and practical difference to one whether one accepts the universe in the drab discolored way of stoic resignation to necessity, or with the passionate happiness of Christian saints.


Quote: Your hopes, dreams and aspirations are legitimate. They are trying to take you airborne, above the clouds, above the storms, if you only let them. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Your hopes, dreams and aspirations are legitimate. They are trying to take you airborne, above the clouds, above the storms, if you only let them.


Quote: It is as important to cultivate your silence power as your word power. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

It is as important to cultivate your silence power as your word power.


Quote: What the whole community comes to believe in grasps the individual as in a vise. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

What the whole community comes to believe in grasps the individual as in a vise.




Quote: The attitude of unhappiness is not only painful, it is mean and ugly. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

The attitude of unhappiness is not only painful, it is mean and ugly.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

The attitude of unhappiness is not only painful, it is mean and ugly. What can be more base and unworthy than the pining, puling, mumping mood, no matter by what outward ills it may have been engendered? What is more injurious to others? What less helpful as a way out of the difficulty? It but fastens and perpetuates the trouble which occasioned it, and increases the total evil of the situation. At all costs, then, we ought to reduce the sway of that mood; we ought to scout it in ourselves and others, and never show it tolerance.


Quote: Why should we think upon things that are lovely Because thinking determines life. It is a common habit to blame life upon the environment. Environment modifies life but does not govern life. The soul is stronger than its surroundings. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Why should we think upon things that are lovely Because thinking determines life. It is a common habit to blame life upon the environment. Environment modifies life but does not govern life. The soul is stronger than its surroundings.


Quote: Success or failure depends more upon attitude than upon capacity. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Success or failure depends more upon attitude than upon capacity.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

Success or failure depends more upon attitude than upon capacity successful men act as though they have accomplished or are enjoying something. Soon it becomes a reality. Act, look, feel successful, conduct yourself accordingly, and you will be amazed at the positive results.


Quote: Pessimism leads to weakness. Optimism leads to power. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Pessimism leads to weakness. Optimism leads to power.


Quote: If you can change your mind, you can change your life. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

If you can change your mind, you can change your life.


Quote: The more rational statement is that we feel sorry because we strike, afraid because we tremble, and not that we cry, strike, or tremble because we are sorry, angry, or fearful as the case may be. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

The more rational statement is that we feel sorry because we strike, afraid because we tremble, and not that we cry, strike, or tremble because we are sorry, angry, or fearful as the case may be.


Quote: Wisdom is learning what to overlook. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Wisdom is learning what to overlook.


Quote: The ultimate test of what a truth means is the conduct it dictates or inspires. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

The ultimate test of what a truth means is the conduct it dictates or inspires.


Quote: The deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

The deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated.


Quote: Give your dreams all you've got and you'll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Give your dreams all you've got and you'll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you.


Quote: Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.


Quote: Knowledge about life is one thing; effective occupation of a place in life, with its dynamic currents passing through your being, is another. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Knowledge about life is one thing; effective occupation of a place in life, with its dynamic currents passing through your being, is another.


Quote: Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.


Quote: Our esteem for facts has not neutralized in us all religiousness. It is itself almost religious. Our scientific temper is devout. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Our esteem for facts has not neutralized in us all religiousness. It is itself almost religious. Our scientific temper is devout.


Quote: Be willing to have it so. Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Be willing to have it so. Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.


Quote: Every man who possibly can should force himself to a holiday of a full month in a year, whether he feels like taking it or not. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Every man who possibly can should force himself to a holiday of a full month in a year, whether he feels like taking it or not.


Quote: I don't sing because I'm happy; I'm happy because I sing. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

I don't sing because I'm happy; I'm happy because I sing.


Quote: I will act as if what I do makes a difference. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

I will act as if what I do makes a difference.


Quote: If any organism fails to fulfill its potentialities, it becomes sick. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

If any organism fails to fulfill its potentialities, it becomes sick.


Quote: To be a real philosopher all that is necessary is to hate some one else's type of thinking. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

To be a real philosopher all that is necessary is to hate some one else's type of thinking.


Quote: There must be something solemn, serious, and tender about any attitude which we denominate religious. If glad, it must not grin or snicker; if sad, it must not scream or curse. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

There must be something solemn, serious, and tender about any attitude which we denominate religious. If glad, it must not grin or snicker; if sad, it must not scream or curse.


Quote: We are doomed to cling to a life even while we find it unendurable. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

We are doomed to cling to a life even while we find it unendurable.


Quote: The essence of genius is to know what to overlook. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

The essence of genius is to know what to overlook.


Quote: How to gain, how to keep, how to recover happiness is in fact for most men at all times the secret motive of all they do, and of all they are willing to endure. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

How to gain, how to keep, how to recover happiness is in fact for most men at all times the secret motive of all they do, and of all they are willing to endure.


Quote: Our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different.


Quote: We are all ready to be savage in some cause. The difference between a good man and a bad one is the choice of the cause. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

We are all ready to be savage in some cause. The difference between a good man and a bad one is the choice of the cause.


Quote: Could the young but realize how soon they will become mere walking bundles of habits, they would give more heed to their conduct while in the plastic state. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Could the young but realize how soon they will become mere walking bundles of habits, they would give more heed to their conduct while in the plastic state.


Quote: To be conscious means not simply to be, but to be reported, known, to have awareness of one's being added to that being. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

To be conscious means not simply to be, but to be reported, known, to have awareness of one's being added to that being.


Quote: The ideas gained by men before they are twenty-five are practically the only ideas they shall have in their lives. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

The ideas gained by men before they are twenty-five are practically the only ideas they shall have in their lives.


Quote: There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.


Quote: An idea, to be suggestive, must come to the individual with the force of revelation. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

An idea, to be suggestive, must come to the individual with the force of revelation.


Quote: It is well for the world that in most of us, by the age of thirty, the character has set like plaster, and will never soften again. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

It is well for the world that in most of us, by the age of thirty, the character has set like plaster, and will never soften again.


Quote: A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.


Quote: Whatever universe a professor believes in must at any rate be a universe that lends itself to lengthy discourse. A universe definable in two sentences is something for which the professorial intellect has no use. No faith in anything of that cheap kind! by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Whatever universe a professor believes in must at any rate be a universe that lends itself to lengthy discourse. A universe definable in two sentences is something for which the professorial intellect has no use. No faith in anything of that cheap kind!


Quote: The hell to be endured hereafter, of which theology tells, is no worse than the hell we make for ourselves in this world by habitually fashioned our characters in the wrong way. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

The hell to be endured hereafter, of which theology tells, is no worse than the hell we make for ourselves in this world by habitually fashioned our characters in the wrong way.


Quote: It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live at all. And often enough our faith beforehand in an uncertified result is the only thing that makes the result come true. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live at all. And often enough our faith beforehand in an uncertified result is the only thing that makes the result come true.


Quote: There is an organic affinity between joyousness and tenderness, and their companionship in the saintly life need in no way occasion surprise. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

There is an organic affinity between joyousness and tenderness, and their companionship in the saintly life need in no way occasion surprise.


Quote: Let everything you do be done as if it makes a difference. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Let everything you do be done as if it makes a difference.


Quote: Everybody should do at least two things each day that he hates to do, just for practice. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Everybody should do at least two things each day that he hates to do, just for practice.


Quote: To be radical, an empiricism must neither admit into its constructions any element that is not directly experienced, nor exclude from them any element that is directly experienced. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

To be radical, an empiricism must neither admit into its constructions any element that is not directly experienced, nor exclude from them any element that is directly experienced.


Quote: Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.


Quote: The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.


Quote: Whenever you're in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Whenever you're in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.


Quote: Do something everyday for no other reason than you would rather not do it, so that when the hour of dire need draws nigh, it may find you not unnerved and untrained to stand the test. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Do something everyday for no other reason than you would rather not do it, so that when the hour of dire need draws nigh, it may find you not unnerved and untrained to stand the test.


Quote: Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.


Quote: One hearty laugh together will bring enemies into a closer communion of heart than hours spent on both sides in inward wrestling with the mental demon of uncharitable feeling. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

One hearty laugh together will bring enemies into a closer communion of heart than hours spent on both sides in inward wrestling with the mental demon of uncharitable feeling.


Quote: We have to live today by what truth we can get today and be ready tomorrow to call it falsehood. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

We have to live today by what truth we can get today and be ready tomorrow to call it falsehood.


Quote: An act has no ethical quality whatever unless it be chosen out of several all equally possible. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

An act has no ethical quality whatever unless it be chosen out of several all equally possible.


Quote: When you have to make a choice and don't make it, that is in itself a choice. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

When you have to make a choice and don't make it, that is in itself a choice.


Quote: The world we see that seems so insane is the result of a belief system that is not working. To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system, let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and dissolve the fear in our minds. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

The world we see that seems so insane is the result of a belief system that is not working. To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system, let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and dissolve the fear in our minds.


Quote: To study the abnormal is the best way of understanding the normal. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

To study the abnormal is the best way of understanding the normal.


Quote: Where quality is the thing sought after, the thing of supreme quality is cheap, whatever the price one has to pay for it. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Where quality is the thing sought after, the thing of supreme quality is cheap, whatever the price one has to pay for it.


Quote: The sovereign cure for worry is prayer. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

The sovereign cure for worry is prayer.


Quote: We don't laugh because we're happy -- we're happy because we laugh. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

We don't laugh because we're happy -- we're happy because we laugh.


Quote: The history of philosophy is to a great extent that of a certain clash of human temperaments. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

The history of philosophy is to a great extent that of a certain clash of human temperaments.


Quote: The greatest enemy of any one of our truths may be the rest of our truths. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

The greatest enemy of any one of our truths may be the rest of our truths.


Quote: Our errors are surely not such awfully solemn things. In a world where we are so certain to incur them in spite of all our caution, a certain lightness of heart seems healthier than this excessive nervousness on their behalf. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Our errors are surely not such awfully solemn things. In a world where we are so certain to incur them in spite of all our caution, a certain lightness of heart seems healthier than this excessive nervousness on their behalf.


Quote: Is life worth living? It all depends on the liver. by author William James overlaid on photo of photo of author William James with quote

Is life worth living? It all depends on the liver.


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