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Literary and Philosophical Quotes -- Philosophers -- William James


Quotes by William James

William James, born Jan. 11, 1842, New York, N.Y., U.S., died Aug. 26, 1910, Chocorua, N.H. American psychologist and philosopher. A founder of pragmatism and functionalism, he developed an approach to intellectual issues that greatly influenced American thought. His works include The Principles of Psychology (1890) and The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902).

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  • Our esteem for facts has not neutralized in us all religiousness. It is itself almost religious. Our scientific temper is devout.
  • The world is all the richer for having a devil in it, so long as we keep our foot upon his neck.
  • We are doomed to cling to a life even while we find it unendurable.
  • Fatalism, whose solving word in all crises of behavior is All striving is vain, will never reign supreme, for the impulse to take life strivingly is indestructible in the race. Moral creeds which speak to that impulse will be widely successful in spite of inconsistency, vagueness, and shadowy determination of expectancy. Man needs a rule for his will, and will invent one if one be not given him.
  • A little cooling down of animal excitability and instinct, a little loss of animal toughness, a little irritable weakness and descent of the pain-threshold, will bring the worm at the core of all our usual springs of delight into full view, and turn us into melancholy metaphysicians.
  • A chain is no stronger than its weakest link, and life is after all a chain.
  • More Quotes by William James: Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a Nobel Prize winner, is described by many a mind as a literary genius whose extraordinary talent matches that of Dostoyevsky, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Pushkin and Gorky. Biography, quotes, photos, news articles, books and reviews.

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