William James

1842 - 1910

A Quote by William James on emotion

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A purely disembodied human emotion is a nonentity.

William James (1842 - 1910)

Source: The Principles of Psychology

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by William James on habits and indecision

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

William James (1842 - 1910)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by William James on lies and truth

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There is no worse lie than a truth misunderstood by those who hear it.

William James (1842 - 1910)

Source: The Verities of Religious Experience, 1902

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A Quote by William James on divinity, life, and survival

Our life is always deeper than we know, is always more divine than it seems, and hence we are able to survive degradations and despairs which otherwise must engulf us.

William James (1842 - 1910)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by William James on life, privacy, success, and universe

If this life be not a real fight, in which something is eternally gained for the universe by success, it is no better than a game of private theatricals from which one may withdraw at will. But it feels like a real fight.

William James (1842 - 1910)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by William James on life and worth

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This life is worth living, we can say, since it is what we make it, from the moral point of view.

William James (1842 - 1910)

Source: The Verities of Religious Experience, 1902

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by William James on idealism, passion, and poets

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

William James (1842 - 1910)

Source: Collected Essays.

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A Quote by William James on college and kindness

Our colleges ought to have lit up in us a lasting relish for the better kind of man, a loss of appetite for mediocrities.

William James (1842 - 1910)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by William James on appreciation and nature

The deepest craving in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.

William James (1842 - 1910)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by William James on adoption, chance, community, genius, individuality, justice, life, men, mystery, nations, people, purity, surprises, time, and work

Sporadic great men come everywhere. But for a community to get vibrating through and through with intensely active life, many geniuses coming together and in rapid succession are required. This is why great epochs are so rare, - why the sudden bloom of a Greece, an early Rome, a Renaissance, is such a mystery. Blow must follow blow so fast that no cooling can occur in the intervals. Then the mass of the nation glows incandescent, and may continue to glow by pure inertia long after the originators of its internal movement have passed away. We often hear surprise expressed that in these high tides of human affairs not only the people should be filled with stronger life, but that individual geniuses should seem so exceptionally abundant. This mystery is just about as deep as the time-honored conundrum as to why great rivers flow by great towns. It is true that great public fermentations awaken and adopt many geniuses who in more torpid times would have had no chance to work. But over and above this there must be an exceptional concourse of genius about a time, to make the fermentation begin at all. The unlikeliness of the concourse is far greater than the unlikeliness of any particular genius; hence the rarity of these periods and the exceptional aspect which they always wear.

William James (1842 - 1910)

Contributed by: Zaady

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