William James Quotes

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

William James

There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers.

William James

I know that you, ladies and gentlemen, have a philosophy, each and all of you, and that the most interesting and important thing about you is the way in which it determines the perspective in your several worlds.

William James

Philosophy is at once the most sublime and the most trivial of human pursuits.

William James

If you believe that feeling bad or worrying long enough will change a past or future event, then you are residing on another planet with a different reality system.

William James

If you believe that feeling bad or worrying long enough will change a past or future event, then you are residing on another planet with a different reality system.

William James

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

William James

Science, like life, feeds on its own decay. New facts burst old rules; then newly divined conceptions bind old and new together into a reconciling law.

William James

We must make automatic and habitual, as early as possible, as many useful actions as we can... . The more of the details of our daily life we can hand over to the effortless custody of automatism, the ore our higher powers of mind will be set free for their own proper work

William James

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

William James

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.

William James

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

William James

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

William James

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

William James

Metaphysics means nothing but an unusually obstinate effort to think clearly.

William James

Our ideas must agree with realities, be such realities concrete or abstract, be they facts or be they principles, under penalty of endless inconsistency and frustration.

William James
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