978-0-486-20291-4 / 9780486202914

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


Publisher:Dover Publications



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About the book:

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 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.

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