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William James : Writings 1902-1910 : The Varieties of Religious Experience / Pragmatism / A Pluralistic Universe / The Meaning of Truth / Some Problems of Philosophy / Essays (Library of America) Hardcover – February 1, 1988
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Top Customer Reviews
For those readers with no prior familiarity with James, I suggest beginning with a brief essay "Answers to a Questionniare" (p. 1183) that James wrote in response to questions from a colleague at Harvard about the role of religion in life. In his answers, James briefly summarizes his theism and his conviction of the value of religious experience. He writes that "Religion means primarily a universe of spiritual relations surrounding the earthly practical ones, not merely relations of 'value,' but agencies and their activities". James says that his belief in immortality had increased over the years as he is "just getting fit to live." As to the authority of the Bible, James states that it is not his authority in religious matters. Rather, he describes it is "so human a book that I don't see how belief in its divine authorship can survive the reading of it.Read more ›
This volume also contains James summary statement of , what is often claimed to be, the only original philosophy invented in America, 'Pragmatism'. Along with C.S. Pierce and their pupil John Dewey , James is the great founding figure of ' pragmatism' of bringing a theory of truth before the world which stresses the consequences of the statement, the ' cash value' of the idea.
I myself prefer the depth of experiences offered in 'The Variety of Religious Experience' to the rather plain fare given in the purely philosophical writings.
But James is a great American classic, a 'must read' for those who would truly know the American mind and experience.
Overall then, a great book, with some great ideas giving direction and purpose to those willing to invest in thought and definitely (due to the length!) in time!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a philosopher, William James changed my life. Can't recommend reading his work enough. This is a great collection.Published 8 months ago by iamthecaroline
The most insightful, intelligent, and learned study of religious experience I have ever read. (My review is restricted to the first book of that collection. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Nick
This is the way books should be made. Even has the ribbon bookmark. One to keep in your library. The books contained are classic... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Kirk W Davis
This is a book that you give to your children. They will refuse to read it or just not understand it immediately. Tell them that their response is understandable. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Gypsy Samuels
This contains James' most famous work, "The Varieties of Religious Experience". It is worth buying this volume for this book alone. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Anthony
William James: Writings 1902-1910 has as its highlight "The Varieties of Religious Experience", comprised of a series of lectures delivered by the psychologist and... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Jeffrey Tedford